JV Falcons Won Eight Of Last Nine Games This Past Season
By: Rich Maclone
The JV boys finished off the season by winning eight of their final nine games to finish the season at 11-6.
“We beat teams the second time around that had beat us by 40 the first time around and we beat them by 35,” the coach said. “The other coaches in the league were saying we were like a completely different team which we kind of were.”
Balestracci said that his squad improved exponentially as the year progressed, picking up all the pieces of the puzzle and putting them in the right spots. Like the varsity team, the JV Falcons ran man-to-man, high pressure, defense all year long and tried to go up-tempo with the offensive attack as much as possible. “We played a lot of heavy pressure and tried to run as much as possible and the second half of the season we were able to do that,” the coach said.
Mashpee did a lot of damage with its guard play and the player who led the way in the backcourt was sophomore Jake Van Gelder. Van Gelder saw time at both the point and shooting guard spots throughout the season and got major props from his coach for his development since the eighth grade as Balestracci said that he has improved consistently since that time. Van Gelder led the team in minutes on the court and was strong on both ends of the court. “He does all of the little things well,” Balestracci said.
Junior Ted Purdy spent portions of the year with the varsity and the junior varsity and really helped the team come along during its strong run the second half of the season. “He was a big part of the reason that we did so well the second half of the year. We jumped on teams early and Teddy helped us do that. He scored well and played his position well.”
Freshman Phil Hamm also played some point for Mashpee. Hamm would see about a half per game and Coach Balestracci said that he “improved dramatically.”
Freshman Cody Hendricks also saw some time with the JV Falcons, playing sparingly with the team but more with the freshman team. “He’s a good basketball player,” the coach said. Fellow freshman Justin McCartney also played more with the freshman team but filled in at times with the JV squad and gave a great effort when called upon.
At small forward, sophomore Jordan Keliinui had a very big season playing for the JV Falcons and is a player who should make his mark at the next level with continued dedication to improvement. “If he dedicates himself, he’s going to be a real special athlete here if he applies himself,” Balestracci said. “He was dominant at times. He runs well up and down the floor and he’s a good defender.”
Another forward who has a chance to be a big player for the Falcons at the varsity level is freshman John Williams who played a lot of time with the JV squad and was one of its most important players. “He was the block for the whole team,” the coach said. “He did everything. He’s very athletic and fast.” Balestracci said that Williams was the team’s premier rebounder and also led the squad in scoring, averaging around 12 to 14 points per outing.
Junior Charlie Levesque was another player who helped put points on the board up front for the JV squad, averaging 10 to 12 points per game for the team. “He’s a good passer for a big man and a good rebounder,” the coach said. “He has a nice offensive post game.”
Graham Kilpatrick saw time with both the JV and varsity squads and was a contributor for the JV team in a big way in the five or so games that he performed in before getting a full-time call-up to the big team. “When he was with us he was a force,” Balestracci said. “His low post game has improved immensely from day one.”
Xavier Rose missed the first half of the season with a broken hand suffered during the football season. Once he healed up though, the sophomore became a big time contributor to the JV squad. “When he returned, he was pivotal,” the coach said. “He had all of the hustle points, the loose balls. He doesn’t know how good of an athlete he is, but he is talented.”
Junior Miguel King played some solid minutes for the team coming off the bench during the second half of the season. He saw time at both forward positions for the team.
Overall, Balestracci had nothing but positive things to say about the way his team came together and performed for him. “I was happy with the season, especially the way we improved over the course of it,” he said. “Of course, having coachable kids is a big advantage.”
Coach Triveri said he was pleased with the way his JV squad helped fill in at the varsity level when needed and thinks they went about things in a positive manner. “They played very, very well at the end of the year. At the beginning of the year they just didn’t have enough bodies,” the coach said. “When they had all their guys, they played great. I’m very happy with the way they performed.”
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