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Boston Herald Season Preview

Posted Monday, December 27, 2010 by Website Admin

Central issue again

Raiders return plenty

By Dan Ventura / D1 Boys Basketball
Monday, December 27, 2010 - 
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Carson Desrosiers isn’t walking through the door, but don’t think for a moment expectations have diminished at Central Catholic.

Certainly it will be tougher defending the Division 1 state title without the 6-foot-11 Desrosiers (now at Wake Forest) roaming the paint. The cupboard, however, is hardly bare, with Assumption-bound forward Jimmy Zenevitch back for his senior year. Sophomore Joel Berroa should step in at forward, while the backcourt is solid with Luis Puello, Jaycob Morales and Evan Sheehan back along with sweet-shooting freshman Tyler Nelson.

Look for Lawrence to make its move among the elite, as standout guard Jaylen Alicea returns along with center Jesse Hiraldo. Andover is led by All-Scholastic guard Joe Bramanti and forward Sam Dowden, while Lowell is keyed by guards Jonathan Perez, Kyle Edwards and Jimmy Ricoy.

St. John’s Prep reached the Div. 1 North finals and returns Notre Dame-bound Patrick Connaughton as well as double-double machine Stephen Haladyna. Michael Carbone and Owen Marchetti will be expected to pick up the slack in the backcourt until Conor Macomber returns from a knee injury.

The Dual County League should be very competitive, as Acton-Boxboro returns a trio of league all-stars in forward Wes Schroll, guard Sam Longwell and center Kevin LaFrancis. Lincoln-Sudbury will be paced by 7-footer John Swords (Bowdoin) and guard Mitchell Perez (Union), while Westford is expecting big things from forward Mark Cornelius and guard Matt Ellis.

In the Boston City League, Charlestown is poised to return to the top with guards Akosa Maduegbunam and Omar Orriols leading a group of seven returnees. Jeff Amazon is capable of carrying East Boston, while Stanley Winn returns to run the show.

Lynn English shouldn’t be overlooked, as guards Travonne Berry-Rogers, Paradise Hogan and Josh Castillo are back along with center Keandre Stanton. The Bulldogs will get a lift from transfer Cory McMillan, who sat out last year.

For the first time in four decades, there is a new look on the Lexington sideline as Reggie Hobbs takes over for Hall of Famer Bob Farias. Demetri Monovoukas and Chris Lee will give the Minutemen production in the paint, while Chris O’Keefe is the most experienced guard.

Cambridge is the team to beat in the Greater Boston League, as center Jacquil Taylor headlines a supporting cast that includes forwards Deondre Starling and Maurice Taylor and point guard Ladon Adair Jr. Everett will be led by forwards Erno Deshommes and Alain Jeanty, along with shooting guard Matt Costello.

In the South, Brockton got an early comeuppance from BC High, but the Boxers will be there at the end. The frontline of Traece Macklin, Jamal Reuben and Shane Sims are back with guards Jaylen Blakely and Alain Lenord. New Bedford returns three forwards in Jonathan Fortes, Cameron Walker and Lance Burlingame, while transfers Jules Tavares and Steve Wynn add sizzle.

Newton North will lean on guards Michael Thorpe and Avi Adler-Cohen until Tevin Falzon returns from a wrist injury. Jared Terrell and Patrick Deegan lead the way for Weymouth, while Braintree and Brookline should be in the Bay State Carey mix.

Mansfield advanced to the Div. 1 South final last year and returns forwards Michael Lofton and Jeff Hill and guard Brian Hershman. Attleboro returns all five starters, including league all-stars Kebba Naso, Nate Robitaille and J.J. Jolaoso, while Franklin has forward Kyle Gibson and guard Tyler Kessler back.

Catholic Memorial returns high-scoring juniors Matt Droney and Dan Powers, along with speedster Armani Reeves, while Bryan Hurley is back for his third season as the starting point guard for BC High.

Marshfield reached the sectional semifinals, but received a jolt when sophomore standout Bobby Ahearn transferred in late August. Guards Barrett Murphy and Alex White should form one of the better tandems in the Atlantic Coast League.

West Roxbury gave highly-touted New Mission all it could handle last week, proving it’s not a team to overlook. Guards Roger Paul, Givaughn Jones and Jason Hall gained valuable experience last season. Madison Park was hit hard by graduation and will look to center Khayree Hudson.

Div. 1 Preseason Dream Team

By Dan Ventura
Monday, December 27, 2010 - 
+ Recent Articles + Recent Blog Entries + Email + Bio
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1. CENTRAL CATHOLIC (26-1) — Still the champion until someone else emerges.

2. LAWRENCE (12-8) — Moles in the Merrimack Valley say this is the best Lancer team since the sectional championship team of 2005.

3. ST. JOHN’S PREP (21-3) — Dynamic duo of Pat Connaughton and Steve Haladyna present numerous matchup problems.

4. CHARLESTOWN (12-10) — Plenty of solid players back to go along with Akosa Maduegbunam and Omar Orriols.

5. BROCKTON (19-4) — Maybe the season-opening loss to BC High will turn out to be a blessing in disguise.

6. NEWTON NORTH (21-3) — The season will hinge on the health of senior center Tevin Falzon (wrist).

ON THE BUBBLE — Acton-Boxboro (20-3); Cambridge (18-4); Lynn English (21-2); New Bedford (7-14)

Patrick Connaughton (Sr., 6-5, G, St. John’s Prep) �— A beast at both ends of the floor, the senior standout will play basketball and baseball at Notre Dame.

Joe Bramanti (Sr., 6-2, G, Andover) — A returning All-Scholastic, Bramanti can hit the 3 as well as take it to the hole.

Noah Vonleh (So., 6-7, F, Haverhill) — Immensely talented swingman who has already received Div. 1 college interest.

Jimmy Zenevitch (Sr., 6-7, F, Central Catholic) — Very shifty in the paint, Zenevitch gets his chance to become the Raiders’ go-to guy.

John Swords (Sr., 7-0, C, Lincoln-Sudbury) — Still a relative newbie to the sport, the 7-footer will attend Bowdoin in the fall.

SIXTH MAN: Jacquil Taylor (So., 6-7, F

C, Cambridge) — Improving by leaps and bounds, Taylor will be the dominant big man in the GBL.

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