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The Lobby Observer

The Student News Site of Westborough High School

The Lobby Observer

The Student News Site of Westborough High School

The Lobby Observer

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Rec Ball Power Rankings

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The 2023-2024 Rec Ball Season kicks off this Sunday, January 14th after the snow day last weekend. Coming into the season, there are twelve teams competing for the coveted Rec Ball championship hoisted by Team Lombardo last season. If you were wondering how this season will play out and who is playing for what squad, we broke down every team and who we think their top players will be coming into the season.

12. Tremblay/Rice

We’re kicking off the rankings at our 12th spot with Team Tremblay. This is the youngest team on paper and will kick off the season with the most uncertainty. Team Tremblay is a squad full of underclassmen who are unproven in this league. The top of this team includes defensive star Dhruv Shenoy who consistently locks down every team’s top guards week in and week out. Additionally, senior Sean Levesque is a smooth scorer with decent height and a good shot. Those two will try to forge the uphill battle that Team Tremblay will face week in and week out throughout the season. To counter that, Team Tremblay has a plethora of freshmen and sophomores who haven’t played high school rec or have played a small amount. Overall, this team is ranked 12th due to its uncertainty and lack of proven depth.

11. Calderone

The infamous Team Calderone has created another squad for the 2023 Rec Ball season. Led by James Kaminski, this team is going to have to rely on him to score if they want to win. This team has more talent than in other years, which includes Logan Mutch, Jordan Lasoff, and Will Lake. Emilio and Renzo Calderone also provide entertainment to the squad that brightens the mood for the whole team. We can see this team sneaking in a couple of wins and potentially making a Cinderella playoff run in February. However, this team does not have enough guard presence to put them any higher than 11th.

10. Snow

Team Snow is led by Camden Petralia, a skilled threat on all aspects of the floor. The quick guard has a consistent finishing game and possesses a strong shot. Team Snow is one of the bigger teams in the league consisting of Ryan Snow, a skilled rim protector and solid big man. The team also features Sebas Grillo, a very strong defensive menace with flashes of a poised offensive game. The pairing of Grillo and Snow’s defense should be no concern for this team. Snow also consists of a solid backcourt of Anthony Earazo, a long-range sniper, and Malluch Nyutu, a strong playmaker and scorer. Team Snow shows flashes of being a well-rounded team and has a chance to change the doubters’ minds.

 

9. Lombardo

The defending champions, Team Lombardo, hold an elite backcourt in Max Dullea and Luke Meleski. This team’s successes this season will depend on their two scorers. Dullea holds the power to knock down 10 threes every game if you don’t keep track of him. This team will be led by Dullea and Meleski on the offensive side of the ball, but on the defensive side, they have senior varsity soccer captain Chris Deane and sophomore Kaue De Paula. Deane and De Paula are very physical players who can guard any position. Outside of the players on the court, this team is led by a mastermind who recently got his first Rec Ball Championship under his belt. This team will go as far as Dullea and Meleski take them this Rec Ball Season.

8. Breen

Arguably the most entertaining squad in the league, Team Breen draws the most attention from the league. Known as “Team Dawg,” this team is filled with hustle players who provide energy and toughness. Team Breen is going to have to rely on their defense, as offensively the only source of offense is Tim Breen and Brendan Estaphan. Dan Tesoro, the Friedbergs, and the Breens are all solid defenders, but we cannot put them higher due to the question marks on the offensive end. However, Bhagot Yalamarthi is someone I can see stepping up. As a former school-ball player, he is poised to make an impact on this team. This is a team we are very interested in watching, and if they figure out how to score, this team can go far in the postseason.

7. Martin/Bentley

The well-rounded and talented squad, Team Martin/Bentley obtained the steal of the draft Jared Silverman. The former JV player has an impressive skill set, perfectly pairing with the fundamental, talented big man, Ryan Bentley. The team also added Mikey Ku in this year’s draft, a crafty guard with high playmaking and scoring ability. The team also added Max Martin, a strong defensive center who will anchor the defense and guard the bigger and stronger players of this league. Having high IQ point guards and strong centers, the skies the limit for this offense, where the Pick and roll between Silverman and Bentley could cause nightmares for other team’s defenses. Martin/Bentley is a very underrated defensive team where they can guard all positions, and match up against some of the higher ranked teams in the league.

 

 

 

6. Last

Team Last has had a few rough years in the past. This year’s team has something different about them. They are usually known around the league as a team that is an easy win and the hardest games to watch. This year they drafted Rec Ball All-Star Joel Lee to lead their team to victory. Lee is a pure scorer that can do it all. He can take you to the hoop and the next play knocks down a three. Lee is the person to watch when you are playing Team Last and he is projected to be incredible. His supporting cast in Addison Last and his brother Eric, Miguel DaSilva, and JV player Zain Niak will force teams to focus on other people than just Lee. This will free him up to get to his spots and make Team Last, first this year.

5. Meyer

Team Meyer can simply do it all, they can score, play defense, and rebound. Led by ex. varsity players Ali Imraan and Owen Fielder. These two have great chemistry together and complement each other perfectly. Imraan plays lock-down defense and can score on all three levels and Fielder gives this team a post-presence while potentially bringing in the majority of the rebounds for this team. Another piece that pays dividends in rec ball is intimidation. Look no further than Hemanth Nekkalapudi. He is coming off football season and is ready to make an impact on this team. If Coach Meyer can get him to set screens for Imraan and Fiedler this team will have a lot of success on offense. On the other side of the ball, Imraan will lead the way on defense alongside his partner Jack Ferrecchia. Ferrecchia is quick and will give you 110% while he is on the floor. A famous saying is that defense wins championships and this team has a great defense. This team has the framework for a great season and are contender for the Rec Ball Finals.

4. Cespedes- Nick

Led by reigning MVP Rahul Perumal, Team Cespedes is poised to make a deep run come playoff time. Rahul Perumal and Julian Cespedes were on the same team last year, and Coach Cespedes has decided to run it back for another year with this big man/guard combo. This pick-and-roll game should be deadly all year long, and a good supporting cast around the two stars. Louis Urbina provides the team with a shooting spark, as well as Ivan Diaz is another big in the paint-grabbing boards. Also, Ayush Kataria is a player to look out for, an athletic kid who has a basketball background, destined to make an impact for this squad. Overall, this team is very well-rounded. We expect them to have a great season and potentially make a run for the championship.

3. Tarzia

Team Tarzia is headlined by two-star guards: AJ Tarzia and Andy Cerniglia. The team will go as far as these two veterans take them, yet, they are not the only players that can make a difference on this team. Ex-JV player Mauricio Fonte and sophomore big man Nathaniel Schmidt will be key role players. Being a first-year Rec Ball player, Fonte has the chance to make a name for himself this year and join Tarzia and Cerniglia to create one of the best Big 3’s in Rec Ball. The players on the court can only do so much; it is the presence of Mr. Nagi on the sideline that propels this team to the #3 spot. Mr. Nagi is a seasoned coach, infamous for his 1-3-1 defense, and this team is crafted perfectly to fit his scheme. Team Tarzia is deep, skilled, and well-coached, and it would not be surprising to see this team playing for a championship in March.

2. Hilfinger- Max

Arguably the best roster on paper going into the season is led by two legitimate all-stars in Eli Wawersik and David Hilfinger. Both are elite scorers and can defend the other team’s top guards using their length and athleticism. Hilfinger and Wawersik will be one of if not the best guard tandem in the league as they are both two-way players and creative scorers. To go along with that, team Hilfinger has strong depth with Brady Robinson as a proven 3rd option and guys like Jack Biddle and Sebastian Curtin to potentially round out the starting lineup. Overall, this team has good height, can run the floor, and has multiple good 3-point shooters. It will be interesting to see how the two stars gel on the court because if they do, team Hilfinger will be scary.

1. Hackett

The front-runners, Hackett/Hadley, might be the tallest team in Rec Ball history. This team consists of three starters over 6ft tall: Daniel Hackett, Luke Hadley, and Thomas Cashman. The most impactful of the three is definitely Hackett. Hackett is the rare ex-varsity player playing Rec Ball, and he is a front-runner for MVP because of his aggressiveness and finishing around the rim. There is no question that this team will be able to impose their will in the paint on any other squad, but the two question marks are their outside shooting and ball-handling. Other than Joe Furbush, this team doesn’t have any three-point shooters, and it will be interesting to see who brings up the court for this team. Nonetheless, their rebounding and points in the paint should be able to overwhelm opposing teams, and this team is definitely the favorite in Rec Ball.

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About the Contributors
AJ Tarzia '24, Co-Executive Producer
AJ Tarzia ‘24, an executive producer has been taking journalism classes and has written for The Lobby Observer for four years. He enjoys the freedom of being able to write about what he pleases as he progresses through the journalism courses. He has enjoyed both writing articles and producing broadcasts. He enjoys covering sports as it is a great passion of his, while he is not writing about sports he is playing either soccer or basketball. In his free time, AJ enjoys spending time with family and friends and watching Boston sports.
Simon Bleier '24, Co-Editor in Chief
Simon Bleier ‘24, a Co-Editor in Chief, is a senior who has been writing for The Lobby Observer for the past three years. Simon's favorite part about journalism is sharing powerful stories and messages with others. Simon loves writing about all things sports and when he is not writing about sports, he plays or watches them. He plays soccer and basketball for WHS and is always open to a good competition. In addition to sports, Simon enjoys spending quality time outside with his family, friends, and dog.
Nick Bellofatto '24, Lead Sports Editor
Nick Bellofatto '24, a lead sports editor, is a senior who has been writing for The Lobby Observer for the past three years. He loves the ability to write about his own interests, which are usually related to all things sports. When not writing about sports, he enjoys playing them as he plays baseball and basketball for WHS. On top of his athletics, Nick appreciates sitting down and watching Celtics games with his dad as well as managing his fantasy football team.
Max Dullea '24, Sports Editor
Max Dullea ‘24 has been taking journalism class for the past three years. He enjoys writing various articles primarily revolving around food, entertainment, and sports. Max is now a sports editor for the lobby observer and looks forward to writing about professional and high school sports throughout the year. He enjoys working on broadcasts both on camera and behind the scenes. While he is not in the journalism classroom, Max enjoys playing pickup basketball and spending time with friends and family. 

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