EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 17, 2013

Area College Basketball Preview: Derry’s King fighting for a starting job

College Basketball
Michael Muldoon

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Division 1

King ready to make his mark

Stony Brook’s 6-10, 210-pound sophomore Scott King from Derry averaged 3.2 points, 1.1 rebounds while shooting .407 from deep last year. One of his soaring dunks made SportsCenter’s top plays. This year he’s bidding for a bigger role and early on has played well. He’s averaging 5.7 points and 4.0 rebounds through three games with one start.

Joe Bramanti started 12 of 35 games last year as a freshman at Wright State. The 6-2 Andover High grad, who averaged 1.6 points a game for the Raiders, has transferred to UNH. He’ll have to sit out this season.

Tom Hamel, a 6-9 senior reserve center at Harvard, last year was named to the NABC Honors Court, which requires a minimum 3.2 cumulative GPA. The Phillips graduate hails from Methuen.

Freshman 6-2 guard Jayde Dawson committed to UMass Lowell but when coach Greg Herenda took the Fairleigh Dickinson job, the Brooks star from Canada followed. He is contributing 4.7 ppg.

No stopping Noah

This promises to be the most exciting year in area basketball history with three big-time performers.

Indiana is led by The Human Double-Double, multi-talented 6-10, 240-pound freshman Noah Vonleh of Haverhill, a McDonald’s All-American who was ranked the No. 8 senior in the country last year by one recruiting service. The New Hampton grad posted double-doubles in his first three games and was averaging 13.7 points and an eye-popping 11.7 boards.

Georges Niang, a 6-7, 240-pound forward at Iowa State, is another local who starred at a New Hampshire prep school and now is lighting it up in the Midwest. The Methuen native enjoyed a brilliant freshman campaign (12.1 points, 4.6 rebounds, All-Big 12 rookie team) and this fall is averaging 14.0 points and 5.5 rebounds for the 2-0 Cyclones.

Junior Carson Desrosiers from Windham and Central Catholic is suiting up at Providence. The 7-footer was a part-time starter at Wake Forest before transferring. The Sultan of Swat is averaging 5.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and a team-best 2.0 blocks for the 3-0 Friars.

Division 2Nelson, Zenevitch off to quick starts

Methuen’s Jimmy Zenevitch is a 6-8 junior co-captain at Assumption. The former Eagle-Tribune MVP from Central Catholic averaged 3.6 points and 1.7 rebounds last year while shooting a team-best .529 from the floor in 10.3 minutes a game.

With improved conditioning, it looks like the Zen Master is ready for a big season. Through three games this fall, he’s averaging 8.7 points and 5.7 rebounds with one start.

Isaiah Nelsen, an Eagle-Tribune Super Teamer last winter for North Andover, is a 6-7 freshman at St. Anselm. In his first appearance for the Hawks, Nelsen shot 5 of 6 from the floor and scored 11 points.

His teammate is 6-5 sophomore Ryan Hartung from Haverhill and Phillips, who is fighting for time off the bench.

Haverhill’s Justin Reyes, the high-flying 6-3 freshman out of Whittier, is sitting out this year at St. Thomas Aquinas.

Anthony Barry, a 6-4 sophomore from Brooks, has been red-hot for 3-0 Merrimack. He’s averaging 17.3 points and 11 boards.

Connor Mahoney, another sophomore from Brooks, averages 11.5 ppg for 2-0 LeMoyne.

Division 3

Palleschi forced to retire

Last year’s NESCAC Rookie of the Year, Tom Palleschi from Haverhill, received some devastating news over the summer. The 6-8 Phillips grad had to give up basketball when he was diagnosed with a hereditary heart condition (enlarged aorta). He’s still attending Tufts and now is assisting the coaching staff.

Steve Spirou, a 6-4 junior swingman, averaged 4.7 points and 2.2 rebounds last year at Trinity. The co-captain from Pelham has scored 13 points to help the Bantams to a 2-0 start.

Emerson’s 5-10 sophomore guard Mike Carbone from North Reading and St. John’s Prep is averaging 5.5 points a game for the 1-1 Lions.

Junior Joe Gallant (4.1 points, 4.5 rebounds, team-high 19 blocks) is a returning starter for Nichols. The 6-4 Salem High grad, who made the Commonwealth Coast Conference All-Academic team, was held scoreless in a season-opening win last week but grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.

Roger Williams brought in two talented North Andoverites in 6-5 Eagle-Tribune Super Teamer Chris Bardwell and Eagle-Tribune All-Star guard Derek Collins. Through two games, Bardwell is averaging 9.0 points and 3.5 rebounds.

Another Eagle-Tribune All-Star, 6-4 freshman Doug Gemmell from Windham and Central Catholic, is playing at league rival University of New England.

Endicott sophomore Chris Light, a 6-2 guard from Derry, averaged 2.8 points a game last year at Community College of Rhode Island. He’s played 11 minutes as Endicott is off to a 2-0 start.

Local trio at Brandeis

Brandeis features a couple of ex-Andover stars in 6-4 senior Connor Arnold (1.7 points, 2.8 rebounds last year) and 6-5 freshman Sam Dowden, an Eagle-Tribune Super Teamer. Also, 6-0 sophomore Colby Smith of North Andover (15 starts, 2.0 points, 2.3 assists).

The Judges opened with a 111-59 laugher over Curry with Smith contributed 6 points, 5 assists and 3 boards and Arnold chipping in with two points and five boards.

This year’s WPI squad includes 6-5 junior forward Domenick Mastascusa from North Reading and Malden Catholic (5.3 points, 2.9 rebounds last year), his 6-3 freshman brother John Mastascusa, 6-5 sophomore Michael Moroney of North Andover (15 appearances), 5-9 sophomore guard Aaron Davis from Brooks (5.0 ppg) and 6-3 sophomore Zach Karalis of North Andover (10.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, .472 shooting, .467 3’s, .825 free throws).

In a season-opening win over RPI Saturday, Karalis scored a career-high 25 points and Domenick Mastascusa had 10 points.

Wheaton 6-0 junior guard Jaycob Morales from Lawrence is averaging 2.0 points, 2.0 assists and 1.5 steals in the first two games. Last year the Central Catholic product averaged 7.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 steals.

Warden ready to take next step

North Andover’s Jimmy Warden, a sophomore 6-0 guard at Norwich, averaged 3.0 points and 1.7 rebounds as a freshman.

St. Joseph’s of Maine features sophomore Corey McNamara from Pentucket (6 appearances last year), sophomore 5-10 guard Craig Luschenat of Andover (3.1 points, .389 3’s) and 6-3 freshman Andrew Ruffen of Salem.

Senior guard David Feinstein from Londonderry, who averaged 7.0 points last winter, has helped Daniel Webster to a 2-0 start by averaging 3.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists.

Milciades Carrasco, a 5-11 junior at Newbury College from Haverhill, averaged 4.3 points a game last year. He is a Whittier grad.

Senior D.J. Fazio, a 5-9 guard who played for his father at Andover High, averaged 2.5 points and 2.2 assists last year at Emmanuel. Junior Kyle Davis from Groveland is a transfer from Northern Essex. The 6-6 former Haverhill High big man had 8 points and 4 rebounds in his first outing with the Saints.

Senior Francisco Reyes, a 6-6 forward from Lawrence and Greater Lawrence Tech, is a reserve for Johnson and Wales.

Gorman guides AmCats to the top

Anna Maria returns a steady hand running the point in 5-10 junior Michael Gorman of Methuen. The second-year starter helped the AmCats to a 21-win season last year and is averaging 3.5 points and 4.0 assists through two games this season.

He’s joined by 6-3 Lawrence High product Tre’von Farley, who has come out of the box strong in his freshman campaign (9.0 points, 5.5 rebounds).

Nathan Bueno of Methuen is a 5-11 freshman guard for Mt. Ida. Through two games he’s logging heavy time: 28.5 minutes, 3.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists.

Lucas Hammel, a 6-1, freshman guard from Methuen and Central Catholic, started and scored 10 points with two assists and two steals in Keene State’s season opener.

Jamahl Lopez, a 5-10 freshman guard from Lawrence and Central Catholic, is fighting for minutes off the bench for Plymouth State.

Brendan O’Connell, a 6-1 guard from Andover and Phillips Academy, is averaging 12.0 points and 5.5 rebounds for 2-0 Sarah Lawrence.

A couple of Brooks grads, junior reserve Shane Rogers (Colby) and senior Derek Murphy (5 points in opener at Bates), are playing in the NESCAC.

Junior College

Wish Grant-ed for Northern Essex

Northern Essex already has seven games under its belt and Ryan Grant of Haverhill has already established himself as a top-flight scorer. The 6-1 freshman guard from Whittier Tech is averaging 19.6 points a game.

Other local Knights are Neph Carmona, a 6-2 sophomore from Lawrence who attended Georgetown High. He’s averaging 9.6 points a game while Chris Corey is a 6-3 freshman reserve from Londonderry.

Sophomore Marck Galva, a 6-4 forward who played his high school ball at Whittier, is trying to gain his eligibility.

Postgraduates include Max Silveira (Kimball Union), the 6-1 guard from Andover, and highly-touted 6-4 former Central Catholic star Joel Berroa (Bridgton).

Coaches Corner: Andoverthe cradle of coaches

A whopping five former Andover High point guards are coaching.

Andover Hall of Famer David Hixon is in his 37th year as the head coach at Amherst and with the season opening win now boasts a 694-252 overall record. He’s fifth all-time nationally in Division 3 wins and has won two nationals titles including last season.

WPI has been among New England’s best in recent years. Thirteenth-year coach Chris Bartley, an Andover native, has an impressive 194-53 record with six NCAA berths in the last eight seasons. Last year at the Division 1 Final Four in Atlanta Bartley was presented the Glenn Robinson Award as the top Division 3 coach in the country.

Sean Ryan is a fourth-year assistant at Division 1 Central Connecticut. Jack Barrett (Emerson) and Casey Cosgrove (Franklin Pierce) are other former Golden Warriors working as assistants.

Former Pinkerton star Jeremy Currier is trying to rebuild at Division 2 Pfeiffer (N.C.). He has a 38-55 mark in three-plus seasons.

Steve Boudreau is a first-year assistant at Keene State, where the former North Andover two-sport star was a three-year captain.

Sophomore Kyle Palladino of North Andover (Bridgewater State) and freshman Chris Dunn of Andover (Providence) are managers.

Tyler Wade of Georgetown is part of a group of males who regularly scrimmage with the Cincinnati women’s team during the season.

By the Numbers

5: Number of former Andover High point guards coaching in college

19.6: Ryan Grant’s scoring average at Northern Essex

58: Consecutive starts for Methuen’s Michael Gorman

4th: Where Carson Desrosiers ranked in blocks in the ACC when he was at Wake Forest

5th: Where Scott King’s dunk last winter was ranked on SportsCenter

537: Number of likes on his Facebook page when Haverhill’s Tom Palleschi wrote he was forced to give up the sport due to a heart condition

5: Knee surgeries Andover’s Connor Arnold has had in his career