With Andover Boys Basketball trailing 53-52 against Exeter and less than 15 seconds left in the game, Sam Glazer ’15 crossed over his defender and drove to the hoop. Both Andover and Exeter fans collectively held their breath as Glazer elevated for his shot. Glazer was fouled midair, but was somehow still able to contort his body and bank in a tough inside shot.
“There wasn’t much going through my head before the shot, to be honest. But after the shot went in, I felt absolute euphoria,” said Glazer.
After a successful free throw, Andover led 55-53 with 9.9 seconds left. Exeter then countered with an attack of its own—its forward drew a foul with 1.5 seconds left, and was set to shoot two free throws to tie the game. When Exeter’s first shot bounced off the back of the rim, Andover’s fans erupted with cheers.
After missing the next free throw intentionally, however, the Exeter guard on the block snuck around an Andover player to grab the rebound and lay it into the net to tie the game.
Exeter took control in overtime and eventually won 70-61.
Andover had played Exeter earlier in the year, but lost 57-50. In that game, Andover failed to get to the hoop to score in time.
Scoring points during their most recent game with Exeter was no issue, however, with Andover raking in points from both the field and the free-throw line.
“The first time we played them, we played selfishly. On Saturday, however, we shared the ball really well, and for the most part everyone made an impact offensively. Everyone did something well on the offensive side of the ball. It was a collective effort,” said Eric Alperin ’15.
As a result of tight and defensive play, Andover led 28-24 at halftime.
“Defensively, we played much better. We picked up the pace so much. Our pressure forced so many turnovers, and we didn’t give up many easy baskets,” said Alperin. “They didn’t have many big men or primary ball handlers, so we had the advantage on the perimeter scoring areas with our guard play.”
Kene Adigwe ’14 and Brandon Michel ’14 played well offensively and defensively, leading Andover in the backcourt.
Michel’s active hands on defense led to steals and fast breaks that served as important transitioners into the offensive zone. More than once, Michel drove to the hoop, pulled up five feet short and dropped a short floater through the net.
Andover’s performance kept the game competitive, with neither team holding a double-digit lead at any point. It was Glazer’s shot at the end of regulation time, though, that allowed the game to go into overtime.
Missing a second free throw, Exeter had the chance to make a rebound and tie up the game. The shooter bounced the ball off the right side, and after stacking the left side of the court, an Exeter guard slipped by to score the tying basket.
“They ran a designed play, and they needed a miracle to win the game, and they got one. The ball bounced perfectly, and their alignments worked out perfectly,” said Glazer.
In overtime, Michel, Adigwe and Captain Jake Howell ’14 had fouled out, leaving Andover without some of its best players. Missing key players and a lower morale led to a disappointing performance from Andover in the end.
“We had a lot of momentum going at the end of the game, and it was tough to see a lot of that momentum get erased on that last-second play. We couldn’t really get a stop at the end, especially with our top guards out, and we stopped trading buckets. That killed us in the end,” said Glazer.