Boys Basketball Falls Four Points Short to Tabor

Colby Duggan ’23 chased down a player from the opposite side of the court with a block off the backboard in a tight loss to Tabor Academy. Despite leading throughout the game, Andover Boys Basketball ultimately fell 62-58. The team’s record now stands at 6-8. 

According to Robbie Nyamwaya ’24, Tabor’s stronger communication skills proved to be advantageous. Its players were able to run plays not only through the use of verbal cues but also through the use of visual cues. 

“I think Tabor had good chemistry. They knew how to communicate with each other without physically talking out loud. They’ve probably played with each other for a while, so that’s one thing I noticed from the game,” said Nyamwaya. 

Despite the team’s current two-game losing streak, its players remain optimistic. According to Keenan Sparks ’24, the team put forth a higher quality effort against Tabor compared to its 46-72 effort against Brooks last Wednesday.

“[The energy] was really good. It was super positive. Guys were lifting each other up, and I think our effort was a lot better than the game on Wednesday, and we played our best. It was just one of those games which was kind of out of our control where they were making shots, but it was still really positive,” said Sparks. 

Winter vacation may have been a contributing factor to the loss, in part due to the fact that the team was more focused on readapting to the unique playing styles of each of its members. However, the game against Tabor served as a learning opportunity for future games, according to Nyamwaya.

“Because of the break, we need to get used to each other’s playing styles and strengths and weaknesses. That shouldn’t take too long, so I think we’ll be back 100 percent soon,” said Nyamwaya. 

The team allowed numerous open three-pointers to end the game. To prevent this, Sparks believes the team should do an overall better job at “closing out,” where a defender closes a gap between themselves and the ball handler.

“I think we just need to improve on our defense. Their team was a really good three-point shooting team, and I think we just did a really bad job of closing out, which gave up a lot of threes. Our defense has gotten better, but just continuing on improving our defense is really key for us in the next games,” said Sparks. 

With key steals and shots under pressure, two players, in addition to Duggan, played an important role in keeping the team in the game during the fourth quarter. The crowd at Tabor kept energy high, according to Duggan. 

“Diego [Velez ’24] and Eric Tynes [PG’22] both played really well. We had a lot of momentum, and those were some memorable players. People hit big shots, there was a crowd that was loud, so that made it fun,” said Duggan.

Andover will play at Worcester Academy this Friday and host Deerfield on Saturday.