Akeem Belnavis drives to the hoop
Text and photos by Steev Riccardo
Greetings sports fans!
The Auburn Boys Summer Basketball League is in its 34th year of existence and continues to be the cream of the crop as far as high school boys' leagues go around these parts. It also serves as an excellent tune-up for a majority of the Southern Worcester County League’s teams.
If you are a fan of the local teams, the Auburn league is the best place to get a preview of Bartlett, Oxford, and Shepherd Hill, who are all involved, as they are every year.
From the looks of things, and keep in mind that it is very early, all three teams look to have solid talent on board and should once again be competitive players in the SWCL.
Bartlett has looked very good and has an outstanding array of both returning talent and up and comers who could play key roles for head coach Tony Paranto next season. The Indians are one of only two undefeated teams at 6-0, the other being Uxbridge, which could also be a powerhouse in SWCL.
Nick Terranova runs the offense
The Bartlett summer team has included a familiar cast of key players, including senior captain and shooting wizard Matt Huberdault, outstanding leaper Akeem Belnavis, juniors Alex Givens-Perry and Evan Anderson, and point guard Nick Terranova, all of whom played key minutes last season.
Bartlett hoop captain Matt Huberdault
Despite losing Central Mass all-star stud Nick Kobel, the Indians may be even better this coming year. They have a lot of depth and some interesting young players moving up the ranks, including sophomore transfer (St. John's) Jacob Mailoux, who at 6’3” gives them some much-needed height at forward.
The Oxford Pirates also have a ton of players coming back from their 11-10 2011-12 team, including outstanding lock-down defender Donny Freeland, point guard Mike James, and a couple of players who have not played at the summer league due to baseball commitments, Cody Stone and Tyler Barrie, who will be major contributors. They have a very strong senior class and may very well be the best defensive team in SWCL this year.
Pirates Quram Mohammed surveys the court
The Pirates could also have a surprise in junior Quram Mohammed, who has looked very impressive at the Auburn league.
One team that needs to rebuilt and from the looks of things have a lot to work with, is the Shepherd Hill Rams.
The Rams and coach Duane Corriveau lost the core of their team to graduation last year, including Kyle McKissick, Chris Patrinos, and Matt Rayla. These are guys who will be hard to replace, but the Rams summer team has some interesting players and a lot of size on it, including returning seniors Jessie DiTomasso and Justin Terlizzi, who will play key roles.
The Rams got a good look at Bartlett last week in a tough loss and it certainly looks like it will once again be a battle when the two meet this coming winter. The Indians (13-9) beat The Rams (14-8) in a hard fought 66-59 contest last season in Dudley in their only head on match up.
Rams' Jessie DiTomasso and Indians' Akeem Belnavis battle for position
With lots of action left at the Auburn league, there are plenty of great games coming up, including an interesting contest between Bartlett and Oxford this Thursday at 6 p.m.
Tom Jankins/Brindley Foundation: We ran into Quaboag baseball and basketball star Tom Jankins in Auburn last week. The Quaboag senior, an outstanding baseball and basketball star, was part of the Brindley Foundation’s championship winning season.
Jankins, who was the league MVP, pitched his team past the Worcester Eagles 9-4 in game one, while a couple of Shepherd Hill hurlers, Victor Champagne and Drew Ravenelle, led Brindley to a 13-2 win in the finale.
Jankins said he enjoyed playing with former Bartlett star Nick Kobel, who he has been competing with since they were youngsters and wished him well as he heads to Springfield College in the fall. He also had some kind words about Bartlett junior Anthony Higbie, who he said has “a bright future” as a baseball player. That was good to hear because we are big Higbie fans around these parts!
- Wednesday, 18 July 2012
- Posted in Categories: : View from the Sidelines