Winter sports preview: Experience Hopkins Academy boys basketball set to fly

  • Andrew Ciaglo moves the ball during practice at Hopkins Academy, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Erik Berg, left, moves the ball against Nathan Waldon during practice at Hopkins Academy, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Braeden Tudryn, right, moves the ball against Josiah Beck during practice at Hopkins Academy, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Josiah Beck, right, passes against Andrew Ciaglo during practice at Hopkins Academy, Dec. 10. The Golden Hawks graduated one player from last year’s team that just missed the postseason. Below, Ciaglo moves the ball. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Ryan Antes moves the ball during practice at Hopkins Academy, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Andrew Ciaglo, center, defends Josiah Beck during practice at Hopkins Academy, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Ryan Antes begins a pass during practice Dec. 10. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

Staff Writer
Published: 12/13/2019 4:00:28 PM
Modified: 12/13/2019 4:00:15 PM

The Hopkins Academy boys basketball program battled with the unknown at the beginning of last season.

Coach Adam Ginsburg was in his first year at the helm and was in the process of establishing his standards for the team. In those first few weeks, some players struggled to find their respective roles, but as the season wore on, the team rounded into form.

The Golden Hawks finished last season with a 9-11 record, narrowly missing the postseason tournament. With the graduation of only one senior, guard Caleb Graves, most of last year’s team is back and is excited to build off of last season.

“After that first year playing together, a lot more guys got experience,” junior forward Braeden Tudryn said. “It’s fun to be back out there. We’re excited for the first game.”

Sophomore point guard Andrew Ciaglo had a breakout freshman campaign last year, scoring over 400 points. The second-year guard is expected to take on a bigger role as a floor general and as a distributor this winter.

“He’s a worker,” Ginsburg said. “He loves working at his game. He has also made major strides in working at his leadership ability. While playing that position, how you talk to your teammates and lead is critical. He has always been a leader, but now it’s at a higher level. There is more responsibility and he is excited to manage that.”

Ciaglo and senior Nathan Walden are projected to be the Golden Hawks’ starting guards. The combination of Walden’s defensive ability and Ciaglo’s shooting should make for a potent backcourt.

“The sky’s the limit,” Walden said.

Ginsburg’s coaching style is highlighted by his attention to detail. At practice, the team goes over how to properly box out on free throws and Ginsburg makes sure that the team huddles up before every free throw.

“Little things can win games,” Tudryn said. “If you don’t box out right on a free throw, that’s two potential points you can let up. He’s big on not just the little details, but the whole picture. It all comes together. If you don’t do your job, it can cause a loss.”

Tudryn, forward Addison Phifer and center Ryan Antes are expected to lock down the team’s frontcourt this season. Senior Erik Berg, who is a three-year varsity player, returns after missing much of last season with illnesses. Aiden Michalak rejoins the team after missing time with a leg injury. Gazette Baseball Player of the Year Jack Feltovic also joins the team after not playing last season.

“It’s nice to have some continuity,” Ginsburg said. “I think that a lot of the new kids are tight with the returners. It’s a good mix.”

Less than 20 players came out for last season’s tryouts. This year, between a varsity and junior varsity team, there are 22 players.

“If you take a day off, someone will be there,” Ginsburg said. “We should be able to push each other to get the best out of each other. It can be a real positive.”

The program is motivated to get back to competing for Western Massachusetts titles, but it’s also focused on putting in the necessary work that it takes to get to that point.

“I’ve been around teams that want to play later in the year before they can,” Ginsburg said. “We have to stay focused and hope everything is a byproduct of the work that we do. These kids are committed. … They want to have a great experience. They have had success in other sports. They have had success comradery-wise and chemistry-wise. That’s fun to be around.”

Amherst Regional

COACH: Jamahl Jackson, first year

LEAGUE/DIVISION: Valley League/1


LAST TOURNAMENT APPEARANCE: 2018, lost 57-55 to Putnam in WMass semifinals

RETURNING STARTERS: Sophomore — Isa Castro-McCauley, F

RETURNING PLAYERS: Seniors — Kevin Nguyen, G; Tabor Bowman, G; Taylen Pope, G

NEWCOMERS: Seniors — Shane Robles, F; Judah Katz, G/F; Calieb Camphor, G/F; Junior — Mike Camora, G; Sophomores — Calvin Yorn, G; Nolan Klaes, F; Evan Stewart, G; Zayd Sadiq, G

OUTLOOK: Jackson returns home to coach his alma mater. He wants the upperclassmen to help set the tone to start the season. “They are going to be a calming force for the new guys that are getting acclimated,” Jackson said. Jackson thinks this year’s team will have a balanced offense. “The ball movement will be fluid,” he said. “I think we could have two or three guys average double figures.”


COACH: Matt Stenuis, fourth year

LEAGUE/DIVISION: Hampshire South/2


LAST TOURNAMENT APPEARANCE: 2018, lost 94-52 to Longmeadow in WMass quarterfinals

RETURNING STARTERS: Senior — Owen Raines, G; Juniors — Jordan Lanoue, F; Nathan Schiffer, G

RETURNING PLAYERS: Seniors — Tyler Grissom, C; Hunter Klingensmith, F

NEWCOMERS: Juniors — Aadon Crisostomo, F; Austin Endelos, G; Ryan Zawistowski, G; Sophomores — Nathan Sajdak, G; Carson Boscher, G; Kiernan Corish, G

OUTLOOK: Lanoue is the top returning scorer from last season. The program comes into this season after graduating four seniors.


COACH: Jason Moynihan, first year



LAST TOURNAMENT APPEARANCE: 2019, lost to Wahconah 58-29 in WMass first round

RETURNING PLAYERS: Seniors — Sean Sabourin, C; Mike Brown, F; Nate Morse, G; Juniors — Gabe Colenback, G; Sophomore — Carter Daughdrill, G

NEWCOMERS: Juniors — Owen Morse; G; Anthony Soucy, G; Sophomores — Ryan O’Donnell, G; Will Robbins, G; Tommy Vaillancourt, F; Freshmen — Sameer Goddard, F; Mateo Navarro, G; Jayden Ortiz, G

OUTLOOK: Brown will be a player to watch, he is the only player on this year’s team that was a part of the program when the Eagles went to the state finals in 2018. “He’s got a lot of varsity experience,” coach Moynihan said. Morse averaged 9.7 ppg for Frontier Regional last season.

Frontier Regional

COACH: Ben Barshefsky, 10th year

LEAGUE/DIVISION: Hampshire North/3


LAST TOURNAMENT APPEARANCE: 2019, Lost 60-55 to Narragansett in WMass semifinals

RETURNING STARTERS: Juniors — Peter Carey, F

RETURNING PLAYERS: Seniors — Collin Boudreau, C; Gabe Gochinski, G; Gabe Jones-Thomson, F; Brett Robinson, G; Owen Walkowicz, F

NEWCOMERS: Juniors — DJ Dragicevich, F; Sean Richter, F; Gehrig Brynda, C; Jacob Dodge, G; Adan Hernandez, G; Ethan Machon, G; Sophomores — Jake Hanieski, G; Iain Spearance, G

OUTLOOK: A lot is expected of Carey this season. “I’m expecting Pete to take the next step from a leadership standpoint,” Barshefsky said. Although a lot of the team lacks varsity experience, the program has a lot of balance. “Each starting spot can be any one of a number of guys,” Barshefsky said. “It has made practice very competitive.” To start the season, Barshefsky is focused on making sure the team develops chemistry on and off the court.

Gateway Regional

COACH: Kevin McVeigh, fourth year

LEAGUE/DIVISION: Tri-County South/4


LAST TOURNAMENT APPEARANCE: 2014, lost 61-36 to Monson in WMass first round

RETURNING STARTERS: Juniors — Evan Cortis, C; Freshman — Jayden Santigo-Lopez, G

RETURNING PLAYERS: Senior — Taylor Shedd, F

NEWCOMERS: Junior — Preston Coffey, G; Sophomores — Joe Federici, G; Leo Balboni, G/F; Jager Wozniak, G; Freshman — Owen Pryzbyla, G

OUTLOOK Cortis and Santiago-Lopez will lead the way for the Gators. The program lost some experience due to players deciding to pursue other interests, but this year’s newcomers have shown promise. “They might be younger, but a couple are good shooters,” McVeigh said. The team expects to hit bumps in the road, but the group is excited to get to work and build off last season. “It’s going to be a struggle on the defensive end and with rebounding,” McVeigh said. “Offensively we will be OK.”


COACH: Tim Sheehan, 21st year



LAST TOURNAMENT APPEARANCE: 2019, lost to McCann Tech 52-45 in WMass first round

RETURNING PLAYERS: Seniors — Mitchell L’Abbee, Joshua Hart, Luis Gaj; Juniors — Steven Torres Jr., Michael Flaherty; Sophomores — Nathan Breault, Ryan Gaughan, Brandon Wishart

NEWCOMERS: Junior — Dylan Moriarty; Sophomore — Tyler Sudbury; Freshman — Carter White

OUTLOOK: The Rams return a young group. L’Abbee is projected to be the team’s only senior starter. Wishart returns after a breakout freshman season. Breault and Gaughan saw time last year and could make a leap. “I’m expecting some good things,” Sheehan said.

Hampshire Regional

COACH: Lee Mollison, third year



LAST TOURNAMENT APPEARANCE: 2017, lost 37-25 to Palmer in WMass quarterfinals

RETURNING STARTERS: Senior — Dominik Lewinski, F; Juniors — Justin Forest, G; Colin Boyle, G

RETURNING PLAYERS: Senior — Spencer Czarniecki, F; Junior — Ian Dunlap, G

NEWCOMERS: Sophomores — Tyler Vanasse, G; Jonathan Kushin, G; Luke Kraus, G; Freshman — Kyle Dale, G; Eighth grade — Dylan Rohan, G; Jamil Rodriguez, F

OUTLOOK: Most of last season’s team is back and the Raiders hope to build on the lessons they learned. “We took some lumps last year, some growing pains,” Mollison said. “I think that experience gave (some players) an opportunity to get playing experience. I like our group.” Czarniecki and Dunlap could see an increased role. Dale has shown promise early on during practice. “We have good team cohesion,” Mollison said. “We have a bunch of guys that have spent some time playing together.”


COACH: Juan Maldonado, first year

LEAGUE/DIVISION: Valley League/1


LAST TOURNAMENT APPEARANCE: 2019, lost 70-64 to Commerce in WMass first round

PLAYERS: Seniors — Jovaughn Smith-Antuna, F; Brandon McKenna, F; Jesus Ibarra, F; Dereck Carattini, G; Aidan Consedine, G; Gabriel Fernandez, F; Juniors — Brian Christobal, G; William Cruz, G/F; Jeremiah Johnson, G; Sophomores — Jael Cabrera, G; Adrix Madera, G

OUTLOOK: Maldonado is expecting his team to play an exciting brand of basketball and be solid on defense. “To compete at a high level you have to be good at defense,” Maldonado said. Cruz showed that he can score in different ways. Smith is back and is expected to be the team’s motor. Cabrera has also shown promise. “He’s young, but he’s tough,” Maldonado said.

Hopkins Academy

COACH: Adam Ginsburg, second year

LEAGUE/DIVISION: Hampshire South/4


LAST TOURNAMENT APPEARANCE: 2018, lost to Pioneer Regional 59-53 in WMass finals

RETURNING STARTERS: Seniors — Nathan Walden, G; Ryan Antes, C; Juniors — Addison Phifer, F; Braeden Tudryn, F; Sophomore — Andrew Ciaglo, G

RETURNING PLAYERS: Senior — Erik Berg, F; Juniors — John Pipczynski, C; Josiah Beck, G; Jack Zina, C; Sophomore — Tyler Verdi, F

NEWCOMERS: Senior — Aidan Michalak, F; Junior — Jack Feltovic, F; Sophomore — Colin Earle, G

OUTLOOK: The Golden Hawks graduated one senior from last year’s team. Ciaglo returns after a stellar freshman campaign that saw him average 20.4 ppg and hit 74 3-pointers. It took some time for the players to grasp their roles early in Ginsburg’s first year, but the coach feels confident that everyone is bought-in and confident in their roles this season. “There is a lot of enthusiasm,” Ginsburg said.


COACH: Rey Harp, 16th year

LEAGUE/DIVISION: Valley League/2


LAST TOURNAMENT APPEARANCE: 2019, Lost 60-39 to Taconic in WMass semifinals

RETURNING STARTERS: Senior — Jake Brittain, G

RETURNING PLAYERS: Seniors — Treyvon James-Salus, G; Daniel Lanier, F; Antoine Watts, G; Juniors — Seth Finnessey, F; Justyn Rankins, G; Sophomore — Jacob Cancel, F

NEWCOMERS: Senior — Gavin Bullock, F; Juniors — Eli Abrams, C; Jasper Coles, C; Nigel Rice, F; Sophomores — Nate Kelleher-Mochak, G; Connor Tobin, G; Freshman — Max Lockett, F

OUTLOOK: The Blue Devils lost most of their scoring production and starting five to graduation. Brittain, Rankins and James-Salus will be looked to for leadership and scoring production.

Smith Academy

COACH: Matt Zerneri, 13th year

LEAGUE/DIVISION: Hampshire North/4


LAST TOURNAMENT APPEARANCE: 2015, lost 70-42 to Monson in WMass quarterfinals

RETURNING STARTERS: Senior — Colin Ferrara, G.

RETURNING PLAYERS: Senior — Daniel Cavanaugh, F; Junior — Nate Moynihan, F; Sophomore — Caden Guimond, G.

NEWCOMERS: Sophomores — Aiden Pedersen, C; JJ Kroll, F; Sam Dobson, G; Wyatt Jeffress, F; Freshmen — Griffin Smiarowski, F; Riley Intrator, G; Josh Gingras, F; Logan Graves, G; Leo Forrest, G; Ryan Belina, F

OUTLOOK: Moynihan will be looked to for scoring. Zerneri is eager to see how the depth could help this year’s team. “I think we can play 10 deep,” Zerneri said. “I’m really looking forward to playing a fun style.”

Smith Vocational

COACH: Akara Holder, 10th year

LEAGUE/DIVISION: Tri-County South/4


LAST TOURNAMENT APPEARANCE: 2019, lost 73-35 to Pioneer Regional in WMass first round

RETURNING STARTERS: Seniors — Carlos Rivera, F/C; Andrew Pierce, C; Elpedio Adorno, F

RETURNING PLAYERS: Senior — Jaxson Venne, G; Junior — Gabe Zink, G; Sophomore — Cole Boisvert, F

NEWCOMERS: Juniors — Jeremy Torres, G; Isaiah Ortiz, G; Matt Herron, F; Sophomores — Chandler Correia, G; EJ Welch, G; Seth Boissonault, F

OUTLOOK: Last season’s leading scorer, Colin Earle, is now at Hopkins Academy. The Vikings will have to lean on others to put points on the board. Venne and Ortiz will help in that department. Zink could see an increased role after working hard in the offseason. Pierce has a chance to be a lockdown interior defender for the team. “I think we are going to get some more blocked shots with him,” Holder said. “My goal for him is to get double doubles.”

South Hadley

COACH: Dave Dubuc, first year



LAST TOURNAMENT APPEARANCE: 2017, lost 58-51 to Taconic in WMass semifinals

RETURNING PLAYERS: Seniors — Hunter Carey, G; Tyrell Braithwaite, G; Brady Marion, G; Juniors — Austin Robinette, F; Kyle Johnson, G

NEWCOMERS: Senior — Nick Cirone, F

OUTLOOK: Dubuc takes over for Juan Maldonado, who took over the Holyoke program. Dubuc is going to lean on the team’s seniors for leadership and “setting the tone” during games and practice. Carey is set to be one of the team’s top performers. “He’s very good downhill,” Dubuc said. “Pound for pound he is a very strong.”

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