Friday, December 15, 2017

Fun day ahead Saturday at Waterbury boys hoop jamboree

Let's see, there's not one, not two, but three preseason Top 10 teams playing in Saturday's Waterbury boys basketball jamboree inside Wilby High School's Reggie O'Brien Gymnasium.
Sacred Heart is No. 2 in the GameTimeCT/Register Preseason Top 10. Holy Cross is No. 6, and Crosby is at No. 8. 
The Hearts, winners of four straight state championships, are well-known to all, though not all of the cast is familiar. Raheem Solomon is back from injury, and he will team with Isiah Gaiter to form a versatile, talented 1-2 punch. Sacred Heart is joined by newcomer Connor Tierney, a towering 6-foot-11 freshman from England. 
The Crusaders return a lengthy, experienced bunch, including seniors Ny'zair Rountree, DeAndre Wallace and Marcellus Gomes. There's also senior Kerson Etienne in the backcourt, and transfer Mikey West from Sacred Heart.
The Bulldogs lost two premier players to graduation, Jeremiah Kendall and Miguel Rivera. What does Crosby return? A whole bunch of tall, lengthy, interchangeable parts. Veteran head coach Nick Augelli has called his team a sleeper in the NVL. Yeah, right. The Bulldogs will be a pain, and a contender. They return J'Quan Ballard, Elijah Carter, Kerwin Prince, Markeese Days and Ivan Craig, just to name a few.
Sounds like a ton of fun, and that's just three of the teams that are competing.
Also intriguing is Waterbury Career Academy. Marquan Watson is being heralded as possibly the best player in the NVL. The Spartans are 19th in the preseason poll, and they also return Jadan Battle and Matt Torres in the backcourt.  
Still not convinced tomorrow will be fun? There's also Kennedy, which is ranked 32nd. The Eagles have a big presence inside, both in length and height, in senior Lashawn Smith. Kennedy did lose a whole bunch of talent to graduation, but voters still thought enough of them to put them in the others receiving votes category of the poll.
Wilby returns a pair of good guards in Christian Harris and Ty'Qwan Harding. Kaynor Tech plans to put together a bounceback season in the now Connecticut Technical Conference, according to a preview of the team on The Zone website.
It all begins at noon. Go pull up a bleacher seat and watch.

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