Text and photos by Steev Riccardo
Hello sports fans!
It’s been very impressive to see the tremendous excitement and participation surrounding the local summer basketball leagues in the area. It is safe to say that youth basketball is alive and well and this could only mean that the competition is going to be even better at the high school level.
All three of the local high school teams have a slew of talent in both the boys and girls teams and many of these kids are playing summer ball as we speak.
The Webster league has been fantastic, and this past week we were able to get a taste of the Dudley-Charlton league (see current issue of The Patriot for related story and photos), and the Auburn boys league. Still hoping to get to Shrewsbury for the elite girls league, in which several high schools, including Bartlett and Shepherd Hill, are taking part.
It was great to catch both Bartlett and Oxford summer league teams competing in the Auburn league. Both squads promise to be very strong next season. In fact, I will predict early on that they will both make playoff runs if they stay focused and healthy.
Donnie Freeland: Speaking of the Pirates, it was good to see soon- to-be-senior lockdown defender guard Donny Freeland back in action after suffering a season-ending broken pinky at the end of last season.
Freeland put on a defensive clinic in Oxford’s win over Bartlett when he shut down View Super Team stud Nick Kobel and helped the Central Mass all-star to 1 point. I’m sure Kobel is tired of hearing me bring this up but you have to give Freeland major props for that performance. It certainly was one of the highlights of last season.
Bartlett Hoops: Bartlett’s entry in the Auburn league looks very strong. Despite losing co-captains Kobel and DJ Kirby-Thomas, the team has a surplus of talent returning, including senior sharpshooter Matt Huberdault, senior Akeem Belnavis, junior Alex Givens-Perry, junior defensive wiz Evan Anderson, and senior point guard Nick Terranova. They are going to be solid.
These guys are only going to get better and Belnavis and Givens-Perry could be on the verge of breakout seasons. Both have the ability to take over games if they can stay focused and play turnover- free basketball.
One surprise on the Bartlett summer team is former St. Joseph’s star Jacob Mailloux, who is transferring form St. Johns to Bartlett. The incoming sophomore looks to be close to 6’3” and could give the Indians some much needed depth inside.
Another big man that could also make an impact is sophomore Neil Flanagan, who played well on the junior varsity team last year and has some good inside moves and can score.
Kirsten Doldoorian: It was a great pleasure running into former Oxford High School basketball star Kirsten Doldoorian (2006), who is one of only three girls to score 1000 points in Oxford High School history. She played under her uncle John Doldoorian, who is the current athletic director at Oxford.
Kirsten, who will be featured in next week’s paper, is currently the assistant basketball coach at Daniel Webster College in Nashua, New Hampshire. She played her college ball at Franklin Pierce.
Brindley Foundation Baseball: We caught a couple of innings of Brindley’s 11-5 win over Douglas last week at Oxford High School field. It was great to see locals such as Shepherd Hill’s Drew and Brady Ravenelle, Victor Champagne, and even 2012 Bartlett graduate Kobel in action on the diamond.
Champagne looked solid on the mound and looks to be the Rams ace next season. He and his teammates face Tatnuck this Saturday morning at 10 a.m. at Oxford High School field.
BHS Sweat & Desire Camp: Bartlett High School Basketball Head Coach Tony Paranto is running his four-day basketball camp from June 26-29. It’s the thirteenth year that the camp has existed and will take place at Bartlett High School. The camp, which features former high school coaches and college players and coaches, is for boys and girls ages 8-17.
- Wednesday, 20 June 2012
- Posted in Categories: : View from the Sidelines