For the better part of the past decade the Falmouth High School boys’ basketball team has been about as close to an automatic to qualify for the state tournament as any club in the state. Their run of success will be put to the test in a big way this year, though.
With 80 percent of the starting lineup from last year having departed to either graduation or transfer, and only four varsity players from last year’s team back at all, coach Paul Lundberg’s squad is very inexperienced. Junior Timmy Lang is the lone returning starter and the only member of this year’s team that saw significant minutes last year. Julien Hendricks came off the bench as a spark-plug player last season. Jack Stewart saw inconsistent minutes, Charlie Dowick was called up midway through the season and played a bit. Gio Borgese was with the varsity, but sat out the bulk of the season with an injury.
The rest of the team is brand-new to the varsity level and will get a crash course in competing against a schedule with no off nights on it. Coach Lundberg has always looked to challenge his team through the course of the year, preparing it for the wars of the tournament. This year that schedule may take a toll.
“We’re going to have to be really scrappy, pressure the ball and take care of it when we have the ball. We have to rebound as a team and make progress as we go,” the coach said. “It’s not going to be easy. We’ve got our work cut out for us, but we have to do the best we can and improve as a team every day.”
Lang had the benefit of having a veteran team to lean on last year, but will be the one with the most experience this time around. The guard’s job will be to take care of and distribute the basketball well and to knock down the open jump shots when they’re there. Hendricks, who also looks to be a starting guard, will have to take what he did last year and expand on it. The quick backcourt player can be effective when he’s playing under control, but with passion.
Dowick will be up against bigger players very often, but will be forced to try to match up against other post men. The junior plays and works hard and had some nice moments after getting called up last year.
Borgese has been managing an injury all year long to his leg, but was able to play most of the soccer season in net for the Clippers. The senior is tough and will give his best effort.
Junior Trevor Hodgson will have opportunities to contribute. A forward, Hodgson “has to look for his shot,” the coach said. Taylor Soares, a junior guard, will also have to bring some offense to the table. Soares has shown that he can get to the basket and score.
Fleet-footed Lucas Reis is a solid ball handler and will see time in the backcourt. Michael Rose is a left-handed guard who plays hard and will come off the bench.
Juniors Gerald Mahoney and Dylan Pine will see time down low for FHS. Both are capable rebounders who are strong and play hard.
Jared Lopes is up to the varsity as a swing player, who will also see time at JV. He is a guard that has shown promise. Antonio Perry, a senior, will offer depth off the bench as well.
“It’s hard to say who our starting lineup is because we don’t have one set lineup. We might use a different one every game,” coach Lundberg explained. “The guys that compete in practice are the ones that are going to play. I like this group; they’re coachable. They ask questions and they get along with each other. They just have keep coming to practice, working hard and trying to get better each and every day.”