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HHS boys basketball eyes return to tourney

by | Dec 11, 2023 | Sports

Coming off an appearance in the state tournament and a second-place finish in the Tri-Valley League Large School Division, the Hopkinton High School boys basketball team has an experienced and scrappy group ready to make another run at the postseason.

“So far, I am definitely pleased with their effort and energy and intensity,” coach Tom Keane said just before the start of the season. “It’s a fun group of kids, and I am looking forward to coaching them this year.”

The Hillers posted a 14-7 record in 2022-23 and trailed only Norwood in the league standings. The season came to an end with a close loss to Brookline in the state tournament. One of the biggest challenges for the new season will be replacing the offensive production of the graduated Tommy Chatten and Cole Deisenroth. Chatten, who now plays at Bridgewater State, averaged 18 points per game, while Deisenroth scored 12 points per contest.

“We lost a lot of scoring; it’s going to be interesting to see who steps up and scores the ball for us,” Keane said. “It’s going to be a little bit of everybody on a given night.”

Junior Sam Dadagian is expected to be one of Hopkinton’s more productive offensive players this winter. The Hillers also will be buoyed by a pair of guards, senior Jack Ianelli and junior Cooper Willadsen.

“They are both scrappy point guards,” Keane said.

Senior forward Sam Pantera joins Dadagian up front along with Anthony DeLuca. All three players have multiple seasons of varsity experience already under their belt.

Senior Logan DelPonte figures to be one of the team’s top defensive players.

“He will be helping us out quite a bit,” Keane said.

Keane said Hopkinton’s strengths figure to be quickness and athleticism. The coach also has been impressed with his team’s unselfish nature and willingness to share the ball. But Hopkinton will not have the height that many of its opponents will bring to the court this winter.

“Our guards are a little bit undersized, but they make up for it with scrappiness,” Keane said. “Rebounding is going to be a huge key for us, making sure we finish defensive possessions with a rebound, along with making sure that we defend without fouling and stay out of foul trouble.”

The Hillers will look to once again earn a spot in the state tourney, but Keane said the primary goal is about improving through the season.

“We want to show as much growth as we can,” he said. “We want to get better as the season progresses to try to make the tournament and play our best basketball once we get there.”

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