The preseason polls ignored St. John’s Prep.
In the process, they ignited a fire under a couple unsung Eagles’ backcourt mates from North Andover.
“A lot of guys were pretty (upset) not being ranked in anyone’s polls. As captains, we took it personally,” said Eagles senior Drex Costello who, along with his close friend and fellow Turkey Towner Tyler Dooley, has helped propel the Prep to the top of the Catholic Conference standings. “We deserved some respect. We were a little surprised. I’ve been on varsity three years, one of which was a state title team. I could tell this was a good team, but we wanted to prove to people we are legit. It definitely gave us a little swagger.”
A little anger can go a long way.
Dooley has dominated the floor from his point-guard spot. Costello leads the team in scoring at just over 14 points a game.
And the Eagles, who lost their top six players from a 13-8, first-round tourney loser last year, are an amazing 13-0.
“For us to have a good year, we knew they had to be the guys to carry the load,” said Prep coach Sean Connolly. “Both played a bit off the bench last year, and I knew they had to be the guys. Dooley really has improved a ton. We didn’t expect him to play much as a junior, and he ended up winning us three or four games down the stretch. Drex has been with us for three years, and he’s just really come into his own.”
Terrific Tyler: Valley sports fans watched Dooley come into his own on the point, late last year in the IAABO tourney at Central Catholic.
Apparently, the nifty ballhandler wasn’t satisfied.
“He’s always had the athletic ability and quickness to be a point guard,” said Connolly. “And he’s worked at it every day and just gotten better.”