Boys Basketball Falls Short in Season Opener, Rebounds with Win

Simon Kane ’23 dodges a Holderness defender for a shot attempt.

Titus Ivory ’25 escapes a Holderness defender.

Andover Boys Basketball fell short 66-73 in its first game of the season against Kingswood Oxford. The team came back in its home opener against Holderness, ultimately winning 77-48. Andover’s record now stands at 1-1. 

Captain Colby Duggan ’23 described how the team picked up its energy and mobilized its defense to slow down Kingswood Oxford after Andover ended the first quarter down by 15 points. According to Duggan, the team can improve in multiple facets of its game. 

We lost 73-66, but the game didn’t go too bad. We started slow, but we were able to fight back into it. We led with a couple minutes left, but ultimately didn’t go our way… We can get better in a lot of places, but we moved the ball well. We played good defense, but I think we can always be better on defense. We can be better at rebounding,” said Duggan.

On Wednesday, Andover welcomed Holderness for its home opener. According to Isaiah Harris ’24, the team focused on its defensive game and saw contributions from everyone on the team. 

Harris said, “As a team, we played pretty well. Everyone contributed, off the bench, too. We worked on a lot of things from the game on Sunday defensive-wise, and we really picked that up this game… We talked and communicated a lot more. On cuts and things like that. We [did] switches and stuff like that off screens. It was good communication.”

Robbie Nyamwaya ’24 credited Andover’s success against Holderness to addressing issues from its game against Kingswood Oxford.

Nyamwaya said, “On both sides of the ball, there was a lot of energy. We focused on some of the little stuff that we had been focusing on in practice, and I think that played a big role. Just communicating, making sure we were in the right positions when we’re off the ball. Executing the plays, stuff like that.”

Andover’s win against Holderness also provided an opportunity for players coming off the bench to excel, according to Dylan Bronner PG’23. Bronner credited his teammates for maintaining composure throughout the game despite the high pace. 

“I think offensively, we moved the ball really well, communicated really well in defense. And I think our bench players executed the plays and defensive sets really well. Again, given a lot of them don’t get a lot of in-game reps… [we] started just going up early, and just staying disciplined even though we played a weaker team,” said Bronner. 

According to Bronner, certain individual performances played a large part in the team’s success. Bronner highlighted Nyamwaya’s strength in the post and his ability to perform set plays. 

Bronner said, “Some players exceeded [expectations] for sure. Robbie stepped up big time today, especially as a player who didn’t get a lot of minutes last year. Stepping into a bigger role this year, I think this was definitely a big confidence booster for him… Robbie being one of our dominant big scorers, he just kind of exposed that by executing a lot of our post plays for him, making a lot of good cuts and reads and rebounding the ball.”

Although Andover found success against Holderness, Nyamwaya belives that there is still room for the team to improve, such as maintaining possession and not fouling too often. Nyamwaya emphasized the importance of maintaining composure when games get intense.

“I think we can work on just playing less out of control. Sometimes, we have a little too much energy, and it’s easy to make mistakes that way. It’s easy to foul or maybe turn the ball over. So I think we need to learn how to play with energy but also play composed and in control… I think we’re doing well playing fast paced. I think we really want to get the ball out and run and get layups, easy layups. So I think we’re trying to focus on that. We’re doing pretty well, and we’re trying to continue to do that,” said Nyamwaya.

Andover Boys Basketball will play Millbrook away on Sunday.