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Tight games and overtime make for exciting E/A competition

E/A Weekend thrills with three overtime games and a record-breaking performance. 

By
Brian Muldoon
February 24, 2018
Phillips Exeter Academy Boys Basketball Zach Stenglein

Zach Stenglein powered a Big Red comeback with a season-high 27 points in the second half to propel boys varsity basketball to a 70-64 overtime win over Andover. 

The Exeter/Andover rivalry typically showcases close, exciting battles in between the lines, and Saturday was no different.

Big Red and Big Blue capped the winter season in theatrical fashion as three games ventured into overtime on the Andover campus. In addition to the winter E/A Games, Big Red wrestling shone at the National Prep Championships and the boys and girls squash teams were in action at their respective Interschol tournaments.

Girls hockey opened the day in a thriller. Alyssa Xu ’21 slipped one past the Andover goaltender to take a 1-0 lead in the second period before the Blue tallied two quick goals late to take a 2-1 edge heading into the third. Exeter’s Lydia Anderson ’19 would find the back of the net to even the score and send the game into overtime where neither team was able to convert, ending the game in a 2-2 tie. Big Red goalie Michaela O’Brien ’19 was excellent in between the pipes all afternoon, but particularly in the opening period when she thwarted away 14 Andover shots.

Boys basketball kept the overtime theme going in the second game of the day. Trailing 28-21 at the end of the first half, Big Red came storming back to force an extra period. Zach Stenglein ’18 led the charge for Exeter as he erupted for 27 points in the second half and overtime to lead Big Red to a 70-64 victory. Classmate Emmett Shell ’18 hit a big three down the stretch to even the score while fellow senior Toni Rocak ’18 finished with 21 points for Exeter.

As improbable as it may have seemed trailing 3-1 late in the third period, Exeter boys hockey battled back and forced the third straight overtime game of the day. Peter Scheschareg ’18 scored early in the third before Danny Colon ’20 tied the score at 3-3 with six minutes to go in the third. Andover would answer with another tally to reclaim a 4-3 lead with three minutes to go in regulation, but Exeter would not back down and tied the game at 4-4 on a goal by Paddy Bogart ’19 just one minute later to force the overtime period. Big Red’s luck would run out in the extra frame, as Andover scored with 1:44 left in overtime to seal a 5-4 win. Senior goalie Will Douthit ’18 made 18 saves for Big Red in the loss.

In the pool, both boys and girls from Andover earned victories over Exeter. Andover boys claimed a 101-85 victory while the girls earned a win with a score of 111-75. Big Red lower Andrew Benson ’21 did provide some excitement for the hosts, setting a new pool and school record in the 100 meter freestyle, lowering the previous record of 45.39 held by Joe Shepley ‘14 down to 45.17. The Exeter girls saw 11 personal best performances, highlighted by Maddie Machado ’20 who set new personal marks in the 200 meter freestyle, 500 meter freestyle, and 50 meter freestyle.

The girls basketball team rounded out Saturday’s competition with a 54-45 setback in a hard-fought effort. Big Red trailed 29-16 at the end of the first half, but brought the deficit down to single digits several times in the second half. Andover was able to shut down each of Exeter’s runs and hang on for the win to cap a thrilling day of action. Ella Johnson ’18 led the way for Exeter with 18 points on the day while Bethany Lucey ’20 chipped in with 11 points.

Outside of Exeter/Andover competition, Big Red wrestling enjoyed a fantastic day at the 83rd National Prep Wrestling Championships held at Lehigh University. Exeter finished 18th overall in a field of over 100 competing schools. Tyler Morris ‘20 (126 pounds), Nasir Grissom ’18 (170 pounds), and Henry Lagasse ’19 (220 pounds) each advanced to the quarterfinals of their respective weight classes while Kevin Lyskawa ’18 (152 pounds) moved into the second round of his division.

Both the boys and girls squash teams are currently competing in the two-day Interschols Tournament. The boys are playing at Choate Rosemary Hall while the girls are playing host to the Class A division at the Fisher Squash Center. Competition will continue on Sunday.