by David James
Following football’s Thanksgiving Day win, NAHS can officially move forward into the winter sports season, where boy’s basketball will try to get over the hump and return to the success they were once accustomed to.
For the last four years, NAHS basketball has been defined as a “young team, with lots of potential,” but they haven’t been able to move on to the postseason. Every team tends to lose some guys as the class moves up the ranks, and over the last three years that was really magnified for North Basketball, who for the past few years only had two or three seniors leading the team.
“This senior class has kept a good core group together. Everyone wants to be here and wants to win,” said senior Captain Brent Doherty.
This year Doherty, a first team Hockomock league all star, will lead an experienced group of five seniors, all with significant varsity experience. Doherty, the starting point guard, is surrounded by co-captain Kyle McCarthy in the backcourt, forwards Thomas Reynolds and Moni Cuevas, and 6’6 center Jonny Friberg all returning from last year’s varsity roster.
“Having a bunch of seniors back is a huge bonus,” commented Doherty. “The experience portion is huge because they’re already used to the speed of a varsity game. Also we don’t have to spend as much time at practice learning the plays since everyone already knows them. This allows us to focus on getting better doing more drill-work.”
The team will also return an experienced starter in junior Chad Peterson, as well as sophomore Josh Montague, who will likely have a much larger role on the team this year.
“All five of our seniors are have really stepped it up and shown some great leadership just as I hoped they would,” said Head Coach Mr. Mulkerrins.
Now that they are led by multiple seniors, and talented seniors at that, the Rocketeers believe that they have the personnel and leadership to succeed this year and take the program to the next level. That next level is a divisional championship and playoff run, a feat that hasn’t been reached since 2001.
The route towards a league championship will be a little bit easier with the shifting of conferences. Now that North is in the Davenport division of the Hockomock, they no longer have to beat perennial powers like Franklin, Mansfield, and Taunton. Instead, their most important games will consist of Foxboro, Sharon, Canton, Milford and Stoughton, who have been known as being less talented teams in the past.
Coach Mulkerrins was quick to point out that that’s not completely beneficial. “The conference shift presents a challenge to us since we’re not as familiar with the teams in the Davenport. It’s tougher to gameplan for teams you don’t know as well.”
“The Davenport is the lesser of the two divisions, but it’ll still be plenty competitive,” Doherty adds. “Foxboro and Sharon have been good the last few years and Stoughton has some talented players, too. I’ve learned that you can’t ever count a team out in the Hockomock. Everyone is competitive year in and year out.”
With Doherty, who averaged 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists a game last year, at the helm of things, there’s good reason to believe the team will return to their winning ways they haven’t had in 15 years.
The team’s schedule can be found here:
( http://miaa.net/schools/public/NortNo9 )
Can’t attend a game? You can follow @NA_Bball or @NASPN_news on Twitter for up-to-date news and information about the team this year.