WYBA High School Recreation Basketball Previews

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David Moser

Many factors go into deciding what makes a team good: who is on the roster and if they even show up, the amount of players on the team or the size and experience of a team. As for now, these rankings are in no particular order; however, they are summaries and predictions for what the season should bring for each team in January.

Nets – Despite the actuality of uncertain expectations, the Nets should definitely be up high on the list. The team has all the makings to be the best, so it is up to them to put it together. With a seasoned veteran like Brendan Croak as coach, coupled with key draft picks like senior Nate Porack and freshman Bryan DiPasca, the Nets should not have a problem doing so.

76ers – The 76ers are right up there with the Nets to be another tough challenge for the rest of the league. With three members of Walpole High School’s football team on the squad – senior Steve Cuqua, junior David White, and junior Coleman Lydon – the 76ers have a lot of muscle. In addition, the skills that juniors Vasili Boustris and James Greulich bring to the court are highly valuable. The 76ers should have no problems on either side of the ball, both offense or defense.

Rockets – The band of brothers has three sets of families on the team, so chemistry should not be an issue. One family is the Mealys: senior Patrick, sophomore Matt, and freshman Nick. Another, the Kelleys: junior Nate and sophomore Ethan. And a third, the Murphys: sophomore Ryan and freshman Aidan. So most likely, scoring points and moving the ball should not be a problem. The question is, though, does the team have a good defense. With a coach like Kevin Mealy, it will not take the Rockets too long to figure out their plan for the season.

Celtics – The Celtics are also one of those teams who could make an impact in the standings this year. With veteran Rec professionals senior Alex Caskie and junior Paul Heffernan at the helm, they should have no problem scoring points. Also keep an eye on junior Brandon Kilroy and senior Ben Brownsword to be the Celtics’ top scorers.

Knicks – Height is the Knicks’ biggest strength once the ball is tipped to start this season. Senior Tucker Fontana and junior Eric Lederman are both bigger than your average rec basketball player, so getting boards should be a breeze. Also, junior Craig Cieplik should be a key player for the Knicks, so watch for his floaters in the paint as well as his midrange jumpers.

Lakers – The Lakers are all set to win this year. And with the experience that the O’Leary brothers, senior Kevin and Sophomore Danny, bring after  having played for Walpole High, watch the Lakers to be one of the best organized teams out there. Junior Liam Conlon should also be a threat in the paint, so he could for sure be a top scorer for the Lakers this year.

Magic – The Magic are easily one of the best teams going into the season; whether they perform or not is up to them. It obviously will not be that hard with the roster that the team has: players like junior Jake Christy, junior Jake Guidone, and the Nelson twins, seniors Adam and Andrew. With the size and skill that the Magic’s roster owns, look to the Magic to be number one on the Power Rankings next week.

Mavericks – The Mavs have a lot of individual talent this year, but do they have the leadership? Junior Mitch Kelley’s talent and midrange buckets on top of the talent from juniors Mark Nicholson, Jack Garr and Declan O’Driscoll bring a good reputation to the court. But as said, with all that talent, who will step up to be a leader? This is the question heading into their first game.

Nuggets – The Nuggets are definitely in regard as the most physical team this year. Big players like junior Myles Kraus and sophomore Diego Dorronsoro should own the boards. Most of their points this year will either come from these two in the paint, senior Tim Bender from the elbow or any other player who steps up to make a name for himself.

Sonics – This year could be a tough one for the famed Sonics. The team, named after the retired Seattle Supersonics, lacks a strong core and talent. Yet, who knows, these are just the previews of Rec – a league where magic can happen and where teams can skyrocket from bottom of the pile to king of the hill. Junior Zach Conrad will be a strong presence for the Sonics, and for sure is one of their biggest forces.

Spurs – With only eight players on the roster, the Spurs need to be in shape to work this season. The lack of subs not only makes it tough to play the whole 40 minutes, but that also actually gives the benefit of each player getting more time on the court. This situation will free up a lot of space for someone who can step up to be a key player for the Spurs this season.

Wizards – Just like some of the other teams in the Rec league, the Wizards have a lot of size on the roster, specifically senior Owen Ross and junior Devin Moore. Sophomore Matt Conti should also be a decent shot from behind the arc. If the Wizards take the season strong right out of the gate, there should be minimal challenges ahead of them.

These rankings are not in any particular order, as the season has not started yet. Therefore, each and every team has the opportunity to cement themselves as the best this year. Names may not printed on banners, but they sure do live on in the memories of its players. To quote a Rec Basketball great, junior James Greulich said, “We are all D1 bound – no matter what anyone says.”