High school boys basketball preview: Division 1-2

The $64,000 question in Division 1 North isn’t as much who is playing as much as who isn’t due to the pandemic.
Lynn English and Lawrence are still awaiting approval to get on the court. Ditto for teams like Lynn Classical and Chelsea, both of whom made the tournament last season.
If the powers-that-be deem it safe for Lynn English to get on the court, the two-time state champions will have one of the top players in the state in center Ademide Badmus as well as guards Louis Rivera and Aaron Vizcaino. Things will be very interesting at Lynn Classical as new coach Marvin Avery hopes to duplicate the success he had at Lynn Tech.
Lowell came very close to knocking off Lynn English in the Div. 1 North final last year. Graduation claimed guards Nate Siow and Carlos Nunez, leaving Jeceb McKenzie to help shoulder the load. Lawrence could be tough with the frontcourt duo of Gabriel Zorrilla and Gregory Duran.
Central Catholic has a new coach in Mark Dunham and he’ll welcome back guards Xavier McKenzie, Nate Godin, Isaac Bonilla and Jeff Goguen along with swingman Marcus Rivera and forward Jermaine Wiggins. Andover big man Aidan Cammann should have few peers in the Merrimack Valley Conference.
There is a new look on the Cambridge sideline as George Rodriguez takes over for Lance Dottin, who is taking the season off for medical reasons. The Falcons will rely on returning guards Cooper Wright and Zavier Dunbar, while Burlington transfer Aidan Olivier will be a welcome addition.
Everett will rely on forwards Franky Aubourg and Roger Vasquez as well as guards John Monexant and Omar Quilter. Chelsea returns guards Kamaury Appleberry and Jamison Guillaume.
Mansfield won the Div. 1 South title last year and have guard Matthew Boen and forward T.J. Guy back. Taunton won 15 games and returns forward Tyler Stewart and guard Josh Lopes, while Franklin and Attleboro can’t be counted out.
Manny DeBarros takes over for Bob Boen at Brockton and he’s looking to forwards Navyon Reid and Isaac Lane along with guards Vanilton Xavier and Noah Olowu. Bridgewater-Raynham returns guards Quinton Champagne and Mikey Bourne and added forward Duane Thompson via transfer.
Newton North has guards Kyle Bovell and Karim Belhouchet back as well as senior forward Duncan Bubar. Braintree will be looking to rebound with guards Jordan Gorham and James Lannon back as well as forward Omari Barnes. Needham always figures to be competitive with guard Tim Reidy leading the way.
Natick could be one of the top teams in the Bay State Conference this winter. Returning to the fold for the Redhawks are guards Jake Dunlap and Ryan Mela as well as forward Joe Connolly.
Catholic Memorial could have the premier player in the state in guard Kurtis Henderson to team up with Eoin Gormley in the backcort and Jack Wirtanen up front. BC High will be led by guards Mike Loughnane and Mahari Guerrier with Will Doyle in the front court. Xaverian could be primed to make a move with guards Ty Murphy and Ryan Douglas back with forward Thomas Arrigal.
In Div. 2 North, there is a lot of buzz around Malden Catholic and understandably so. First-year coach John Walsh could have as much talent as anyone in the state with the return of forwards Jahmari Hamilton-Brown and Cristian Rios along with guard Tony Felder. Add transfers Dimitry Philippe, Jeff Hill, Kingsley Breen and Ryan Svendsen and one can see why optimism is high.
Latin Academy won 21 games and returns guards Mason Lawson and Abdulahi Aden and swingman Mohamud Ali. Gloucester will rely on swingman Byron Thomas and transfer Gavyn Hillier.
Beverly captured the sectional title and returns guards Gabriel Copeland and Rook Landman along with forward Nick Braganca. Salem has all five starters back, keyed by guards Ethan Doyle, Guillermo Pimentel and Robert Jellison.
Swingman Preston Jackson-Stephens is back for Belmont along with guards Ali Noorouzi, Matt McHugh and Kevin Logan. Burlington had a terrific year last season and will rely heavily on guards Shane Mahoney and Ty Williams.
Whitman-Hanson earned a share of the Div. 2 state title last year and bring back two of the premier players in the Patriot League in guard Cole LeVangie and forward Nate Amado. Hingham should have one of the better backcourt tandems in Jack Hurley and Steven White. Scituate will lean heavily on point guard Keegan Sullivan, while all-Patriot League big man Andrew Rocci is back for Hanover.
In the Boston City League, New Mission and Tech Boston figure to be two of the better teams. New Mission will be paced by guard Juan Salas and forwards Hassan Jenkins and Kemar Morgan, while Tech Boston should be led by guards Dakhari Brown and Youssouf Mboukoh and forward Elijah Clunie.
Westwood returns Tri-Valley League MVP guard James McGowan, while Randolph is banking on guard Fabrice Salvant to put together another big year. Milton could be a sleeper in the Bay State Conference with guards Lateef Patrick and Andrew Lynch back.
Dennis-Yarmouth put together a 21-win season and bring back guards Brady Holmes, David Azor and Jason Villani. Bishop Feehan moves to the Catholic Central League and has forward William Oram and guard Yden Boucicaut.
Lynn English (23-2)
Central Catholic (15-7)
Lowell (22-1)
Lawrence (16-7)
Cambridge (18-5)
C/F – Franky Aubourg (Everett), Ademide Badmus (Lynn English), Omari Barnes (Braintree), Duncan Bubar (Newton North), Aidan Cammann (Andover), Joe Connolly (Natick), Dillan Day (Revere), Shea Doherty (Acton-Boxboro), Matt Dooley (Lincoln-Sudbury), Will Doyle (BC High), Gregory Duran (Lawrence), T.J. Guy (Mansfield), Jake Harrison (Boston Latin), George Ladd (North Attleboro), Andrew Lussier (Methuen), John Monexant (Everett), Jeremyah Phillips (Haverhill), Omar Quilter (Everett), Nayvon Reid (Brockton), Cam Shaughnessy (Plymouth North), Tyler Stewart (Taunton), Tarmo Tari (Chelmsford), Duane Thompson (Bridgewater-Raynham), Jack Wirtanen (Catholic Memorial), Gabriel Zorrilla (Lawrence)
G – Max Aicardi (Newton South), Kamaury Appleberry (Chelsea), Thomas Arrigal (Xaverian), Matthew Boen (Mansfield), Mikey Bourne (Bridgewater-Raynham), Kyle Bovell (Newton North), Aidan Callahan (St. John’s Prep), Rollie Castineyra (St. John’s Prep), Quinton Champagne (Bridgewater-Raynham), Mitchell Crowe (Methuen), Ryan Donahue (Boston Latin), Ryan Douglas (Xaverian), Zavier Dunbar (Cambridge), Jake Dunlap (Natick), Nate Godin (Central Catholic), Jordan Gorham (Braintree), Jamison Guillaume (Chelsea), Kurtis Henderson (Catholic Memorial), Jevon Holley (Durfee), James Lannon (Braintree), Crisrael Lithgow (Revere), Josh Lopes (Taunton), Mike Loughnane (BC High), Jeceb McKenzie (Lowell), Xavier McKenzie (Central Catholic), Ryan Mela (Natick), Ty Murphy (Xaverian), Aidan Olivier (Cambridge), Calvin Plant (Weymouth), Tim Reidy (Needham), Alex Valera (Medford), Cooper Wright (Cambridge), Vanilton Xavier (Brockton)
Mansfield (22-4)
Natick (16-5)
Brockton (18-5)
Catholic Memorial (16-6)
BC High (18-5)
C/F – Omari Barnes (Braintree), Duncan Bubar (Newton North), Joe Connolly (Natick), Will Doyle (BC High), T.J. Guy (Mansfield), George Ladd (North Attleboro), Nayvon Reid (Brockton), Cam Shaughnessy (Plymouth North), Tyler Stewart (Taunton), Duane Thompson (Bridgewater-Raynham), Jack Wirtanen (Catholic Memorial)
G – Max Aicardi (Newton South), Thomas Arrigal (Xaverian), Matthew Boen (Mansfield), Mikey Bourne (Bridgewater-Raynham), Kyle Bovell (Newton North), Quinton Champagne (Bridgewater-Raynham), Ryan Douglas (Xaverian), Jake Dunlap (Natick), Jordan Gorham (Braintree), Kurtis Henderson (Catholic Memorial), Jevon Holley (Durfee), James Lannon (Braintree), Josh Lopes (Taunton), Mike Loughnane (BC High), Ryan Mela (Natick), Ty Murphy (Xaverian), Calvin Plant (Weymouth), Tim Reidy (Needham), Vanilton Xavier (Brockton)
Malden Catholic (13-9)
Latin Academy (21-5)
Belmont (19-5)
Beverly (21-3)
Salem (12-10)
C/F – Nick Braganca (Beverly), Jahmari Hamilton-Brown (Malden Catholic), Gavyn Hillier (Gloucester), Cristian Rios (Malden Catholic), Byron Thomas (Gloucester)
G – Abdulahi Aden (Latin Academy), Jared Berry (Danvers), Gabriel Copeland (Beverly), Alexei Downie (Somerville), Ethan Doyle (Salem), Tony Felder (Malden Catholic), Liam Harrington (Concord-Carlisle), Myles Hess (Arlington), Preston Jackson-Stephens (Belmont), Tyler Jameau (Concord-Carlisle), Robert Jellison (Salem), Mason Lawson (Latin Academy), Noah Lee (Wayland), Shane Mahoney (Burlington), Thomas Mallinson (Wilmington), Ali Noorouzi (Belmont), Brett Okundaye (Wakefield), Zach Oliver (Gloucester), Ankeet Patel (Billerica), Guillermo Pimentel (Salem), Phil Sughrue (Winchester), Owen Thompson (Somerville), Ty Williams (Burlington)
Whitman-Hanson (25-2)
New Mission (14-7)
Hingham (17-7)
Westwood (22-3)
Tech Boston (14-8)
C/F – Nate Amado (Whitman-Hanson), Elijah Clunie (Tech Boston), Jordan Darling (Milford), Hassan Jenkins (New Mission), Eric Mischler (Canton), William Oram (Bishop Feehan), Andrew Rocci (Hanover)
G – David Azor (Dennis-Yarmouth), Ben Blanchard (Milford), Yden Boucicaut (Bishop Feehan), Amari Brown (Oliver Ames), Dakhari Brown (Tech Boston), Jack Connell (Walpole), Steve Dalla (North Quincy), Mekhi Dedrick (Boston English), Charlie Dowick (Falmouth), Will Higgins (Pembroke), Brady Holmes (Dennis-Yarmouth), Jack Hurley (Hingham), Ryan King (Walpole), Cole LeVangie (Whitman-Hanson), Andrew Lynch (Milton), Conan McCusker (O’Bryant), Cam McDonough (Norwood), James McGowan (Westwood), Lateef Patrick (Milton), Cam Reagan (Duxbury), Juan Salas (New Mission), Fabrice Salvant (Randolph), Keegan Sullivan (Scituate), Steven White (Hingham)

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