Boys' basketball makes name for itself

The Newtonite


by Jacob Schwartz

Teams across the state are aware of boys’ basketball’s success, and are determined to finally put the Tigers’ 13-game winning streak to an end, said senior Mike Thorpe, a captain with seniors Jared Masinton and Luke Westman.

According to coach Paul Connolly, the undefeated team, 13-0, “has a bull’s eye on its back.”

With each win that adds to the streak, this bull’s eye will only increase in size.

The team is first in the Carey Division of the Bay State Conference, one game ahead of Weymouth, whose only loss came against the Tigers. The Boston Globe ranks the Tigers second best in the state, and ESPN places the Tigers in fifth.

Thorpe said, “We’re ranked high in the sports magazines, and everybody reads those rankings. Everyone is trying to gun for us now.”

However, Thorpe believes tougher opposition in the regular season will only help the Tigers in the long run. “I would say it’s a positive thing. It makes us better as a team and will definitely help us when the playoffs come.”

While no particular team worries Thorpe specifically, he said he will assume that the competition will be playing at their best. “It also means, because you know you have that target on your back, that you have to give it your all, no matter if you’re playing an 0-12 team.”

Similarly, Connolly said, “We’re going to get everyone’s best shot. We’ll have to be expecting all our opponents’ A-games.”

Tonight’s senior-night match-up against Wellesley at home will be a chance for the Tigers to show that they can still play strongly, even when everyone is out to get them. Wellesley was one of the six teams able to defeat the team during the regular season, before the Tigers’ exciting run to the Garden in the postseason.
In order to continue its success, the team will continue to make defense a first priority, Thorpe said. “If we can get stops on the defensive end, the points will come.”
Boxing out is also a major part of the Tigers’ formula for success. “We know we’re not as big as we have been in past years, so we put an even bigger emphasis on rebounding and boxing out.”
Connolly said he attributes much of the team’s success to strong leadership from seniors. “They’ve all led by example from day one, and because of that, our practices have been fantastic, and successful.”