Putnam loses close one to Capital Prep, 56-64.
By Denise Coffey
Putnam - posted Mon., Feb. 7, 2011
The Putnam Clippers boys’ basketball team has had some tough adjustments to make this year. Now that they are in the Constitution State Conference, they’ve found themselves facing tough competition. The conference fields a slew of technical, magnet and charter schools. Many of these schools are drawing serious high school players looking to push their game to a higher level.
Putnam stuck with Capital Prep, one of the top teams in the CSC Division, for most of the game on Feb. 3. The low post game that the Trail Blazers brought to the court paid off in the end. The Clippers tried to save the game by shooting long shots in the final minutes of the game. They scored 21 points on 3-pointers alone. It wasn’t enough.
Coach Deary said part of the reason for the first year being so tough was that they weren’t familiar with the other teams. “I’m used to knowing the Griswold players and the Plainfield players. I’m used to knowing most of my opponents when we play them. With this league, everything is different.”
There is a lot of turnover at the technical schools, he said. “Every year they lose lots of sophomores to private schools, so it’s always different. It’s constantly a new thing. You’re constantly scouting and trying to stay up with the league.”
The other big change about the new conference is the amount of travel. “It’s very good competitively,” Deary said of the league. “It’s new to us. We’re enjoying it, but it is a very tough league.”
“Capital Prep is one of the best teams in the league in our size,” said Deary, “and we stuck with them for four quarters. In the first quarter, Capital Prep threatened to pull away from the Clippers, but the Putnam team found its rhythm and fought back. The gap widened steadily in the closing minutes of the game.
“The team played every minute,” Deary said. “You really can’t ask for much more.”
3 years as head coach
“It was a great game. This is the best team in the league in our size. Shane Herlihy and Victor de Aza Ortiz, my two seniors, are both team leaders. They’re both captains. They really work well together. Dino Porcic is a junior who is also very good. We’ll be losing three main varsity players and two other players that get minutes, so that’s a total of five we’ll lose [to graduation this year]. It’ll be a big loss," he said.
Shane really picks up on the ball handling and the smart basketball play. He keeps the whole team in line the whole game through. He sets the tone on the intensity level and everybody steps up and plays harder.
Victor de Aza Ortiz
Victor has come a long way since the beginning of this season. He’s gone from scoring three to four points a game to scoring 18 to 19 points a game. He’s more of a team player. He’s sharing the ball, so everyone is more involved.