WHS Boys Basketball: Striving for Success with Young Talent

Matthew Willar '22, Co-Editor

Now halfway into their season, the WHS Boys Basketball team is putting in more effort than ever to stack up some wins. The Rangers have played one of the hardest schedules this year, and despite not getting the win every game they haven’t given up on a possible playoff push. Currently, they sit at 2-10. 

After a season-ending injury from senior Captain Tabish Hussain, the Rangers have had to re-figure the season and figure out ways to win games without their star player. 

Over the past few games, the Rangers have been experimenting with their young talent. The Rangers starting lineup for the past two games has consisted of sophomore Carter Bentley, junior James Braden, junior Brady Hughes, freshman Justin McCafferty, and sophomore Joe Marino. This starting lineup along with bench help from senior Captains Taylor Fredman and Aidan Larkin, freshman Alec DesRosiers, and junior Andrew Gray put the Rangers in a close game with Oakmont last Friday and gave them a win this past Tuesday against Groton-Dunstable. 

Head Coach Willar has been really invested in this season. Regarding the season, Willar states, “So far this season has been a very up and down season and very challenging. We have persevered through a season-ending injury to our best player, and we’ve had several other players injured or out due to COVID protocols, however, this team has continued to work very very hard every day in practice.” 

What people don’t see is how hard the Rangers work in practice. Watching practices over the past three weeks, the Rangers have been going after it on the defensive end, working on shooting more than ever this season, and running some new defensive drills. 

Fredman states, “Practice is intense sometimes, and a lot of fun. Every practice we feel like the goal is to get better every day, and that is the hope.”

“Practice is intense sometimes, and a lot of fun. Every practice we feel like the goal is to get better every day, and that is the hope.””

— Taylor Fredman '22, Senior Captain

“We have seen major improvements from all of the players, and we have had some very good senior leadership. We have seen a lot of younger guys really flourish with their new roles within the program. We are continuing to work hard every day and strive to get a little better every day.”

“We have seen major improvements from all of the players, and we have had some very good senior leadership. We have seen a lot of younger guys really flourish with their new roles within the program. We are continuing to work hard every day and strive to get a little better every day.” ”

— Coach Willar

Fredman along with Larkin have been leading the Rangers in practices and have provided lots of energy to get the team working hard. 

Leading the Rangers on the offensive end recently has been Hughes and Braden. Braden had 16 points last Friday against Oakmont, including four 3-pointers, while McCafferty had 18 points versus Groton this past Tuesday with a play designed for Bentley to get the assist to get a layup in the paint. Bentley had five assists during Tuesday’s win. McCafferty and Sophomore Joe Marino have been a huge help on the defensive end. 

Coach Willar states regarding the young talent on the team and senior leadership, “We have seen major improvements from all of the players, and we have had some very good senior leadership. We have seen a lot of younger guys really flourish with their new roles within the program. We are continuing to work hard every day and strive to get a little better every day.” 

Matthew Willar ’22

The Rangers have five more regular-season games. Now that fans are allowed back at games, come support your Rangers! The Rangers play Tuesday, February 1 at 7:00 p.m. versus Marlborough.