St. Mark gets top seed in division playoffs
The St. Mark CYO basketball team, which is comprised of ninth- and 10th-graders, recently clinched the No. 1 seed in its division’s playoffs. If St. Mark can win the state title, it will represent Rhode Island in the New England regionals that will be held in Vermont.
After losing its first two games by a combined two points, St. Mark won its next 10 games, finishing the regular season with a 10-2 record. The team is led by the Gillis cousins, Jake and Grant. Grant is averaging 15 points per game and also leads the team in rebounds and blocks – he can also finish the fast break with a slam dunk.
His cousin Jake averages 12 points a game and leads the team in 3-pointers (13).
Antonio Varrecchione and Austin Turrillo average six and five points, respectively, and backup center Jared Ford, who has been starting at power forward recently, is second on the team in rebounds.
Dimitri Varrecchione plays both guard and forward, and has been one of St. Mark’s best defenders all year, while Nick Hanson, a sharpshooter off the bench, was second on the team in 3-pointers with 11. Ben Lee, who has a 30- inch vertical, specializes in shot blocking and rebounding.
North Kingstown residents Kellen Colenman, Jake Easdon and Nick Kuczmarski also helped St. Mark reach its full potential this season.
The team, which is coached by Eddie Gillis and Chris Varrecchione, began the playoffs last weekend. St. Mark needs to win two games to become state champs. St. Mark’s pastor, Rev. Bill O’Neill, was in attendance during the game where the boys clinched the top seed.