East Hampton boys' basketball starts season strong

By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
East Hampton - posted Tue., Jan. 14, 2014
East Hampton's Matthew Vasquenza goes up for a shot during a Jan. 13 game against Cromwell. Photos by Melanie Savage.
East Hampton's Matthew Vasquenza goes up for a shot during a Jan. 13 game against Cromwell. Photos by Melanie Savage.

Last year, the East Hampton High School boys’ varsity basketball team put together its first winning season since 2000-2001. The team finished 11-9 in the regular season, and went 0-1 in the Shoreline tournament, losing to Cromwell by 10. The team went 1-1 in the state tourney, beating East Windsor and losing to the eventual state champion, Granby.

“Last year we started out 0-4 [2 of them in OT] and had the lead with under two minutes to go in three of those games,” said head coach Parker Strong. “This season we have played a much more complete game; last year we won by outscoring teams, but this year our rebounding and defense has improved quite a bit.”

The team lost only one starter to graduation, Nathaniel Heroux, leaving an experienced team for 2013-14. Senior Matt Vasquenza “has earned varsity since freshman year,” said Strong. Seniors Colin Parks, Matt Booth and Marvin Gorgas have earned varsity minutes since sophomore year. Junior Jake Vickery got a lot of varsity experience last year, and sophomore Cody Bernard earned a good amount of time late in the season.

“We have been in many tight games and they have the experience to make plays when they are needed,” said Strong.

The team’s biggest strength is offense, said the coach. “In Shoreline play we have averaged 72 points per game. Overall we average 73.9 points per game,” said Strong.  “Next closest is Cromwell at 62.2 points per game.” Strong said the team currently averages about 11 three-pointers per game, “so we can score inside and outside.”

The team is working on strengthening defensive play. “We started out strong defensively, but our old defensive habits have started to come back as we have allowed 60 points per game over our last three games,” said Strong, before a Jan. 13 game against Cromwell.

Senior Colin Parks has been captain for two years and is the team’s center at 6 feet, 5 inches. “He can score in the post or step out and knock down a 15-footer,” said Strong. “He also leads the team with 2.4 blocks per game while protecting our basket.” 

Senior Matt Booth is the team’s shooting guard. “He is currently averaging 19.3 points per game and can score from anywhere,” said Strong. 

Senior Marvin Gorgas “can do it all,” said Strong.  “He is our point guard and also takes the toughest defensive assignment each game.” Recently, against Westbrook, Gorgas had nine assists and no turnovers. 

Senior Matt Vasquenza “was our leading scorer last year with 13 points per game,” said Strong.  “He is really quick and creates many mismatches for us offensively.  He also had five charges last year.”

According to Strong, East Hampton’s goal going into the season “was to average a charge per game, out-rebound our opponents each game, and contend for the league title.” 

“We have seven charges in seven games, have out-rebounded our opponents in five of the seven games, and have played to a 4-1 record in league play.” The co-captains for East Hampton are Parks and Booth.

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