The Nantucket Boys Basketball season is heading in the right direction with recently qualifying for the playoff tournament. Recent win against Sturgis East has brought their record from 10-3 to 11-3 and continued their winning streak. However, their streak was brought to an end with a loss to Nauset, an out of league team. The beginning of the season started off slow with a couple losses and a 1-2 record, but it soon was turned around after a win against Cape Cod Tech, 73-43. The Whalers continue to improve each game.
The Whalers are wanting to carry the past season’s goals and have set the goal of being league champions. The team has been working really hard to accomplish that goal, but it has been hard since players like Kalik Liburd, who was a 1,000 point scorer, and Maxx Cunningham, another huge scorer on the team, have graduated. However, the team has been adjusting to the change and a lot of players have been stepping up offensively. Senior Captain Victor Gamberoni is the team’s leading scorer with a 14 point average and sophomore Malique Bodden has been stepping up and filling in as a point guard, Liburd’s former position, scoring double digits in five of the past six games.
Head Coach Willis Ferreira is really looking forward to the postseason, and, when asked what big changes may need to occur to achieve their goals, he said, “the team needs to work on foul shooting; we are shooting 46% currently as a team. That is not good at all!” With foul shots being a huge component to getting easy points and points that can win the Whalers games, the team will strive to get better.
Junior captain Devonte Usher also states, “We can get to the line whenever we need to, but when we do some of the time we can’t finish.”
Having been asked what the team does well, junior captain Torane Burton replied, “our team does well at moving at a fast pace.” This pace can throw the defense off its game and give the Whalers a chance to get easy points. On defense, the team works very well, with Devonte Usher and Torane Burton accumulating many steals and giving up a few points. Also, a new player Luke Brucher, who is known for his height, has played very well, blocking many shots. Junior Joel Macvicar, sophomore Gannon Mooney, and freshman Justin Bloise have been really helping out not only defensively, but offensively as well.
When captains Victor Gamberoni, Devonte Usher, and Torane Burton were asked who they thought stepped up this season, all three said Malique Bodden. “He went from a backup point guard last year to being one of the main contributors to the team,” Usher explains.
Gamberoni also agreed with Usher and said: “He does all the right things.” Bodden leads the team in assists and, as mentioned before, has scored a lot. Bodden is also just a sophomore and has two more big years ahead of him.
The Whalers will continue to grow as a team and are looking forward to the next couple of games. With only a few games left the Whalers are also looking forward to the playoff season.
By Sydney King