Algonquin boys qualify for postseason tournament

Northborough/Southborough – In a roller-coaster season under first-year head coach Chris Foy, the Algonquin Regional High School (ARHS) boys basketball team finally got a chance to enjoy the ride, winning its last three regular season games to finish 10-10 and qualify for the Central Mass. Division 1 Tournament.

"I'm really happy for the guys; they worked really hard and made this happen," Foy said. "To make the districts after being 7-10 at one point is really a statement about how hard they worked down the stretch, especially the last week of the season.

"In the first meeting I had with the kids, the first thing I asked them was what their No. 1 goal for the season was and they all said the same thing at the same time, 'Make districts,'" Foy said. "We haven't even played a tournament game yet and I feel like we've already played three."

The 11th-seeded Tomahawks opened postseason play Feb. 26 in Dudley against 13-7 Shepherd Hill Regional, the No. 6 seed.

Leading the revitalization of the ARHS program, which was 3-17 last season, was a group that included, at some point, five seniors, seven juniors and four sophomores.

Seniors Kareem Kalil and Tim McDonald and junior Kevin Brown are the Tomahawks' tri-captains.

Other seniors on the squad are Dave Armanini, Doug Forsythe and Mike Stasaitis.

Juniors on the team in addition to Brown are Sam Bush, Tom Dumont, Matt McNulty, Jon Moreno, Dan Solis and Mike Speranzella.

Sophomores who visited the varsity bench during the season on short-term promotions from the junior varsity squad included Aiden Cremin, Matt Feldman, Bobby Reynolds and Graham Turner.

Foy said he believes his approach is a simple one.

"We're going to challenge you all 94 feet," Foy said. "We going to get in your face on the first possession and stay in your face until the last one. If guys on my team aren't doing that, for whatever reason, I'm going to put somebody in that will. I really only have one rule: you got to run what I call. No exceptions."

The Tomahawks use that harassing defense to make steals and create turnovers, which they try to turn into fast-break lay-ups and easy baskets on the offensive end.

"At the high school level, playing good, hard, fundamentally sound defense is the key," Foy said. "The offense will take care of itself. But you got to play defense. Each and every possession."

Foy said the team has really rounded into form as the year has progressed. He said he wished this were still the beginning of the season, not the end.

ARHS beat, in succession, Westborough, Milford and Gardner the last week of the regular season to qualify for the tournament.

"Those were really big wins," Foy said. "In each one, there were points that the kids just, to a player, decided they weren't going to allow their season to end that way. They had made a promise to each other and they were going to see it through – no retreat, no surrender."

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Posted by on Feb 29 2008. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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