Last year, the ORR varsity basketball team lacked experience playing in the competitive South Coast Conference. With only two seniors on the team, and a handful of returning juniors, the boys were not able to keep up with the field, and ended the season with a disappointing 6-14. This record also failed to qualify the boys for the MIAA state tournament. But it was a rebuilding year last year, and now the Bulldogs, who return all but 2 players from last year’s squad, are looking to storm the SCC and possibly the state tournament.
The team, led by Coach Steve Carvalho, has big goals for the season. “Our first goal is to make the state tournament,” said team captain and 6’5” center Jeremy Bare. “From there, we’re looking to win the SCC Championship, and then just win as many state tournament games as we can.”
The team has a legitimate shot at the SCC Championship this year, as perennial powerhouse Wareham High School lost several key seniors, including star player Darien Fernandez. Even with the loss of returners, however, Bare admits that Wareham will still be tough competition.
“Wareham’s been conference champions multiple times in the past decade, so most of the teams in the SCC will be gunning for them. Until someone proves otherwise, they’re the team to beat,” said Bare.
The biggest asset to the Bulldogs this year will be their height. Bare was not able to disclose the varsity starting lineup, as it has not been officially announced, but he stated that each member of the starting lineup would likely be over six feet. The size of the team members, along with their athleticism, should be key factors in winning games this season.
The strategy for the Bulldogs this year revolves around this athleticism. Bare says the team plans to use their athleticism to move the ball up the court and score, along with getting out and running transition. However, it is early on in the season, and the team still has some work to do before they are ready for their first game.
“We could definitely improve on our back court game and ball handling,” noted junior Jordan Menard. “You can always improve on defense, too. We’re just looking to bring the final pieces into place and be ready for Stang.”
The boys’ first game will be on Saturday, December 14 at Bishop Stang High School. The game is slated to begin at 6:30 pm.
By Michael Kassabian