Grant to Knights
It’s too soon to make any definite evaluations of the Northern Essex men’s hoop recruits for the upcoming year, but head coach Darren Stratton got good news earlier in the month when three-time Eagle-Tribune All-Star Ryan Grant from Whittier decided to join the Knights rather than attend a four-year school right away. He had been looking at Regis College.
“Ryan is really going to help us and we’re happy to have him,” said Stratton. “He can play several positions.”
He’ll be joined by one of his former teammates, 6-foot-5 Marck Galva, who was a student at Anna Maria College last year. Another local recruit is Parker Rogers, an MVC All-Star for Haverhill High two years ago.
The Knights, who are holding their breath on landing a pair of stars from Florida who could move into the area, have only two players returning from last year — Najja Joseph and Georgetown’s Neph Carmona. Pentucket grad Will Angelini, who averaged about 10 points a game and showed good potential, was supposed to come back, but he got a package to attend Keene State.
Also from last year’s team, Haverhill’s Kyle Davis will continue his career at Emmanuel College.
Looking to win
Bob Melillo offered no regrets last week when asked to explain his decision to resign as the head girls basketball coach at Haverhill High after four years in order to take over the Lynnfield program. The Hillies went 3-17 last winter while Lynnfield was 6-13.
Sounding like Doc Rivers, Melillo said: “At Lynnfield, there is an opportunity to win right away — the whole team is back. Haverhill has some good young talent coming up, but I couldn’t make the commitment for another two, three or four years there.
“The people at Haverhill have been great, but I see this as a great opportunity. They’ve had success (at Lynnfield) in the past and they have a good youth program in the town. I’m excited about it.”