With time running down in the game, Brandon Michel ’14 elevated for a desparate 3-pointer to send the game into overtime. As the buzzer sounded, Michel’s shot bounced off the rim, sealing Andover Boys Basketball’s 53-50 playoff loss against Hotchkiss in the first round of the NEPSAC Class A Tournament.

Andover started off in an offensive rut. The team put up only 19 first-half points and fell into a 12-point hole by halftime.

“We just came out with no energy. Everyone was tired because we had a long drive to the game. We really weren’t ready to play. Our defensive intensity wasn’t where it needed to be,” said Kene Adigwe ’14, who had nine points.

Nate Meehan ’14, who scored 13 of Andover’s 19 first-half points, gave Andover a chance against Hotchkiss.

Despite the poor start to the game, the players were able to bounce back and come back with more fire in the second half.

“We started playing better defense, and we turned it over less in the second half. We started executing our defense better, and that led to easier offensive chances and more points,” said Meehan.

Adigwe added, “We upped the intensity in the second half by implementing a 1-3-1 press, which was disguised as a 2-2-1 press. We got a lot of turnovers and steals, and we started hitting our shots, which is something we didn’t do in the first half.”

Meehan did not score any more points in the second half, but Michel picked up the scoring, putting up 18 points in the last 18 minutes of the game. Adigwe also added seven points of his own.

With under a minute left and Andover trailing Hotchkiss by just one point, however, a Hotchkiss player hit a jumper to leave Andover down three points.

With five seconds left, the ball was inbounded to Adigwe, who was supposed to drive to the hoop and kick the ball out to Michel. The play, however, was well defended by Hotchkiss, and Michel’s three-point attempt was contested very well. The shot bounced off the rim and Andover fell by three-points to Hotchkiss.

Andover’s loss capped its season record at 9-12, losing four out of its final five games.