Boys basketball reloaded

Last season was the first time in six seasons that the Windsor Locks Raiders did not qualify for the state tournament.

Locks head coach Michael Mascaro expects his team to return to both the NCCC and CIAC tournaments this season.

Mascaro, in his 14th season at Windsor Locks (7 varsity/7 junior varsity), will return all of his key players from last season’s 4-16 team that finished 13th in the NCCC.

Among those returning players are starting guards Nate Pierce (10 ppg) and Jon Oliveira (8 ppg) and starting forward Hector Martinez (6 ppg).

In addition, the Raiders will return several other players with varsity experience.

Although this year’s Raiders team lacks height, the squad is quick and athletic.

Expect Windsor Locks to improve from last season and finish somewhere in the middle of the NCCC.

A return to the state tournament is definitely possible for the Raiders, but they will have to contend with a tough NCCC schedule.

Suffield

The Wildcats are looking to improve upon last season’s 11-12 record.

In 2012-2013, Suffield was able to earn a 22 seed in the Class M state tournament but came up just short of upsetting No. 11 Goodwin Tech, losing by a score of 60-58 in double overtime.

Dan Gatto, in his sixth season as Suffield’s head coach, has nothing but good things to say about this year’s team.

“The team has been fun to coach so far.  The guys have great attitudes, positive energy and are working really hard.  We have great senior leadership.”

Among his returning leaders are forwards Ben Woodhouse and Troy Hastings, guard Sean Sullivan, and center Nolan McCoy.

The Wildcats did lose some key players from last year, but Gatto still expects his team to be competitive in every single game.

Expect Suffield to be competitive again this year if their returning players can step up this season.

Somers

The Spartans will be a team fighting to get into the state tournament, but head coach John Hostetler believes this is a realistic goal for his Somers team.

“We have a great group of kids and a really solid back court,” Hostetler said.  “I am excited to get the season started.”

Not only can the Spartans handle the ball, they can hit three’s.  Senior Adam Donovan averaged 7 ppg last season and hit 34 three pointers. Junior guards Jack Hostetler and Brian Hollister averaged 5 ppg with 17 three’s and 6 ppg with 16 three’s respectively.  Senior Billy McCloskey will also play an important role for Somers.

With a lack of size, the Spartans will rely again on guard play and outside shooting.

Last year Somers was 9-14, reaching the Class S state tournament but fell to Kolbe Cathedral in the first round.

If the Spartans play hard on every single possession expect them to surprise some teams in the NCCC the season.

Enfield

The Raiders lose four starters from a team that reached the Class M state tournament semifinals last year.

In 2012-2013, Enfield went 13-3 in the NCCC, good enough for a third place finish, and ended the season with an overall record of 21-5.

As a seven seed in the Class M tournament the Raiders knocked off Wilcox Tech, Goodwin Tech, and Berlin before losing to 23 Weston in the semifinals.

The only returning starter for this young Enfield team will be junior guard Ra Preston.  Last year as a sophomore Preston averaged 10 ppg and 7 rpg.  Enfield’s new head coach Kevin Zalucki spent the last four years as the Raiders JV coach and is very familiar with this team and expects Preston and fellow guard Alex Gould and forward Boomer Romano to lead the way for Enfield.

This young Raiders team will need to rely on its defense to anchor its offense, and Zalucki is hoping sophomore forward Joe Roberts will be able to rejoin the team this season after undergoing knee surgery in October.

East Windsor

Expectations are high for the East Windsor Panthers once again.

The Panthers return all of the key pieces from last season’s 10-12 team that won seven games in the NCCC and earned a 19 seed in the Class S state tournament.

In the tournament, East Windsor lost in the opening round to 14 East Hampton by a score of 51-47.  The Panthers won their only state championship in 2007.

Head coach John Cessario in his seventh season at East Windsor expects his team to contend for the NCCC title this season.

Kevin Mocadlo will lead the way offensively for East Windsor and is expected to hit the 1,000-point mark for his career this season.

Teammates Dajon Farley, Adam Fisher, Frank Wadsworth, and Chris Desousa will support Mocadlo this season for the Panthers.  If this East Windsor team stays healthy they have the experience and offense needed to be a competitor in the NCCC.

Fermi

Fermi High School has only a couple of seasons left before the school merges with Enfield High School.

The Falcons Boys basketball team hopes they can get some wins for their school before the program shuts down for good.

Fermi had a disappointing 0-20 season in 2012-2013, and only won three games the year before.

Fermi graduated twelve seniors from last year’s team so experience will be a problem for rebuilding Fermi.

Head coach Robert Evans believes that his young and inexperienced team is willing to play hard and hopes that his team will be competitive in some games this season.

Among the few players returning for the Falcons are senior guard Alex Sagan, senior forward Jimmy Callaghan, and junior guard/forward Greg Kraucunas.

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