Boys’ basketball bounces back


Credit: Meredith Prince

The boys’ varsity basketball team huddles before facing Westborough.

CJ Brown and Christos Belibasakis

After a disappointing eight-game losing streak to start the year, the boys’ basketball team had a sudden improvement that led the team to a winning streak and almost causing them to qualify for the MIAA tournament. Despite their early losses, the team was able to turn their season around.

“Our chemistry was a little off, we didn’t execute when we had to. Everything was a little shaky when we started,” team manager Raphael Martinez said in reference to the team’s early struggles.

“We were really disconnected in general at the beginning. We are very good individually, and we have players who can score and players who can defend, but we were playing individually and separated [as] opposed to playing together,” said senior co-captain Peter Wolff.

After losing their first eight, the team made a few changes that sparked a five-game winning streak. With a lineup switch, the boys were able to find a connection that was missing at the beginning of the season.

“We moved up Peter Wolff and Dan [Lavenson] into the starting lineup at the one and the two. It worked ever since. The defense has been impeccable, we held teams to under 50, and it’s been great,” Martinez said.

In their final two games, the Warriors outscored opponents by an average of 27 points. Their defense held the other teams to less than 48 points.

“Playing together, believing in each other, believing in the team and playing defense. [That’s] how we win games, we’re not going to outscore teams, we’re gonna beat them by holding them to under 50 points,” Wolff said.

The team found their chemistry in the second half of the season. The boys acknowledge that their team comradery and bond is what helped them improve.

Despite not being able to play, Martinez did everything he could to help out the team this year.

“I tore my ACL a couple years ago so I can’t play, but I came in wanting to help the team out,” Martinez said. “My job is to improve team morale in the locker room, help the boys out giving them rides and stuff, but my main role is to speak in the locker room and be motivational. I try to get everyone pumped for games and afterward I try to keep things riding hot.”

The team dynamic on the court is not centered around the star players. Each player has his strengths, and Wolff believes his is defense.

“I’m not the star player, but I’m a tough guy,” Wolff said. “I’m the guy who defends, I’m the guy who will do the dirty work, boxing out, getting rebounds, just doing anything for the team to help us win.”

The team finished 9-13. Despite earning a winning record in the second half of their season, the boys could not qualify for playoffs.