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Central Mass Boys High School Basketball Preview

Saturday, December 08, 2012

 

The MIAA State Championship basketball games will be played at Worcester's DCU Center, but do any Central Mass teams have what it takes to get there?

There is certainly no shortage of talent in Central Mass, both in the high school and prep school ranks, but it remains to be seen if a team from one of the region's three divisions can break through.

So, let's take a look at what you can expect from boys hoops in Central Mass this season.

Division 1

Catholic schools have traditionally dominated Division 1 in Central Mass, and there is little reason to think this season will be any different. Legendary coach Bob Foley and his St. John's squad return as the regional favorite and, perhaps, the only legitimate state championship contender in Central Mass. Still, don't sleep on St. Peter-Marian or Doherty, and Fitchburg with now-junior Mick Snowden could be a sleeper.

Division 2

St. Bernard's battled its way to a mediocre record through a brutal schedule last season, and it proved its mettle in the Central Mass tournament. Still, Quabbin has to be considered one of the favorites in Division 2, despite the losses of outstanding guards Joe Reed and Christian Horton.

Division 3

Whitins Christian came within a single basket of a state championship game last season, and you know the Crusaders will have that on their minds as this season progresses. Still, Littleton will be no pushover, as scoring machine Chris Murray returns for his junior season.

Preps

Worcester Academy is loaded with talent this season in both the 2013 and 2014 classes. While Rene Castro will grab the headlines, don't sleep on class of 2014 big man Matt Cimino and the rest of the Hilltoppers. Notre Dame Prep out in Fitchburg is always loaded with talent, and this year is no different with star point guard Jaylen Brantley and physical big man Matt Atewe leading the way for the Crusaders.

Players to Watch

1. Rene Castro: Senior Guard, Worcester Academy

As stated above, Castro is going to garner plenty of attention this year, and with good reason. The combo guard has the innate ability to create for his teammates with excellent floor-spacing and vision, but also has a scorer's mentality when attacking the rim. Castro is set to play at small school power Butler next season.

2. Davon Jones: Sophomore Guard, St. John's

Jones is anything but an established name at this point, but the Pioneers will look for the talented youngster to continue improving at point guard, where he started the majority of last season as a freshman. We know from football season that Jones has tremendous athleticism- he made our All Star team as a receiver and starred on defense as well- but the word out of St. John's camp is that he also has excellent handles and natural leadership qualities.

3.  Antonio Jones: Senior Forward, Doherty

Jones is the most complete player on a very good Highlander team. While he excelled as a scorer for Doherty last season, Jones' length is what really helped set him apart as a rebounder and shot-blocker. His play will largely determine if the Highlanders can seriously contend in Division 1 this season.

 

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