Boys hoops teams will contend

The Rockville boys basketball team has a formatible roster and a new head coach in 2013-14.

Nathan Martins is excited to be a part of the Rockville family. This will be Martins’ first season as the head coach of the Rams’ boys basketball team, and he has some work to do to get this team back to the postseason.

Last season Rockville was 5-15, not good enough to reach the CIAC state tournament, and unfortunately for Martins, his team has lost a bulk of its scoring from last year’s team.

The returning group will be lead by Sean O’Gara, Jacob Kennedy, Tyler Johnson, and Tarchee Brown.

Martins expects good things if his team is able to play hard and play together.

“We have nine seniors and two juniors who have played together in some capacity. They play for each other and don’t care who gets the credit as long as the team wins.”

Tolland

The Eagles may seem to be in a rebuilding season this year after losing Taylor Fortin, Dan Vareed and Mike Nisbet to graduation, but this year’s Tolland team can shoot from distance, and could surprise some teams in the CCC this season.

Tolland finished 2012-2013 with a record of 9-11, and upset No. 7 seed Windham, 67-57 in the first round of the Class M state tournament before losing to 23 Weston in the second round.

Tolland has a new coach this season in Dean Edwards, who hopes to keep Tolland in contention for the state tournament.

Leading the way for the Eagles will be guards Joffre Rodriguez and Tyler Lechman, center Josh Petoskey, and forwards Joey Szabo, and Ben Noonan. If Tolland’s shooters can find a way to get open shots, the Eagles could be one of the area’s surprise teams this season.

South Windsor

The South Windsor Bobcats hope to rebuild from a 0-20 season in 2012-2013.

The Bobcats, under the direction of head coach Brenden McClay, will have their work cut out for them with a schedule featuring talented teams such as Manchester, Windsor, Glastonbury, East Catholic, and East Hartford.

South Windsor graduated two starters and will return a relatively young group for 2013-2014.

Among the returners are senior forward Alex Veilleux, junior guards Joey Tamburro, Ben Callahan, and Devyn Arel, junior center Joey Hill, and junior forward Adam LeClerc.

McClay knows his team needs to improve their turnover margin and rebounding if they are to be competitive this year.

Hard work and effort will be the goal for South Windsor this year, and if they put in the work, wins are a possibility for the Bobcats this season.

Ellington

Head coach Don Flint is very excited for the 2013-2014 season. Flint says this is one of his favorite teams in his long tenure at Ellington.

“All of our expectations are very high, the key is if the pieces can come together.”

Flint returns all of his key players from last year’s Knights team that went 13-7 and lost in the second round of the Class M state tournament to No. 1 seed Northwestern after beating No. 17 Bacon Academy in the opening round.

In addition to his returners, senior Baylen Eason, who is a physical presence down low, will join Flint’s team. Eason finds himself with the Knights after stops with East Catholic and Manchester.

Jon Basset, one of the area’s top players, will lead Ellington. Bassett, a guard, was 57% from the field last season as an All-NCCC selection, and added 8 assists per game. Seniors Drew Brennan, Brian Fitzsimons, and Brian Gerber will be key players for the Knights along with junior Jack Connelly.

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