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January 18, 2009

Desrosiers best I've ever seen in area

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — That's it. I'm convinced.

And after the last 20 hours, you would be too. In 63-plus minutes of floor time, Carson Desrosiers scored 57 points and grabbed 32 rebounds,

He's now 10 games into his junior season, and I will make the sure-to-be-debated proclamation that Central's Desrosiers has surpassed ex-Raider Scott Hazelton as the greatest hoop talent ever to play in our region.

Sure, the 34 points and 19 rebounds Friday came against Haverhill, a young team on the rise not to be confused with Dunbar High in the mid-1980s.

But his matinee encore here against a hoop monster in American Heritage of suburban Fort Lauderdale, Fla., authenticated Desrosiers and locked up the honor in my mind.

The Raiders used a big fourth quarter to make it interesting but fell to American Heritage, 82-77, yesterday at the Spalding Hoophall Classic.

In a land of long and lean giants, Desrosiers spun and popped, pulled up and fired. At 6-11, he even beat the Patriots off the dribble. He nailed 10 of 16 shots from the field and grabbed more rebounds (13) than any other athlete on the floor.

"You can't guard him down low, and he can step out and hit that three," said American Heritage coach Danny Harris, whose team plays one of the toughest schedules in the country. "He's just so tough to guard. We have good bigs, but our bigs are 6-8, 6-9 he (plays like) 7-foot or 7-foot-plus."

As great as Hazelton was — McDonald's All-American, UConn recruit, etc. — Carson has brought us into a new stratosphere in the Valley.

Rick Nault, Desrosiers' coach and an assistant during the Hazelton years, didn't hesitate when asked if his big man had moved to the top of the charts.

"He now is," said Nault. "People have always talked about his defense. It's getting to the point now where offensively, he just wants it."

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