Seniors lead Burlington over younger Malden Catholic

BURLINGTON, Mass. – Burlington High School’s 63-53 opening round win over Malden Catholic was all about their seniors. In a matchup of a team with just three seniors plus potential against a team with three senior stars and several classmates, experience won out.

Burlington led for a lot of the game after Malden Catholic took the lead early in the second quarter. They broke the game open in the third, and although they allowed the Lancers to get back in it with a 10-0 run at one point, the Lancers ran out of gas and the Red Devils broke the game open once more.

The difference-maker on the evening was Christian Morneweck (6’4″ Sr. PF), as he was the key guy that Malden Catholic couldn’t match someone up with. While his team-high 24 points will stand out at first glance, he owned the boards and was constantly around loose balls. He scored in several ways, hitting mid-range shots including on the baseline and once with a nice lefty reverse layup. He has a good body that can still mature more, and while he has a couple of favorite schools he says he’s wide open on his recruitment. Though he might be a bit undersized as a power forward, he has good tools for that spot and will help someone out at the college level.

Mickey Lyons (Sr. SG) is perhaps the best-known player on the team, and while he didn’t have his best shooting night on Monday he still found a way to score 20 points. His three-pointers were more timely than anything, and he should be a better scorer off the bounce in part from adding strength. Lyons is down to seven schools at this point: Bridgewater State, Fitchburg State, Nichols, Plymouth State, Saint Joseph’s College (Maine), UMass-Dartmouth and Wentworth.

The underrated senior is Worcester Polytechnic Institute-bound Shane Farley (6’3″ Sr. SG-SF), and yet he may be the best prospect of the three simply because he has the best combination of size, physical maturity and athleticism. He also has a good motor and good speed with the ball, the latter of which he showed a couple of times when he got a rebound and went coast-to-coast for a layup. Farley has also excelled on the gridiron as a quarterback.

Burlington’s top underclassman might be point guard Chris DeMartinis (Jr. PG), who might have made the play of the night. He hustled back in transition defense and got a strip, then made a long pass for a layup. While his body has a ways to go, he’s not afraid to go inside for rebounds.

Malden Catholic would appear to have better days ahead. Their best prospects are all underclassmen in Karlens Joas (6’3″ Jr. SG), Connor MacIsaac (6’6″ Jr. PF), Ryan Smith (6’3″ Jr. PF) and Michael Boyd (5’9″ Fr. PG-SG).

Joas is the best prospect, and he had a game-high 26 points on the evening. He has a slight frame and his body is certainly not there yet, and with added strength his driving game will be even better than it already is. He has good scoring tools, from range on his jumper to finding ways to get in the lane for opportunities. On the down side, he tends to leave his feet a little early with the ball and can be prone to unforced turnovers from that.

MacIsaac is more of a “potential” player right now than any of them. He has a good frame and his body isn’t there yet, and while he can hit from mid-range he has a slow jumper release and his post game is a little raw right now.

Boyd has some physical maturity, although not all of his weight is good weight. The lefty has some quickness, and that should improve as his body matures. He struggled to score on the night both on jumpers and some close opportunities, but he looks like a prospect to keep an eye on.

Smith is easily the least-heralded of the four, as he makes his mark working inside. He’s undersized for the power forward spot, which may limit his college level, but he plays well off the other three.

All four will make Malden Catholic better next year. For now, Burlington is moving on to play at top seed New Mission on Saturday night. It will be a monumental battle for the Red Devils, but their seniors will do all they can to keep their careers going a little longer.

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