St. Mary’s wins a battle of teams with young talent

DANVERS, Mass. – Two teams of the future battled it out in a great Division 4 North sectional semifinal game on Monday night. Only one could win, and it was the team with just one senior – St. Mary’s, with a 60-51 win over Hamilton-Wenham on the strength of a game-closing 16-2 run.

It was a night for perimeter players between these two teams. Neither team had much size, so the best prospects would be perimeter players and there were a few of note.

The player with the most buzz coming in was Marcus Zegarowski (5’10” Fr. PG, Hamilton (MA)). Certainly, being the younger brother of an NBA player helps in that regard, but he isn’t just riding Michael Carter-Williams’ coattails as he has talent all his own. Zegarowski’s body has a ways to go, as you might imagine at his age, but he has a good frame and some good tools that he showed at times. It wasn’t a banner shooting night for him, and as such he finished with just nine points. While he’s not overly quick or athletic, he’s not lacking, either, and got in the lane a few times.

Less heralded, but still a solid prospect, is co-captain Jimmy Campbell (6’3″ Jr. SG, Hamilton (MA)). While he plays a forward spot for his team, he has the tools to play on the perimeter at the next level, though he’ll need to keep them up. Campbell has a good frame and showed excellent passing ability on the night. Fundamentally sound, he handles the ball well, boxes out and has plus ball skills that he needs to keep honing. In particular, he showed a tendency to stay upright while trying to go by a man instead of getting low. In scoring a game-high 20 points, he showed good scoring tools, hitting several jumpers out to long range and getting close shots a few times as well.

The challenge for Campbell will be developing the perimeter skills more while having to play inside for his school team. His position in college is unlikely to be in the low post.

Victorious St. Mary’s has some talent of its own for coach Dave Brown. The most talented is Anthony Silfa (6’3″ So. SG), who had 15 points in Monday night’s win. A plus athlete, he has a good body that can still mature more, and while he took a few questionable shots he also hit some big ones. He hit a couple of three-pointers at a crucial juncture, with one coming from well behind the three-point line. While passing isn’t his forte, he did make a very nice drive and dish one time.

Curtis Lockett (Jr. SG) led the Spartans with 16 points, including a short jumper during the game-closing run. While he’s not a great athlete, he’s not lacking there and showed a touch shooting the ball for his points. His frame can fill out more as well.

When crunch time arrived, there was no one better than Dennis Bailer (Jr. PG). A steady hand all night, Bailer turned into a guy with ice in his veins in the final minutes. He was in seemingly every big play, from a couple of jumpers that included a three-pointer and a tough runner in traffic to a steal that led to a breakout he finished with a pass to Silfa for a layup.

Although only St. Mary’s moves on to the Division 4 North sectional final, both of these teams will be heard from again soon. St. Mary’s has just one senior, and Hamilton-Wenham has four. None of the best prospects on the night is a senior, so not only will both teams be better, but they will be worth watching to see the prospects develop.

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