Woodstock boys start hoops season strong

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Woodstock - posted Mon., Dec. 17, 2012
The 2012 Woodstock Academy boys' basketball team poses with their coaches. Photos by D. Coffey.
The 2012 Woodstock Academy boys' basketball team poses with their coaches. Photos by D. Coffey.

If the first game was any indication, the Woodstock Academy boys' basketball team has an exciting season to look forward to. They beat New London, 60-48, on Dec. 14.

Returning players junior Chris Lowry and senior Ian Converse scored 15 and 24, respectively, for the Centaurs. The two are part of a strong returning squad, according to coach Greg Smith. His five starters include Lowry, Converse, Tristan Welch, Will Bourgeois and John McGinn. The two seniors and three juniors will form the base of his team.

“Every coach says this,” Smith said, “but the strengths of the team really are the players. They worked every day from last season until the start of this season on their skills. They'd call me during the summer to ask me to open up the weight room so they could get in and lift.”

Smith expects that dedication and commitment to power the team into the ECC and state tournament playoffs. He is also counting on the experience of his top players. This will be the fourth year on the squad for Converse and Welch. “It's their time and they know it,” Smith said. “They've worked very hard to get us where we need to be. And Lowry, McGinn and Bourgeois have been catalysts for the team. They initiated the weight room workouts. They are ready.”

Jake Almquist, Sullivan Gardner and Cam Henry round out the top eight. “They are going to get us a long way this season,” Smith said.

What the Centaurs need to work on is their designed offense. While his players have proven they can run, work the transition and play an up-tempo game, if a team limits them to a half-court game, they'll have to work hard, Smith said. “We're very tall. This is the biggest and most athletic team we've have in the 15 years I've been coaching. But they have to be able to play defense.”

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