With a talented group of seniors making up the bulk of the roster, the Falmouth High School boys’ basketball team is hoping to be in the Cape and Islands League mix as the new season gets set to begin next week. After having their long streak of qualifying for the state tournament come to an end thanks to injuries piling up midway through last season, FHS is looking to make the best out what this season is before reloading and trying to get back to the state tourney next year, when the tournament hopefully returns.
With a lineup stocked with seniors, Falmouth has a good amount of experience to lean on kids that compete hard, which is one of the edicts that coach Paul Lundberg stresses annually. “We’re just looking to make the most out of this season. Every day we get to go to the gym is a gift, so we get in there and work hard, try to get better and have some fun,” the coach said.
The time in the gym has been great, and needed. Thanks to the pandemic, the annual summer league that the Clippers participate in was not held. Players also weren’t able to get into the local schools to put up shots, so all of their offseason work was done individually at whatever court that they could find.
“It was too bad for these kids because we have a lot of young players that really would have benefited from the exposure to playing that kind of basketball, and from being around our older kids. We have some great role models with our seniors, and the younger kids would have taken a lot out of that, but it is what it is,” Lundberg said.
Undoubtedly the pandemic made kids want to get out and play some hoops because Lundberg’s program saw massive numbers as 63 came out to tryouts. Unfortunately, with no freshman team this year because of the pandemic, less than half of those who tried out landed a spot.
“You can just tell how much it means to them,” Lundberg said. “Kids need to get out and be busy, have something to occupy their time...I really hope we get the whole season in because they need this.”
Leading the way for Falmouth is a group of guards who have varsity experience and some chops. Senior captain Timmy Lang is on his third year with the varsity team and the returning starting point guard is certainly one of the leaders who will be counted upon heavily. Lang has worked hard to improve his handle and shooting skills and leads by example.
Another one of the team’s leaders is senior Julien Hendricks, who personifies effort on the court. Hendricks plays hard and fast and relies on his athleticism to make plays. He brings some rebounding prowess to the back court and works hard to set shots up and get some off.
Senior Taylor Frye is another athletic guard who has been a bit streaky in the past. When Frye heats up, it is best to keep feeding him the ball because he can make shots. Frye was a rotation player last year for FHS and will be a regular in the lineup again this season.
The fourth senior guard in the rotation for FHS is Mike Rose. A left-hander, Rose brings a different look to the court for the Clippers and plays with a lot of intensity.
With no high school experience at all yet, freshman Jack Watson earned his way to the varsity, thanks to a strong skill set and a desire to get better. “He’s improving every day,” coach Lundberg said. “He’s a basketball player.”
Lucci Borgese, a junior, should see some minutes because Lundberg rewards hard work and desire in practice, and Borgese brings all of that to the table. The guard has drawn praise for his willingness to go all out. “He comes to work every day,” Lundberg said.
Rounding out the guards are Vinnie Varano and Vincent Duffany. Varano is a good on-the-ball defender who can knock down shots from the perimeter. Duffany is an effort guy who brings it at practice each day. “He’s a great teammate,” Lundberg said.
Up front, seniors Gerald Mahoney and Charlie Dowick will be counted upon to do a lot. Mahoney, who can play the wing or down low, is a strong face-up shooter who works the ball well in the offensive end. Dowick is a good athlete who can hit from the mid-range. With time spent in the gym over the offseason he is hoping to see improved results from down low as he looks to score more consistently on put-backs.
Trevor Hodgson is a solid player up front for Falmouth who knows the game very well. He makes the offense move well and makes good decisions with the basketball in his hands.
Sam Cavossa is a senior that Lundberg said was the most pleasant surprise during tryouts. Cavossa has never played high school basketball before, but the standout football and baseball player for FHS got tired of just working out and wanted to get out and compete, so he tried out for the team and earned a spot. “He’s tough, he bangs, he rebounds. He’s a fun kid to coach every day,” Lundberg said.
Sophomore Jayden Burnhardt will also be making his varsity debut this year. The big left-handed post player will have a role with the team and will be needed to rebound and to score on put-backs.
Rounding out the forward roster for FHS will be senior Dylan Pine and junior Patrick Oberton. Pine is an athletic big man who can rebound and finish around the basket. Oberton, up from the JV squad, challenges his teammates in practice every day and will work for minutes.
Falmouth tips off its season on Tuesday, January 5, with a road trip to Nauset High School. They then hit the road to play at Nantucket in their second game before hosting Barnstable at home on Tuesday, January 12.