Boys Basketball Wins Against Tilton and Nobles, Loses Thriller Against Loomis

Keenan Sparks ’24 dribbles past an opposing defender.

After falling behind early against Tilton Academy, Andover Boys Basketball came back and ultimately earned a comfortable 62-48 victory on Wednesday. This was Andover’s second win of the week, after defeating Noble & Greenough (Nobles), 64-48, on Saturday, and barely falling short against Loomis Chaffee (Loomis), 62-65, on Friday. The team’s record now stands at 8-6.

Following a hot start from Tilton, Andover managed to cool down its opponents and took a small lead into half time. The team dominated the second half, securing the win in the end, according to Dylan Bronner ’23. 

“Towards the beginning, they went up early. They were hitting a lot of shots and we were down by ten or 15, really early, in the first four to five minutes. Pretty much, we’ve been talking about, in the face of adversity and kind of battling through that. Coach called a timeout and talked about that and we got back in the game, in the following two to three minutes and then by half time I think we were up by one or two. We fought back in the game and without that I don’t think we would’ve had a chance at half time,” said Bronner.

Once the momentum of the game picked up, the environment of the gym went with it. According to Co-Captain Colby Duggan ’23, the energy from the crowd was part of the reason that the team went on a roll following its slow start. 

“I’d say that when we were down, it was pretty quiet. We didn’t have a ton of energy, but once we picked it up the atmosphere rose with the team and we were able to propel past.” said Duggan

Bronner mentioned that feedback coming from the bench was equally as effective. Players on the sideline helped out those on the court throughout the game, sharing their advice on how to approach Tilton. 

It was fun, a lot of students came out, it was nice having that atmosphere on our side. Then also the energy from our bench was really nice. We had a couple players out sick today, but they still were supportive from the bench as we came out of the game and talked to us on the bench about what’s going on and what they saw,” said Bronner.

According to Whyett Benn ’24, the team now focuses their practices to deal with Thayer Academy and St. Sebastian’s in upcoming matches.

“We did again, go over a couple different plays and also watched film. Our next games coming [up] are going to be tough though, there are a lot of good teams coming up,” said Benn.

Looking ahead, Bronner hopes that the team will be able to utilize some plays it has gone over in practice. While unable to utilize them against Tilton, Bronner thinks that these plays could prove to be the difference in some of the upcoming games. 

“Running our stuff. [Tilton] played a lot of zone [defense] today, so we didn’t get a chance to run a lot of plays we worked on…some of the plays we had run in the past week after the Loomis loss, but just running our stuff and getting in man-to-man as opposed to playing in zone like we did today. And the teams we played Friday and Saturday were both doing a lot of man-to-man, so just kind of working on the place you’re set up,” said Bronner.

Andover plays away at Thayer on Friday, and at home against St. Sebastian’s on Saturday.