2019 Rec. Basketball Preseason Power Rankings

Come December, a new Walpole Recreation Basketball season begins. Following the player evaluations, all the head coaches held the league draft to form this year’s new teams. The countdown to the first weekend of games has begun, bringing along all the trash talk and hype that comes with this year’s 2019 Rec. Basketball Power Rankings.

  1. Rockets: A clear-cut top seed that is led by the four seniors of Pat Kearns, Pat Sullivan, Matt Schultz and Greg O’Connell. Kearns brings an immense athletic stance to the game while Sullivan carries a high variety layup package. Schultz should be covered 24/7 as a deep threat from the arc while O’Connell tends to rack up so many rebounds, it’s unfair. In addition to these seniors, the well-known Ted Harrington can dish a dime of a pass in the transition, constantly adding assists into the record books. Sullivan can also be found un-tying your shoes when you are not looking. “We are a championship or bust team. I do not know anyone in the league who can stop Kearns, so good luck to the rest of the league,” Sullivan said.
  2. Knicks: Another team with a strong senior presence of Andrew White, Aidan Murray, Jay Goodrich and Mike Connolly, is the Knicks. White brings the elegant finishing on offense while Murray can hit from anywhere. Goodrich typically gets his points at the free-throw line after making his loud attempts to drive the lane. Also, Goodrich and Connolly will own real-estate in your head by halftime, excelling at the mental aspect of the game. “I think we have great scoring options in Andrew [White], John [White], Jay [Goodrich] and myself. The game is about getting buckets and no team can do that better than us. I am expecting nothing less than a championship,” Murray said.
  3. Warriors: Although they have no seniors, the Warriors are a three-headed giant with juniors Jack Magane, Will Jarvis and Brendan Killeen. Magane is arguably the best shooter in the league, as he can hit from the logo with ease. Jarvis stands tall and athletic, bringing all the talents a big man should have. Killeen is a reliable option from behind the arc if he is not earning the assists too.“I think we are a pretty talented team with no weaknesses and we can beat anyone in this league,” Magane said.
  4. Magic: Leading the Magic is seniors Nick Mealy, Chris Merrikin, Jack O’Meara and Tom Shea. Mealy is known for his sneaky defensive play, as he often appears out of nowhere with his smaller build to stack up an absurd number of steals per game. Merrikin is a highly-rated outside shooter that can catch and shoot like it is nothing. Combining Mealy and Merrikin with O’Meara’s speed and Shea’s overused behind-the-back passes, the Magic will be an interesting group to watch. “Our team is going to win every game. Period,” Mealy said.
  5. Thunder: Do not sleep on the Thunder, as they are a quiet team of mainly fast-paced players that can all shoot the ball. Seniors Gautam Narayan, James Berton and the Sacramona twins of Paul and Charles, all bring speed to their game along with their very particular sets of skills. Narayan’s ball-handling and P. Sacramona’s defensive claws for hands make a well-rounded team. Their weakness is the lack of height. “It will be tough to win like my team last year, but I believe we are a top team this year, and we will be a challenge for every team,” Berton said.
  6. Heat: A junior built squad of Chris McLean, Drew Brown and Luke Abate should prove they can compete with the big dogs too. McLean has an answer for everything with a well rounded set of skills. Brown arrives with a very tall build that makes getting rebounds as easy as picking apples off a tree. Abate adds as a deep threat to top off the well rounded Heat. The Heat are a sneaky team that could be seen climbing in the Power Rankings. “We have the potential to be a powerhouse team. Do not sleep on the Heat,” McLean said.
  7. Bulls: A key player to last season’s champion Warriors, senior Ben Scannell will team up with Walpole native Austin Prendergast to create a talented shooting duo that you won’t see coming. While Scannell and Prendergast hit from deep, junior Paul Vozzella will be key down low. Scannell is entering the new season with full confidence, even requesting to have the Bulls placed as the 16 seed for the Power Rankings to make their “championship victory” even more sweeter. “I completely expect us to take care of business every game and ultimately win it all. Also, the Thunder are a cute up-and-coming team and I just look forward to playing those guys,” Scannell said.
  8. Cavaliers: Combining senior Matt Donato, junior Dan Colbert and junior Connor Glebus should form a talented group. Donato brings height and athleticism while Colbert brings the hustle in addition to the long range shooting. Similar to Goodrich of the Knicks, you might find Glebus trying to get in your head. “We are the most balanced team in the league. A lot of teams are super top heavy in the league. We have a good mix of stars and role players,” Donato said.
  9. Mavericks: Leading the Mavericks will be junior Drew Von Klock along with seniors Joe Lynch and Ian Hollister. Von Klock brings the jelly along with his defensive talents while Lynch has the height and Hollister has the deep range from beyond the arc. “The Mavericks will be a top team for sure this year and are always going to be better than the Wizards,” Von Klock said.
  10. Wizards: The senior trio of Kevin Nealon, James Ofgant and Tom Walsh make a well-rounded Wizards team. Nealon brings the ball skills while Ofgant is the tall figure with an interesting shooting form for the Wizards. Walsh tends to have a large number of shots attempted but not a large number of shots made. The key to success for the Wizards is to control Walsh and get production out of Ofgant. “The Wizards and I are by far the best team here,” Ofgant said.
  11. Celtics: The Celtics will have to combine the talents of seniors Brendan Moser and Faris Ghantous with sophomore Tim Hogan and junior Sean McInerney to create as much success as they can. Moser brings the height but is also water from deep, along with Ghantous’ shooting package. “The Celtics have a bright future ahead and we have a variety of talent that will take us places,” Moser said.
  12. Spurs: Similar to the Celtics, the Spurs, behind senior rookie Marco Bonanno, the unit of senior Brandon Spitz and junior Jackson Wohler, the Spurs could go either up or down this season. Spitz brings a tall and aggressive game that most underclassman should fear. Bonanno will be around the arc taking most of the shots with Wohler. The Spurs season mainly depends on Spitz. “I feel we can make a good effort to work our way into the championship,” Bonanno said.
  13. Nuggets: A team with more than enough juniors, the Nuggets should find themselves in a close game on most days. Juniors Conor Copponi, Shane Grant, Varun Mandulapalli and others are an athletic bunch that should learn as the season goes on. Copponi brings most of the basketball experience. “If you were to compare our team to a McDonalds order, we would be the hundred piece nuggets,” Copponi said.
  14. Nets: Under veteran head coach, Brendan Croak, the Nets are led by seniors Dennis Crowley and Darius Martinez. Crowley, who has the figure and mug of a grown man, is not something teams should ignore. Crowley can easily get to the hoop and rebound well against any team. Martinez specializes in his ball control and passing and it should not be hard for him to find the large Crowley with his passing skill set. “We’re just gonna dominate the competition. We may be a young team with a lot of underclassmen, but we aren’t gonna be stopped. We are going to put big numbers up on the board while playing lockdown defense that’s gonna let us blow out the competition. Croak is gonna be coach of the year without a doubt. Just looking at the job he did during the draft is excellent foreshadowing of the coaching job that he is going to do during the season. The Nets are gonna be looking to dominate Walpole Rec Basketball,” Crowley said.
  15. 76ers: With the interesting duo of seniors Frank Famiglietti and Tom Russo, the 76ers will find all their games challenging, although Famiglietti can rack up the points when on a good day. Russo is heavily involved with Walpole High School’s varsity basketball team so one hopes he is taking notes for the help the 76ers will certainly need. “Russo and I are the new Shaq and Kobe,” Famiglietti said.
  16. Lakers: The lone senior of Ethan Kelley surrounded by underclassmen, who are mainly known for being three point shooters, sit at the bottom of the Power Rankings and can only get better from here. Good luck. “The senior class on this team is really going to carry us to a lot of wins,” Kelley said.