The Mashpee High School boys’ varsity basketball team missed out on an appearance in the postseason this year. The Falcons lost several close games and when it all added up at the end of the year they found themselves on the outside looking in.
First year head coach Justin Clark might have missed out the first time around, but with the talent coming up from the junior varsity program it is not likely that it will be along playoff drought for Mashpee High. The junior varsity Falcons put together a fantastic season under coach Mike Patz, and he believes that the feeder system for the varsity had many future varsity players perfecting their crafts on his team this year.
“Our season went really well,” Patz said. “I was happy because you truthfully never know who you’re going to have for a full game on any given day. We’re always making adjustments.”
The JV Falcons finished the season with an 11-8 record. The team was rolling through most of the season, with a 10-5 record three-quarters of the way through the year. With several of their biggest contributors getting more and more varsity exposure it left the team a bit short late in the season, but it also helped to develop the younger players even more.
“I think with the culture that coach Clark is developing, and the systems that we’re using, that things are going to be good. We’ve got some really strong young players in Mashpee, that’s for sure,” Patz said.
The captains of the junior varsity team this year included Sophomores Nick Santos and Shea Eaton and junior Cyrus Hendricks. Santos was a swing player with varsity and saw time with both teams. He was the most versatile front court player on the team. Patz scored points in spurts and showed leadership over the course of the year. “He doesn’t get scared at crunch time,” the coach said.
Eaton played power forward for the team. He was a physical presence up front and gave a strong effort all season long.
Hendricks will likely come off the bench for the varsity team next year. The junior works very hard and has been called a “gym rat” by his coaches.
Junior Zack Rogers was another swing player for the Falcons. Rogers was a go-to player for the junior varsity team when he was on the court and the junior also should see varsity time as a full-timer next year.
Cam Dennis began the year with the junior varsity team but his development over the course of the year saw him move to a swing player and then a full-time varsity guy by the midpoint of the year. Dennis’s inside moves and rebounding helped at the varsity level during the second half of the season. “His athletic ability is great,” Patz said.
Gabe Tellez had not played high school ball before this season, but his addition to the team was a boon. The sophomore played point guard for the JV Falcons and he developed nicely over the course of the season. He has good court vision and by the latter part of the season he had learned how to read defenses and was making offensive calls before coach Patz had them out of his mouth. “He’s a true leader, and a great ballplayer and facilitator.”
Kevaughn Blackwood is not as good as he’s going to be but the call-up from the freshman team showed raw athleticism and talent that could make him a big big contributor at the varsity level down the road. “He’s tall and very aggressive,” Patz said. “Once he learns how to use what he has it’s going to be fun.”
Sophomore Caesar Hendricks gave the JV Falcons some scoring from the outside. The guard has some nice touch from outside and gave the MHS JV a heat check option. The lefty also played strong on-the-ball defense.
Aiden McDougal, a sophomore small forward, also came into the lineup to offer another scoring option. His outside shot was a positive for the team.
Sophomore big man Eddie Schmultz went hard for the Falcons in the paint. The center has an aggressive side and worked hard to improve his game. He helped on the boards quite a bit.
Rounding out the team was sophomore guard Avery Graven. Coming in off of the bench Graven facilitated the ball well and gave the team some nice set shots during the season.
Coach Patz said that his team’s maturation and devotion to the game speaks well to the future of the Mashpee program as a whole. In his first year as the full-time JV coach, Patz said that he had one of his most fun seasons on the bench.
“I was able to help out last year as a freshman coach, but that means that a lot of times you’re scouting and not at the varsity games. This year I was able to help out all levels and be at the game and it was great. I love everything about the game. We eat, sleep, breathe and drive basketball in my family,” he said. “I think we’re in a great spot right now in Mashpee.”