Boys’ basketball looks to start the season with a bang

Boys basketball looks to start the season with a bang

By: Ben Klau ’18 & Clay Crouch ’18

Staples boys’ basketball is looking to make an impact in this upcoming season. Staples is coming off a 9-11 season last year, according to MaxPreps. They were able to sneak their way into the state playoff but weren’t able to do anything against a very strong East Hartford team who went on to play for the Class LL state championship. The Wreckers lost some key pieces from last season including scoring duo All-Divisional player Sean Pritchett ’17 and all FCIAC first team player Justin Seidman ’17. The two were credited for a good chunk of Staples scoring. Seidman averaged 21 points per game, and Pritchett averaged 14 ppg. The team also lost two strong big men in Brendan Massoud ’17 and Matthew Fair ’17.

Although the team lost some good players, they return a strong group of seniors. Max Sussman ’18, a captain, is enthusiastic about the duo of upper and younger classmen. “The confidence of the upperclassmen and the experience and intensity of the upperclassmen has created a competitive attitude that Staples has not seen in a long time,” he said.

Along with the returning players, the Wreckers gain two new big men in Stedman Van Arsdale ’18 and Tristan Hochman ’18. Both players took a hiatus from the sport to pursue other ones, but were convinced to return for their senior year.

Van Arsdale hopes to help inside the paint this season. “I think that the most important factor that I bring to the team is my size and offensive experience,” he said.

Hochman and Van Arsdale add needed height for the Wreckers. “We can say something we haven’t been able to say in a while: we have kids who can dunk,” guard Jake Thaw ’20 said.

Captains Ben Pearl ’18 and Max Sussman will have a tough task at getting this young Staples team in check. Thaw is coming off a good year as a freshman on varsity last season, but will be missing for the start of the season after he sustained a leg injury during the football season. Luke Murphy ’21 is another young player for Staples, as he has yet to step onto the court in high school. “I have been working on my craft as much as I can trying to get in the gym whenever possible,” Murphy said.

The team is looking to improve on last years season with some new additions and maturation of young talent. One game that the boys have marked on the calendar is their big matchup against Trinity Catholic on Jan. 22. Devine echoed this. “I’m really excited about our first league game against Trinity Catholic,” he said. “We played them pretty tough down in Stamford last year.”

The boys sound eager to get the season underway. Staples is set to tip off their season Saturday Dec. 16 at 5 p.m. against Bullard Havens at home.