Mid-season Basketball Report

It has been an exciting basketball season this year, as some unexpected teams, like Loomis, have fought their way to the top of pile. Other teams, like AOF, have struggled to live up to the hype. Here is a brief overview of the trials and tribulations of Founders League teams.

Kent:

Kent’s basketball program completely reloaded for the 2016-2017 season. With 8 new postgraduate players essentially has an entirely new team. Two of the biggest editions for Kent this season were Randall Brumant, a 6’7″ athletic big man who is signed to play at Columbia University, and Jordan Burns a 6″0′ point guard who controls the game, scores efficiently and has signed to play at Colgate University. Kent started there season loosing to a few talented AAA and AA teams in Northfield Mount Hermon and Vermont Academy. Kent also loss to a very talented Hill School team by only 2 points. Since then Kent has won 5 off there last 8 games, losing to Suffield and Taft and beating Salisbury, Avon Old Farms, Trinity Pawling, Berkshire, Hotchkiss, and Choate.

Taft:

Taft’s men’s basketball team has had a successful season so far as they are currently 12-5. The addition of Moses Polking, a 6’8″ center from Germany, and Elliot Brown (University of Virginia, football) a 6’6″ wing have helped lead Taft to success. Taft has beaten some good teams thus far this season such as Canterbury, Choate, Kingswood Oxford, Berkshire, and Kent. However they have loss to Trinity Pawling twice, as well as Suffield. With a mix of veteran leadership and talented young players Taft is looking to make a run and at the NEPSAC Class A Championship. 

Choate:

The Choate men’s basketball team has had some ups and downs through the course of the 2016-2017 season. The Wild Boars started their season off with a win against Phillips Andover Academy followed by a 3 game losing streak to Taft, Kent and the Hill school. The Boars went on a bit of a run in the middle of the season beating Marianopolis, Westminster, Loomis, and the Gunnery. However, they took losses from St. Andrews, Phillips Exeter, Kingswood Oxford, Cheshire Acadmey and Trinity Pawling. Choate recently received their best win of the season, beating Class A leading Suffield Academy by 7. The Wild Boars are currently 7-9 and are looking to make a push for the Class A playoff. 

Loomis Chaffee:

Loomis Chaffee’s men’s basketball team is by far the best team the Pelicans have assembled in recent years. The additions of Reginald Gardner (North Carolina Central University), and 6’7 sophomore Jaiden DeLaire, who has racked up several D1 offers, have been key for Loomis this year. The team has a record of 12-6, placing them in the upper echelon of teams in Class A. With wins over St Andrews, MacDuffie, Kimball Union, Choate, Brimmer and May, and Belmont Hill. However, they loss to Avon Old Farms, Williston Northampton, Cheshire Academy, Suffield, and Phillips Exeter. Loomis is a team that is on the cusp of achieving greatness this year. 

Avon Old Farms:

With a record of 8-6 the Winged Beavers are doing well, but haven’t lived up to what was expected of them going into the season. In their first seven games, the Winged Beavers were 6-1 and seemed to be on pace to a playoff seed and beyond, but now AOF’s season is in jeopardy as they have gone 2-5 since then. But the Beavers may not have to wait long for the relief that is needed, Filip Petrusev, one of their strongest players is set to return from a foot injury soon. Luka Vasich ’17, and Tyler and Tyrell Washinton ’17 have been the primary scoring threats on offense this season for the Winged Beavers. Vasich is averaging 15 points, Tyrell is averaging 12 and Tyler is averaging 10 this year.

Kingwood Oxford:

KO has been scorching lately, recovering from a 3-5 start to the season by winning 8 straight. Their offense has been the key to them winning games, putting 65+ points on the scoreboard 11 times this season. They are utilizing a lethal drive and kick offense this season that simply gets buckets. They have become a threat beyond the arc this season, splashing in threes and stretching the opposing defense so their big men can go to work down low. With a playoff spot still on the line, Kingswood looks to be heating up at the right time. Remember, its not how you start, its how you finish.

Westminster:

Westy isn’t having the season they hoped for this year. However, the Martlets did upset Avon thanks to great defense and a beautiful game winning shot. With a freshman guard –Christopher Robinson– leading the offense, the Martlets have found a player to build around for the long haul. He is a shifty guard who can break down the defense and kick it out for a splash, but he’s also crafty enough to finish around the rim. All hopes are pretty much dashed for Westy this season.

Hotchkiss:

With a 6-10 record, Hotchkiss isn’t having an optimal season this year. Their defense has been the problem, allowing 60 or more points in eight of their games. With a slow offense like theirs you need a rock hard defense to keep the game slow to make it a gritty game. Thanks to side to side ball movement which creates more opportune chances for their players to drive, Hotchkiss is having decent success on offense, driving and kicking for open shots. Hotchkiss has little time left to turn it into high gear.

-Written by Brandon Arnold and Henry Spearman