With just one minute left in the game, Colby Duggan ’23, receiving a pass from Diego Velez ’24 in the corner, dribbled straight to the net, jumped from just outside the paint, and dunked the ball into the basket. Andover Boys Basketball ultimately defeated Choate 62-42 on Friday, and extended its win streak to three with a 63-51 win against Williston. On Wednesday, the team battled down to the wire in a tight 53-56 loss to St. Paul’s. The team’s record now stands at 9-9.
Andover had a larger lead against Williston than in Choate. According to Jordan Rayford ’22, multiple factors could have contributed to this, some unrelated to Williston’s skill level.
“They were taller. Overall, I feel like they had more size. We didn’t play the day before Choate, but we played the day before Williston, so I think that could’ve played a factor. But I think we both beat them kind of by the same amount. I think Williston just came back at the end when we were already beating them by a lot,” said Rayford.
In the game against Choate, the stands were packed. With the highest energy out of any home game this season, the support and the cheering propelled the team to the dominant victory and allowed its players to feel more confident, according to Robbie Nyamwaya ’24.
“The energy was absolutely crazy. The fan section, the bench, the players in the game—everything. The energy was absolutely top tier, and I think it was really effective, and it really helped the momentum when we needed it,” said Nyamwaya.
Leading up to the weekend’s games, the team prioritized running specific plays to not only counter its opponents’ strategies, but also prevent miscommunication within the team. The team used film to develop plays and target certain players from the opposing team, according to Sam Rodgers ’23.
“Normally we kind of do similar stuff each practice, and then we probably spend 15, 20 minutes just going over their plays and then how to defend their plays. And just knowing personnel and knowing who their best players are and how they play,” said Rodgers.
In addition to Duggan’s dunk, Nyamwaya credited Eric Tynes ’22 in the Choate game. Tynes accounted for nearly a third of the team’s points through three pointers.
“Eric Tynes shot very well from the three. I think he had seven or eight three pointers, so he played very well,” said Nyamwaya.
Going into the St. Paul’s game, the team felt optimistic and confident in great part due to the momentum of their short win streak. The team prepared for the Wednesday game like any other.
“I think we’re expecting a good game. Especially I feel like we’re on a pretty good streak right now, and we’re playing well. I think we expect to win obviously. It’ll still be a tough game, but we expect to win,” said Rayford.
Despite the loss, the pregame confidence pushed the team all the way to the last minute. In addition, Tynes, again, hit four three-pointers in a row to start the game, giving the team an initial burst of energy, according to Rodgers.
Andover Boys Basketball will host Belmont and Thayer on Saturday and Tuesday, respectively, and play away at Deerfield on Wednesday.