EHHS Hornets on their way to state tournament
By Frances Taylor - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Wed., Feb. 23, 2011
“They have had an outstanding year,’’ East Hartford High School varsity boys’ basketball coach Edward Lavoie said of his team. “We had no returning starters this year, but they played very competitively. Our inexperience showed at the beginning of the season – we had a couple of turnovers that probably should not have happened – but these kids have played hard.’’
Lavoie said he expects the younger athletes will bring many assets to the team in the next few years. “We have some sophomores who are coming along right now who are showing a lot of promise,’’ he said. “This was Jose [Arriaga]’s first year with the team, and he did very well. He’s very athletic.’’
As the team was preparing to head into the state tournament, the coach said, “I expect we will be matched with some of the top teams in state, like Northwest Catholic [of West Hartford] or Maloney [of Meriden].”
Shaumel Early and Dariel Mena will be among the seniors who are leaving at the end of this season who have played with the team for the past four years. “I had both of them on my team when they were in middle school, so I knew who I was getting,’’ Lavoie said. In the last game before the state tournament, the Hornets beat the South Windsor High School Bobcats on Feb. 22, 73-58.
East Hartford Varsity Boys’ Basketball Coach Edward Lavoie:
Lavoie said his team has had a good season, despite having no returning starters. He said that they are ready for the state tournament, and will be going up against the best teams in the state.
Shaumel Early, 18, Senior Captain:
Early has played on the team for the past four years. “I really enjoyed playing this year,” he said. “I think we have had a really good season.” Early said he is considering attending Roxbury Community College in Massachusetts to study to become a nursing assistant or study sports management.
Dariel Mena, 17, Senior Captain:
Mena has been on the team for the past four years. He said the team has come back strongly from having some ups and downs early in the season. “The team is looking really good right now,’’ Mena said.
Jose Arriaga, 17, Senior Captain:
Arriaga played with the team for the first time this season. “I really enjoyed it,” he said. “I kind of wish I had joined the team earlier and played for three years.’’ Arriaga said he is proud of what the team has accomplished. “We were a young team, and when we learned to pull together, we started playing better than anyone expected us to do.’’ Arriaga said he will be switching to football when he enters college next year.