Rookie Coach Anthony DeAngelo did not hesitate when asked what the best attribute of the boys’ freshman basketball team was this past winter. “Their ability to work,” the coach said. “That, and their ability to learn and play hard.”
“I don’t feel like our record reflects how good we are,” the coach continued. “Our loses weren’t based on a lack of talent, or effort.”
MHS had a numbers issue throughout the basketball program, and one injury at the varsity could upset the rotation for the freshmen, with a player having to move up from one team to the other, and so forth. At times the freshman team would have to sit a player for a half so that he could also play a half for the JV team, which was what was good for the program, but not necessarily good for the outcome of individual games.
DeAngelo’s team followed the program’s philosophy of playing an up-tempo style, with tough defense. “We wanted to score in transition, and press most of the game,” he said.
Leading the team on the court at the point guard spot was Billy McNamara. “He was the heart of the offense,” the coach said. “He sets the tempo well, he’s a good facilitator.” McNamara handled the ball well and showed good decision-making abilities. Dominick Cassell, a high-energy player, was the backup at that position. He also was a very good defender.
Nick Carpenter was the starter at the shooting guard spot. Carpenter was usable at nearly any spot on the court and was the team’s most versatile player. An eighth grader, Carpenter impressed so much that at one point he was called up to play for the JV team. He also was a solid defender and showed an ability to slash to the rim.
Jason Demers, a quality spot-up shooter, saw time at the two guard spot. “He’s a smart player, and he can run the offense,” DeAngelo said.
John Ferguson played both guard and forward for the team. Ferguson was a great late game player for MHS as he could knock down threes when the team needed them, and is also the best free throw shooter on the team.
Seve Garris played both forward positions for the Falcons. An above average all-around player, Garris was a “Jack of all trades” for Mashpee. He is a solid defender, has a good handle with the ball and runs the floor.
Dominick Fellini “straight up can play,” DeAngelo said. The eighth grader was a top scorer and was an all-out “offensive weapon.”
Justin Rose, the Falcons’ starting power forward, is the type of player that every coach loves to have. Rose earned the Falcon Award for the season and was not afraid to do the dirty work on the court. “He was our Dennis Rodman,” the coach said. “He’s the glue that kept everything together. He runs the floor, takes charges. He was the guy with blood on his jersey.”
Alex Monterey saw time at forward as well. He improved his skills and became a good shot blocker for the Falcons. “He jumps really well, he could be a very good ballplayer,” the coach said.
Lastly, Joey Spinola played half his season with the freshman team, and DeAngelo just wishes it had been the whole year. The six-foot, three inch big man dominated at both the freshman and JV levels, averaging around 20 points per game at both levels. “He’s got great moves, both in the post and running the floor,” DeAngelo said. “He went up to the JV team halfway through the year and had no drop-off.”