Mashpee's Boulrisse Bullish On His Team’s Prospects
By: Rich Maclone
Rick Boulrisse will be the first to admit that he’s come into a pretty good situation at Mashpee High School. The new head coach of the Mashpee High School boys’ basketball team assumes the reins of a team that has the look and feel of a tournament contender, and now it’s up to him to make sure that the Falcons live up to those expectations. Boulrisse, who previously coached at Silver Lake, said that his first two official weeks on the job have gone well and that he has liked what he’s seen from the Falcons as a whole.
“I love the effort of the guys so far,” he said. “There’s a feeling-out process, they’re figuring out what I’m expecting and I’m figuring them out, but it’s been good.”
Part of that feeling-out process is implementing the system that Boulrisse plans on running with the Falcons. The coach said that he believes in a man-to-man defensive philosophy, and that he likes his offense to be up-tempo. Based on the roster that he as inherited, both of those goals should be attainable.
“I have to fit to what the kids are (capable of),” he said. “I have a philosophy, but I have to fit it to what we have…late in the season, in the second half of the year, you’ve got to be able to execute in the half court, when the games slow down. To be a good team, you have to be able to run your sets and we’re working towards that.”
If Boulrisse wants to run, and play tough defense, it would seem that he’s got the right moving parts to make that happen. Mashpee’s roster features nine seniors, many of whom have varsity experience, and a great deal of athleticism.
“Our biggest strengths would be senior leadership,” he said. “We have kids that have been there, with experience,
coming back. They pick each other up when they make a mistake, and they own their mistakes.” The coach said that “you can’t run if you can’t rebound,” and he has two capable big men up front that should help the team do a nice job controlling the glass.
Seniors Nakia Hendricks and Malik Lee give the Falcons a duo on the blocks that will be tough for the South Shore League to match up against, especially when they are playing with passion. Hendricks returns to MHS for his last high school season after having played a year at Bourne High last year (he spent the two previous seasons at MHS). The athletic big man has great hands and leaping ability and will likely be one of the team’s top offensive options. Lee also played elsewhere last season, at Cape Cod Tech. Lee is both strong and fast and has shown a nice touch around the rim.
“Hopefully they can dominate on the glass on both ends of the court,” Boulrisse said.
The top returning scorer from last year’s team is senior Cody Hendricks. The shooting guard has a knack for putting the ball in the basket and can both spot-up and knock down shots from the perimeter and get to the rack.
Point guard Kevin Frye ran the offense a lot last year and hopes to retain that job this year. The junior is a capable ball-handler who can also get to the basket. Sophomore Sean Hendricks will also be looking to see time at the No. 1 spot on the court. Boulrisse said he is fighting for a spot in the guard rotation. Robbie Hendricks, who is picking up the new defenses very well, and senior Phil Hamm, a first year varsity senior, will also be vying for playing time in the Mashpee backcourt.
Two wing players that saw plenty of action last year and will be looking to see that trend continue are seniors Justin McCartney-Peters and Scott Matoian. McCartney-Peters has a knack for knocking down shots from the perimeter, and brings toughness to the court. Matoian is very athletic and works well on the offensive end for Mashpee. Junior Jake Martini earned a varsity spot for Mashpee and is another player that brings attitude and toughness to the hardwood.
“He’s a good defender and he brings a lot of grit to the team,” the coach said.
Seniors Jason Coates, Dean Feliciano and Jared Taylor are all also playing up front. Coates is a post player that rebounds and defends well. Feliciano is a good offensive rebounder who has shown a nice touch around the rim and Taylor is very athletic and aggressive on the defensive end and on the glass.
Boulrisse said that goal number one with all of the teams he coaches is to qualify for the state tournament first and foremost. Without personal history in the South Shore League, he said he isn’t sure whether his Falcons are top contenders for the league title, but that they’d like to be.
“Making the tournament is the first goal, and we’ll adjust those goals as we go,” he said. The first step towards that goal will be taken on Tuesday evening at the Bock Gymnasium. Mashpee opens the season against the Monomoy Sharks at 6:30 PM.
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