By Steev Riccardo
Both the boys and girls high school basketball divisional playoffs get underway this week. All three of the local boys teams are represented and the Shepherd Hill girls squad is also on tap for some action. We can only ask for nearly as much excitement as the Clark Tournament provided last week.
What a week in sports it was! The Clark Tournament doing nothing less than live up to all its hype. Despite the fact that none of the local teams made the finals, all three certainly left their mark on the Clark University gym floor.
Shepherd Hill and Bartlett lost in the semi-finals to a couple of powerful teams. Quabbin, who beat the Rams, won the large schools title by beating Northbridge, and the Quaboag Cougars, who beat the Indians, lost in the small schools finals to a very good Uxbridge Spartans team.
In honor of the local players that shone on the court last week, we unleash our own All-Clark team consisting of players from Shepherd Hill, Bartlett, and Oxford.
Point Guard- Nick Kobel (Bartlett)
Shooting Guard- Akeem Belnavis (Bartlett)
Small Forward – Matthew Rayla (Shepherd Hill)
Power Forward – Kyle McKissick (Shepherd Hill)
Center – Tyler Bostek (Oxford)
Sixth Man – Chris Patrinos (Shepherd Hill)
Seventh Man – Alex Givens-Perry (Bartlett)
Honorable Mention – Cody Stone (Oxford)
(Now that is a heck of an all-star team isn’t it?)
Kyle McKissick would have to be our Tourney MVP for his outstanding two-way play and of course the unforgettable crowd pleasing two-handed slam-dunk which nearly brought the roof down. The graduating McKissick will be very hard for Coach Duane Corriveau to replace next season.
Tyler Bostek put on one of the best individual performances in the tourney with 11 points and 21 rebounds for the Pirates in their loss to Littleton. Pirate coach Sean Halloran praised his senior afterwards, “The effort he has put in in the weight room and on the court in the last twelve months has obviously paid off. He was a beast on the boards, I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Akeem Belnavis: Lastly a big nod to Akeem Belnavis. This junior has the potential to be one of the best players in the SWCL and perhaps all of Central Mass next season. If he works on his outside shot and continues to improve, he will dominate and that would be very for good for Coach Tony Paranto and the Bartlett Indians.
Don Cushing: It was great to see the legendary Don Cushing, who has the most coaching wins in Bartlett High School basketball history, on hand at the Clark tourney last week. The Coach was in great spirits and seen telling some youngsters some stories about the good old days. If anyone knows the score, “Cuffy” certainly does!
Clark Sightings: One of the great things about the Clark Tournament is seeing all the familiar faces from the local sports scene both from the present and the past. All three local high school football coaches were seen at the gym at one time or another.
Dane Laboissonniere of Bartlett, Chris Lindstrom of Shepherd Hill, and Oxford’s Jeff Parcells were all taking in some basketball. Former Bartlett Coach and current Worcester State University receivers coach Chris Nasis was also in the building.
Oxford Principal and former Hoop Star Kevin Wells was in his familiar spot doing the color commentating for Charter Channel 3 TV. I caught his act on TV Saturday night doing the finals and was very impressed with the way “Wellsy” called the games. His hoop knowledge is certainly extensive.
Former Bartlett star catcher George Hetherman was also on hand taking in the action and seen with another former Shepherd Hill star, Dave Burke, who was checking out his son Charlie who plays for Groton-Dunstable. The pair was spotted in the stands with another former Shepherd Hill standout Ray Zemski and former Shepherd Hill basketball coach Jim Ferdella.
Fornaro Mania: Everyone has been buzzing over the play of Shepherd Hill girls basketball hoop star Meghan Fornaro. The Rams senior star went over 1000 points for her career at the Westborough Invitational Tournament last week and has been playing some eye-opening basketball. The Rams play in the districts this Saturday against a strong North Middlesex team at Shepherd Hill at 6 p.m.
Just think, before you know it, will time for some sunshine and some baseball and softball action!
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- Wednesday, 29 February 2012
- Posted in Categories: : View from the Sidelines