Boys Basketball Wins Two, Suffers Close Loss to Number One Team in the NEPSAC Independent School League

Robbie Nyamwaya ’24 sets eyes on the rim.

Diego Valez ’24 faces pressure from St. Sebastian’s.

Andover Boys Basketball kicked off a packed game week with a 23-point win over Thayer, ending with a final score of 64-41. Following Friday’s game, Andover fell short 65-68 to St. Sebastian’s (St. Seb’s), who came into the game with an 11-0 record. On Wednesday, the team won 71-61 to Austin Preparatory School (Austin Prep), propelling the team to an overall 10-7 record. 

In preparation for the back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday, Coach Terrell Ivory ’00 mentioned how he chose to have the team prepare for the hardest game it would have to play. With no opportunity to meet or practice in person between the games, the team was forced to be ready for any unexpected challenges against Thayer and St. Seb’s. 

“What we did [in preparation for back-to-back games] was, in practice, we didn’t do as much playing against one another, what I call ‘live stuff,’ but we did a lot of shooting, skill work, and working on techniques. We also basically prepared for both teams knowing that St. Seb’s is one of the best teams and Thayer, they’re struggling a little bit, so I felt like if we prepared for St. Seb’s then that would prepare us for Thayer… You got to use a little bit of strategy when that situation happens,” said Ivory.

According to Captain Colby Duggan ’23, the team understood that the game against Thayer would not pose a hard challenge, so the goal was to maintain focus throughout the entirety of Friday’s game. At times, however, Duggan noticed that the team got distracted, causing the quality of play to decline.

“Friday, coming out, we knew that Thayer wasn’t necessarily as strong of a team, but I think our main goal preparing for the game was staying focused on what we do well. We executed our stuff pretty well, but at times we got a little side tracked and played down to the competition. We still won pretty easily, but just staying focused on our goals is important,” said Duggan.

Following its Thayer game, the team faced St. Seb’s, who holds an undefeated record and number one position in the New England Preparatory Athletic Council (NEPSAC) Independent School League. Despite the team’s resulting loss, Ivory was impressed by how the team stepped up to the competition. 

“You either win or you lose, but what I do like is that we played hard, and our effort was good, and we competed. There’s been games this season that we’ve won, but I wasn’t satisfied with how hard we played… Winning matters a lot, but I think our effort and how we compete is more important to me. I still feel good about the way we competed. It tells us a lot about who we can beat, what our potential is, and how good we can be if we continue to play with that same method,” said Ivory.

On Wednesday, the team was back on the road against Austin Prep. Keenan Sparks ’24 noted that although they were down in the first half, teammates were able to lift each other up, ultimately leading to a strong win.

“Whether it was [making] a mistake, just encouraging our teammates, and especially on the bench too, they did a good job of encouraging us. That’s really what helped or just shifted the momentum, going into the second half and playing a lot better and gaining the lead and ending up winning. There’s a lot of encouragement, which is good. I think we did a good job of attacking the basket and throwing the ball inside to the bigger guys, so they can score,” Sparks said. 

He shouted out Colby Duggan ’23 and Robbie Nyamwaya ’24, the team’s “bigs,” explaining, “They used their size advantage, and then they got a lot of easy buckets in the post.” 

Andover Boys Basketball will play at home on Saturday against Williston and against St. Paul’s on Wednesday.