2009-01-15 / News

Lawn boys' basketball team midway through solid season

By Stephanie Heelan Cotsonas

The Jamestown School boys' basketball team saw the fruits of their labor when the team defeated Portsmouth Middle School last week after losing to them earlier in the season.

"The first time we played them we were green, were not really sure of the team identity. We must have missed 15 layups. Now they are playing well, they are playing hard, and they are starting to understand the defense," Coach Eric Bush said.

After being down by 10 points at the end of the first quarter, the Wolves took and maintained the lead in the second quarter. Jamestown was up 41-24 going into the fourth quarter when Portsmouth made a run and brought the score within eight points.

"They (Portsmouth) were beating us in the first quarter. In the second, we got up and then we got tired in the fourth. Coach Bush told us to rest so in the end we were ready. We played them once and we lost to them by a lot. We knew we were ready for them here," eighth-grader Owen Heath said.

Jamestown prevented Portsmouth from closing the gap and the final score was 47-39. Eighthgrade starter Tyler Woodward said, "We had a lot of momentum today. We did a lot of good passing and the team is doing better than it has in five years."

Bush considers this team a strong one primarily made up of eighth graders. "We have a great group of starters. Owen (Heath) and James (Chamberlain) have been really good. Kevin (McDermott) plays a lot and does a good job. Tyler (Woodward) must have grown five inches since last year. He has a motor, he doesn't quit. And he is still getting back on defense," Drew Macintyre rounds out the starting line up.

Bush also said that eighth graders Alex Burke, Nathan Lambert and Matt Rafanelli have contributed a lot to the team this year and saw considerable playing time.

Of the 18 players on the roster, 12 are eighth graders including Eric Stroud, Graham Jamison, Colin Enos and Micheal Tomlinson. The seventh graders include Ben Lee, Riley Greene and Grant Gillis. Antonio Varrechione, Dimitri Varrechione and John Chamberlain are the sixth graders. "They are the future," Bush said.

Overall, compared to last season, Bush said his players have all become better basketball players. He credits the entire team, not just those with all the playing experience, as the reason for their success. "They have been playing well. They have been playing as a team and I have been telling them all season that everyone has a role. Whether you are a starter or you are a guy in practice it is important to know your role on the team so everybody gets better, not just the starters. Your time may be Mondays and Wednesdays in practice to help the other guys get better and make them ready for games. They may not be happy about it but they don't complain," Bush said.

Jamestown had a disappointing loss to Kickemuit on Friday in a make up game from December's snow storm. After losing by 10 points in their first game of the season, Bush was hoping his team could retaliate. With a record of 5-6, Jamestown has three games left in the regular season.

The boys' team will be home and take on Thompson Middle School today at 3:15 p.m.

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