HARVARD — After winning 12 of 20 games last season, the Bromfield boys basketball team must overcome graduation losses that cost the services of Jeff Yates, Nick Ashe, Luke Broganer, Jason Mandozzi, Sean Thurston and Sebby Lipmen. Veteran coach Tom Hill has been busily preparing to establish a new look for a team that returns just a single starter.
That starter is point guard Brian McCullough, a senior captain, and he brings stability to a crucial position in his fourth varsity season, and third as a starter.
“Brian has great speed and quickness and takes the ball to the basket very well,” said Hill. “He is very tough to stop one-on-one. He is a competitive player who is well respected by his teammates. Brian is strong defensively and makes us tough to press. He plays with poise, is a great sportsman, and has the ability to bury the outside shot.”
Joining McCullough in the backcourt will be junior guard Trevor Granville, who is up from the junior varsity team.
“Trevor is a very good ballhandler with a lot of speed and quickness,” said Hill. “He takes the ball to the basket well and has been making some great passes. He has good court vision, is a tenacious defender and has gotten bigger and quicker this season. He just needs more consistency with his shot.”
Starting at the forwards will be junior Matt Griffin and sophomore Ryan Kennedy, who both came off the bench last season.
“Matt plays strong defense and has a good outside shot with three-point range,” said Hill. “He does a nice job of taking the ball to the basket while under control. He is athletic, is working hard and can play either guard or forward. Ryan is an aggressive player with a lot of desire. He is a good offensive rebounder and has range on his shot. He is tough inside and is competitive and intense. He has nice set of skills and had some good moments as a freshman.”
The starting center will be senior captain Sam Shepherd, who came off the bench last season.
“Sam was a part-time starter last season,” said Hill. “He can block shots and is a defensive presence. He is developing a jump hook and can hit the outside shot. He is a solid rebounder and can score anywhere from inside the paint to beyond the three-point line. He put in a lot of hard work in the off-season and is showing good leadership.”
Making a strong push for minutes are sophomore forward Ben Veno, senior center Tucker Edwards, sophomore forward Ryan O’Leary, junior guard-forward Kevin Sun and senior Hunter Siegrist, a guard-forward.
“Ben is up from the junior varsity team and has a nice jumpshot,” said Hill. “His game has improved through hard work and he has good size, a nice medium-range shot and he rebounds well.
“Tucker is playing for the first time but he is 6-6 and is a good athlete who is willing to learn. He will be tough defensively and will provide defense and rebounding off the bench. He is working hard on his offense, but he does have potential.
“Ryan is up from the junior varsity team and has shown flashes around the basket and from medium range.
“Kevin is up from the junior varsity team and has good range on his shot. He has potential and just needs to be more consistent.
“Hunter came off the bench last season and is an unselfish player who plays strong defense. He is hard working and coachable, and he is a dependable player with a decent shot.”
Adding further depth will be juniors James Authier, a guard, and Mike Oliver, a forward-center, and first-year senior Peter Kilian.
“James works hard on defense and has improved,” said Hill. “He can penetrate to the basket and is coachable. Mike is up from the junior varsity team and is vastly improved on his rebounding, defense and short shot. He can be a defensive presence. Peter is a hard-working player with a good shot and a great attitude.”
What are the team strengths of the Trojans?
“I really like the chemistry this team has,” said Hill. “We have a lot of kids with shooting range. Our passing has been impressive in preseason and the kids are unselfish and look for open teammates. Also, we have versatility as a number of kids can play multiple positions.
“My concerns are keeping our key players healthy and developing a reliable bench,” said Hill. “Our goals are to finish in the top part of the league and to qualify for districts. The key is how our untested players respond to the pressure at this level, and will our shooting end up being as good as it can be. This is a coachable group and I am looking forward to the season.”