Boys Basketball Defeats Tilton, Bounces Back with “Chemistry” and Conviction

With Andover Boys Basketball’s victory over Tilton, the team snapped its three-game losing streak away from home.

In Andover Boys Basketball’s next game against Thayer, it will look to win back-to-back games for the third time this season.

Andover’s 63-57 victory against Tilton demonstrated a rejuvenation for Boys Basketball. The team’s win brought back the excitement it had lacked in a performance against Loomis Chaffee that saw Andover lose 53-68. This pair of results brings Andover’s record to 6-7.

According to Jordan Rayford ’22, it was important for Andover to maintain its confidence after an off game against Loomis. With Andover’s 38.7 percent effective field goal percentage (eFG%) and Loomis’s 59.4 percent, the game was decided largely by the teams’ discrepancies in shooting accuracy.

“We know it’s a bad game because we beat Milton and Milton and beat [Loomis]. So I think we know what we’re capable of and this was an off game, we weren’t making that many shots and they were making a lot of their shots, so I think we knew we could beat them, but I think we’re not that defeated just because we know that was a really bad game on our part and it was a really good game on their part,” said Rayford. 

Head Coach Terrell Ivory ’00 emphasized the importance of enjoying playing basketball even when losing. He believes performances and results will follow that enjoyment.

“When things didn’t go well against Loomis we didn’t look like we were having fun, right? I want our kids — and I know it’s tough when you’re losing, it’s more difficult, it’s more challenging to have fun — but this idea of playing with joy matters so much to me and I think if you do that, then you deal with the challenges that come along with playing like in a tough league, playing sport, things like that,” said Coach Ivory.

Coach Ivory’s prediction was proven right in Andover’s win against Tilton. According to Keenan Sparks ’24, Andover’s key to victory against Tilton was being able to move on from mistakes during the game.

Sparks said, “I think we didn’t really have a lot of fun going into that game and I think just dealing with adversity, we didn’t deal with it well. So I think just like having the mentality of making the next play even when things aren’t going our way, I think that’s what we did a really good job of today, like whether we turn the ball over, I think we picked each other up and I think that was the biggest thing. Just having that next play mentality.”

Sparks highlighted Rayford’s rebounding, defense, shot selection, and gravity in Andover’s game against Tilton. According to Sparks, Rayford’s presence on the court allowed the team to open up various passing options. 

“[Rayford] rebounded the ball very well. He played good defense, he took good shots, and he didn’t really force anything and often like he made the extra pass, so when he would drive, he would suck in like two defenders and then it’d be wide open for Eric in the corner or Colby. So I think he did a really good job of passing tonight,” said Sparks. 

Andover will welcome Thayer at home on Friday.