2013 Beantown Slam Fall League notes

The Beantown Slam fall basketball league had a new look this fall. After number of years at the Dorchester House, the league moved its games across town to the new home of the New Mission School in Hyde Park. The league had 24 boys and ten girls teams compete for a championship in a league that was no less fiercely competitive than before, with some new faces added.

Due to football and other commitments, a number of teams don’t have the full squads that they will have in the high school season. The value comes from players getting a feel for one another and getting to work on their game at game speed, and coaches can watch how players are developing.

The champions this year were Brookline High School for the boys and Archbishop Williams for the girls. Brookline was the No. 3 seed for the playoffs but didn’t have it easy, knocking off West Roxbury and Brighton just to reach the semifinals. Archbishop Williams had it slightly easier, as they were the No. 2 seed and needed to win just two games to take home the title.

With that established, here are some notes coming out of the league.

  • League champion Brookline has a nice senior inside-outside duo with big man Obi Obiora and point guard Elijah Rogers. The former is probably their most important player, as he can change games inside for this team one way or the other. Rogers is more of a known quantity, and if Obiora is a consistent presence and improves his offense, they could make a run in the state tournament. Obiora could also snag some low Division I looks as he has some upside.
  • St. Peter Marian, one of the more consistent schools in central Massachusetts, was a newcomer to the league and had a good run. They finished in the top half of the league and showed that they will be a force to be reckoned with as they have good talent in senior Connor Brown and sophomores Makai Ashton-Langford and Greg Kuakumensah, the younger brother of Brown sophomore Cedric.
  • Brimmer and May entered a team into the league and did well, though the staff would be fine if they didn’t win a game. It was all about preparing this team for the upcoming season, especially some of the complementary projected starters and reserves that comprised much of the team. Another player it helped was David Watkins, who hasn’t played in over a year. It gave the emerging forward a chance to work at game speed, and he continues to look like a player whose development will be worth monitoring. There is potential there, but there will be failures as well as success along the way.
  • Catholic Memorial looks to have the personnel to be very good, especially with the return of Aamahne Santos. They are loaded with good guards and will try to speed up opponents, while Gerard Adams is the change-of-pace player up front who can be a good rebounder and passer. In particular, he can make very good outlet passes to get this team running.
  • Brighton may have benefited from the league as much as anyone, as the Bengals are young but talented. They may have lost Malik James and several other veterans, but there is plenty of talent with sophomore guard Javaughn Edmonds and freshman guard Tyrone Perry leading the way. Junior Jason Jones also looks ready to emerge in the frontcourt and played well in the league.
  • Winchester had to go without their best player in Michael Grassey, who is the starting quarterback on the football team. That made winning games tougher, but they appear to have an improving support cast that will be around him when the season begins. They started slowly but looked better in the latter part of the season.

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