When Tabor boys’ basketball coach Chris Millette took over the program in 2009-10, the team had a fan base that was primarily limited to the school and its alum. But now, well, things have changed quite a bit.
“We get people in the gym that normally would not come to Tabor games, which has been fun,” Millette said. “We had a game over a break (last year) where the students were not here and the gym was full. And that has not happened over the last few years.”
There’s a big reason for that. Actually, there are two: Noah Fernandes (Mattapoisett, MA) and Chris Herren Jr. (Portsmouth, RI). And the junior guards haven’t just impressed the local fans, they’ve been attracting various universities. Herren has received interest from Boston College, Richmond, Old Dominion and Ivy League schools and Fernandes has garnered looks from Iowa, North Carolina State and Providence College.
“The fact that they’re local really adds another dimension,” Millette said. “It’s one thing to have really good players, but to have them local – we just get such excitement.”
These two Seawolves have been a big part of the team’s success, with Saturday’s 28-point performance from Herren and Fernandes’ 14-point, 8-assist game against Groton, which led to a 88-58 win for Tabor.
But they’re not the only players thriving for the 9-4 (5-2 Independent Schools League) Seawolves. C.J. Redd (21 points against Groton), Connor Peterson and Tyler Murray have played major parts, along with senior captain Angel Santiago.
“(Santiago’s) like our glue,” Millette said. “He just plays hard defense and doesn’t ever shoot – honestly it’s like a team joke, he rarely ever shoots the ball, but he’s so important to what we do.
“C.J. Redd is probably making the third-most noise on the team. He’s doing a great job. Connor Peterson is just a beast. He’s a high-impact football kid. He’s literally like (Rob) Gronkowski. Just has an unbelievable motor, plays so hard – as hard as anybody I’ve ever coached. Tough as nails.”
While the all-around success is great, Millette and his players are focused on their Class A record, which currently sits at 5-1. This record has a direct impact on their postseason standing and whether or not they have a home game.
“It’s our first year in the conference and there’s no conference tournament,” Millette said. “It’d be great to win, but our focus is on Class A, and if you’re top four (in Class A) you get a home game (in the postseason).”
After spending the better part of the first half of the season at home, Tabor has been spending some time on the road and will continue to for a while, taking on Belmont Hill and Nobles, among others. The next big home game to circle on the Seawolves schedule comes on February 24 against Worcester Academy.
Both Old Colony boys’ and girls’ basketball suffered losses in their last contests to Diman basketball.
The girls lost 47-37 to the Bengals, despite Savanna Halle leading the Cougars with 18 points and Abby Cioper remaining consistent, scoring 10 in the loss. It’s still only the team’s second loss in the year, dropping to 11-2 (4-0 Mayflower Small). The Cougars host Norfolk Aggie on Wednesday at 5:00 pm.
The boys lost 61-45 to Diman, dropping to 9-5 (3-1 Mayflower Small) on the year. Jake Jason led the Cougars with 16 points. Zach Soucy was second on the team with eight points, while Ben Maurer scored seven. The Cougars visit Norfolk Aggie on Wednesday at 5:00 pm.
The Bulldogs have not lost since December 23, tying two games during the stretch, with their most recent win coming Monday night in a 5-1 finish against Dartmouth.
Tayber Labonte continues to lead the team with 17 goals and 33 points on the season. Ryan Raphael is close behind him with 10 goals and 24 points. Sam Austin is also playing well with 19 points and Zak Labonte has 15.
Jacob Demoranville is allowing 2.54 goals on average with an 89.9 save percentage.
Old Rochester (9-3-2, 6-0-2 South Coast Conference) visits Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech on Wednesday at Hetland Memorial Arena. The puck drops at 7:00 pm.
High School Sports Update
By Nick Friar