10 Breakout Underclassmen of the 2018-19 MIAA Basketball Season
As February hits and we look toward the end of the 2018-2019 MIAA boys basketball regular season, we check out 10 breakout underclassmen (sophomores and freshmen) who have shined bright this season.
With many star student-athletes graduating in 2018, and/or transferring out of the MIAA at the end of last season, the door has opened wide for underclassmen to take center stage this season. While there have been many examples of that this season, we take a look at ten, in particular, who have stood tall despite their youthful status.
These top freshmen and sophomores, who have had breakout seasons in 2018-2019 across the MIAA, are looking to take a big step, and cement themselves in MIAA basketball history with strong conclusions to their seasons, and potentially deep runs in the MIAA playoffs later this month.
F – Ademide Badmus '21 – St. Mary's of Lynn
The Spartans were already a favorite to reach the D3 state championship with Jalen Echevarria and co. returning, but adding stud sophomore Ademide Badmus to the mix this season solidified them as one of the best teams in the state regardless of division. The 6-foot-5 power forward, who transferred after a solid freshman season with Lynn English, is a load inside and has good lateral quickness which helps cements St. Mary's defense. If he continues to develop his entire arsenal on the offensive end, Badmus will certainly become an attractive recruit for D1 colleges.
G – Will Batchelder '21 – St. John's Prep
When opponents see Will Batchelder step onto the court, they may expect to be able to stay with the standout sophomore. Yet that is rarely the case, as the unassuming 5-foot-11 shooting guard has often carried St. John's Prep to victories this season. The Newburyport resident dropped 31 points in the opener against Marblehead and scored 29 points while hitting a game-winning jumper to lead the Eagles past Catholic Memorial on Jan 11th.
G – Matt Boen '21 – Mansfield
The third in a line of Boen brothers to star for Mansfield coach Mike Vaughan, Matt thrived in his first full taste of a rivalry tilt against Franklin, burning the Panthers with a team-high 18 points and the game-clinching steal in a narrow 59-57 victory Jan 4. The lithe guard can create shots for his teammates or knock down open looks from the perimeter, fitting perfectly in the Hornets' sophisticated motion offense.
F – Shea Doherty '21 – Acton-Boxborough
His older brother, Mitch, is leading Worcester Academy in pursuit of a NEPSAC AA title before heading on to the University of Albany, and colleges are certainly intrigued to see if Shea Doherty can follow in his brother's footsteps. The 6-foot-7 junior has good range from three-point land and he also appears to have honed his toughness in the post while playing with BABC over the summer. On Jan 11, Doherty held his own against Cambridge center Khai Smith '20 and led A-B to a 64-61 victory on the road.
G – Tony Felder '22 – Malden Catholic
While only standing 5-foot-8, the skilled freshman point guard is tough as nails and capable of finishing in the lane with an array of floaters and lay-ups. Felder leads a young Malden Catholic team with help from junior captain Kendrick Jean-Francois, setting up the Lancers for success beyond this season, although they're not to be overlooked in D2 North this year.
G – Kurtis Henderson '21 – Catholic Memorial
The Brockton native opened the 2018-19 season with consecutive 40-point games to put his hat into the ring for Player of the Year. A tough sophomore who has a complete offensive game and the quickness to spearhead Catholic Memorial's trademark press, the 5-foot-10 point guard has already been named Captain and will be asked to carry a big load for the Knights as they make their 19th consecutive state tournament appearance.
F – Alex Karaban '22 – Algonquin Regional
Standing 6-foot-7 with a long wingspan and deft touch around the basket, Karaban is the leading scorer in Central Mass, averaging nearly 24 points per game, including scoring 31 points during an MIAA Endowment game against Belmont at the TD Garden on Jan 6. He dominated Eastern Mass. competition once again with 35 points and 20 rebounds in a home win over Catholic Memorial on Jan 17 and has Algonquin poised to vie for its first sectional title in 18 years.
G – Brendan McNamara '21 – Arlington
Another brother following in the footsteps of his elder, McNamara has helped lead Arlington the way his 1,000-point scoring brother Colin McNamara once did. The sophomore guard, who had a strong freshman campaign for Arlington in 201-2018, and who is one of several members of the Middlesex Magic AAU program breaking out this season, has exploded this season scoring 27 points twice this season, dropped 21 points in a recent win over Wakefield and went for 22 points to lead Arlington past Cathedral on Jan 22.
G – Omar Quilter '21 – Everett
Filling the shoes of graduated 2,000-point scorer Ghared Boyce has been no easy task in Everett, but the Charlestown transfer is doing an admirable job for first-year coach Stanley Chamblain. Quilter recently scored 15 points in a 61-58 win over O'Bryant and went for a game-high 24 points in a rout over Danvers the following night. The 5-foot-11 sophomore appears to be a perfect complement to Everett's sizable frontcourt.
F – T.J. Power '22 – Saint John's of Shrewsbury
With fellow freshman forward Owen Moreira also breaking out this season, along with sophomore Nathan Bangandozou, Power isn't the only reason for Pioneers fans to feel optimistic. Yet the 6-foot-6 forward has been the driving force behind Saint John's impressive season thus far and is a force both offensively and defensively. A three-sport athlete with the potential to play football or baseball at the next level, the Worcester resident is certainly making a strong case on the hardwood this season.
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