February Firestorm: Cape High School Postseason Hoop Tourney Brackets Announced

CAPE COD — Let the pandemonium commence.

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) announced today the postseason tournament brackets for South Divisions 1, 2, 3 and 4 in both boys’ and girls’ basketball with the first games of the tourney set to begin Monday (Feb. 23) through Thursday (Feb. 26). Cape Cod is well represented this year by both boys’ and girls’ teams and there’s an easy projection to make: some of the best high school basketball we’ve seen this year will occur this coming week, with some teams likely heading home sooner than expected, and some going further than perhaps they could have imagined.

Cape Cod Academy's Johnny Hatem is one of the region's top basketball athletes and his Seahawks will hit the road in tournament action this week against Bristol-Plymouth. Sean Walsh/Capecod.com Sports file photo

Cape Cod Academy’s Johnny Hatem is one of the region’s top basketball athletes and his Seahawks will hit the road in tournament action this week against Bristol-Plymouth.
Sean Walsh/Capecod.com Sports file photo

The Barnstable High boys’ team finished at 8-12 but captured a share of the Old Colony League championship title which qualified the Red Raiders for a postseason berth. Coached by second-year helmsman Chuck Kipnes, Barnstable will hit the road Monday (Feb. 23) to face a 12-7 West Roxbury Academy team at 6:30 pm at West Roxbury Academy. The Red Raiders are the only Division 1 program on the Cape. West Roxbury is seeded 13th and Barnstable is seeded 20th out of 20 teams, but with such strong athletes on its roster, don’t count the Red & White out just yet: they may, indeed, be making some noise. Together, Barnstable wins. Divided, call it a season.

Division 1 South Bracket Notes:
1. Mansfield (20-2) .909
2. Newton North (20-2) .909
3. Catholic Memorial (18-2) .900
4. Quincy (18-2) .900
5. Taunton (16-4) .800
6. Brockton (15-5) .750
7. Braintree (15-5) .750
8. Brookline (14-6) .700
9. Marshfield (12-6) .667
10. Plymouth South (13-7) .650
11. Newton South (13-7) .650
12. Needham (13-7) .650
13. West Roxbury Academy (12-7) .632
14. Wellesley (12-8) .600
15. Durfee (11-9) .550
16. New Bedford (11-9) .550
17. North Quincy (11-9) .550
18. King Philip (11-9) .550
19. Bridgewater-Raynham (10-10) .500
20. Barnstable (8-12) .400

Good luck to whomever faces the 19-1 Sandwich Blue Knights this postseason. Joey Downes and Company open up at home with Sharon (11-9) on Wednesday at 6:30 pm. Sean Walsh/Capecod.com Sports

Good luck to whomever faces the 19-1 Sandwich Blue Knights this postseason. Joey Downes and Company open up at home with Sharon (11-9) on Wednesday at 6:30 pm.
Sean Walsh/Capecod.com Sports

Second-year head coach Dennis Green’s Sandwich Blue Knights captured their second straight Atlantic Coast League championship title and were undefeated in the ACL at 8-0 and finished at 19-1 overall. The Knights are seeded #2 behind Westwood and earned a bye from the preliminary round. They will face 15th-seeded Sharon (11-9) at Sandwich High School on Wednesday (Feb. 25) at 6:30 pm. With the Cape’s top player Joey Downes and fellow co-captain Scotty Reels in the backcourt, as well as senior junkyard-dog Will Bennett, the Blue Knights are going to be tough to beat. Period. Senior co-captain Hank O’Brien has pretty much averaged a double-double per game this season while junior Andrew Galanek has proven to be every bit of all-star caliber as a team could hope for. Sharon might want to pack a light lunch for this road trip. We would not be surprised to see Sandwich, though, face 20-0 Westwood in the finals for the game of the season.

The 12-8 Nauset Warriors are seeded 11th and will hit the road Wednesday to face the 15-5 Whitman-Hanson team, the #6 seed in the bracket. But make no mistake, the Warriors are about as well-coached a team out there, have been in some super-intense, playoff-style overtime match-ups of late and have a deep well to cull from on the bench. Nauset can shoot and it can be tough inside but the Warriors can also throw about seven or eight different types of defensive schemes at an opponent, can do it on the fly and can do it well. Look for Nauset to go far if they come to play. With Ethan “Big Red” Ladue on the inside, Razz Green and Andrew Flynn on the perimeter and any number of other weapons, keep your eye on the black and gold. They can run.

Division 2 South Bracket Notes:
1. Westwood (20-0) 1.000
2. Sandwich (19-1) .950
3. Oliver Ames (17-3) .850
4. Dartmouth (15-5) .750
5. Bishop Feehan (15-5) .750
6. Whitman-Hanson (15-5) .750
7. Walpole (15-7) .682
8. Pembroke (14-7) .667
9. Foxborough (13-7) .650
10. Randolph (13-7) .650
11. Nauset (12-8) .600
12. Plymouth North (12-8) .600
13. Duxbury (12-8) .600
14. Scituate (12-8) .600
15. Sharon (11-9) .550
16. Tech. Boston Academy (10-9) .526
17. O’Bryant (10-9) .526

Bourne High's Connor Schaefer drills a jumper over Monomoy's Dalton Nickerson in last night's 62-48 Canalmen victory in Harwich. Sean Walsh/Capecod.com Sports

Bourne High’s Connor Schaefer and his Canalmen will face Archbishop Williams on Thursday at Bourne High at 6:30 pm in Division 3 South Boys’ Tourney action.
Sean Walsh/Capecod.com Sports

The Division 3 South boys’ bracket is fairly loaded with Cape talent, with the well-rounded, lightning quick Bourne team (16-4) seeded number 3 set to face 14th seed Archbishop Williams on Thursday night at 6:30 pm. Here’s the catch: Bourne gets to host this one and its an Indiana Hoosier-style gym that will be packed to the rafters in less than a week. Bring your earplugs folks, Bourne will not go down without a fight and has high aspirations to go deep into the postseason. With superior sophomore athlete Jacob Ashworth combining forces with the big man in the middle Connor Schaefer, not to fail to mention an entire string of speed-demon clones off the bench, any team facing the Canalmen will have its hands chock full.

The Vineyarders boast the only 7-foot center on the Cape this season in Mac Sashin and one cannot underestimate Tim Roberts’ domination inside. The boys from Oak Bluffs are seeded #5 and finished at 13-5 but if they bring their A-game against Westport Thursday (Feb. 26) this game will whip by quickly with someone taking a somber ferry ride home. The Vineyarders tip off at their place at 6:30 pm.

Number 17 seed Mashpee righted its ship mid-season and has some true talent in Gino Fellini and if he’s on, senior point guard Shawn Hendricks is no slouch with the occasional sleight of hand. The 10-12 Falcons will face Apponequet (16th seed) who finished at an even 10-10. Here’s the thing: Apponequet played in the brutally stacked South Coast Conference against the likes of Bourne and Old Rochester and Wareham and the Lakers are hosting this affair on Tuesday (Feb. 24) at 6:30 pm.

The Dennis-Yarmouth Dolphins have a coach who has played the best and coached some of the best and he’s no stranger to the drama and possibilities of the MIAA postseason. Rich Dalrymple’s about as keen a basketball mind as exists on this peninsula and if he can get his Dolphin cogs and wheels clicking together the Green & White will, indeed, be making some postseason noise even after a 7-9 campaign and a #18 seed. Senior captain LK Metz is about as pure a basketball player as they come in these parts and someone should check teammate Kenny Dorr’s kicks for springs because that young man can get up. Dennis-Yarmouth hits the road Tuesday to face 15th-seeded, 12-10 Dedham at their place. Tip-off: 6:30 pm.

Division 3 South Bracket Notes:
1. Old Rochester (17-3) .850
2. Norwell (16-4) .800
3. Bourne (16-4) .800
4. Wareham (17-5) .773
5. Martha’s Vineyard (13-5) .722
6. Norton (13-7) .650
7. Fairhaven (11-7) .611
8. Bishop Stang (12-8) .600
9. Hanover (12-8) .600
10. East Bridgewater (12-8) .600
11. Rockland (10-8) .556
12. Westport (10-8) .556
13. Abington (11-9) .550
14. Archbishop Williams (11-9) .550
15. Dedham (12-10) .545
16. Apponequet (10-10) .500
17. Mashpee (10-12) .455
18. Dennis-Yarmouth (7-9) .438

Falmouth Academy freshman Kendall Currence is ranked 2nd in the state of Massachusetts in points per game, averaging 19.9 and hopes to pace the Mariners to a postseason win Wednesday over Sacred Heart. Sean Walsh/Capecod.com sports

Falmouth Academy freshman Kendall Currence is ranked 2nd in the state of Massachusetts in points per game, averaging 19.9 and hopes to pace the Mariners to a postseason win Wednesday over Sacred Heart.
Sean Walsh/Capecod.com sports

The Nantucket Whalers have some true talent in Riley Fusaro and the big man beneath the rim, Kyle-Andrew Irving, finished at 16-4 and are seeded number 2. Coached by Chris “Willis” Ferreira who ran the girls’ team for 20 years on the island, Nantucket’s going to be tough to beat if they have their sea legs beneath them. The Whalers face the winner of Avon (7) and Blue Hills (10) on Thursday at Nantucket at 5:30 pm. Expect the entire island to show up for this one. It will be loud.

The St. John Paul Lions (14-6) are seeded sixth in Division 4 South and are well-coached by first-year man Dave Harrison who reminds one of Gene Hackman from Hoosiers, minus the anger-management issues. Harrison knows his stuff and he has a veritable boatload of talent to choose from, a true old-school lineup of some top cats like Jonny Warden, the tough Diego Meritus and the White Shadow himself Kevin Marsh. Marsh has had some pretty huge games this year for the Lions but with 6’5″ Ryan Barabe back in the saddle and freshman sharpshooter Devan Harrison having combined good days, it’s not going to be a picnic to face them. And that’s just a few examples of what the Lions possess. St. John Paul II faces Upper Cape Tech at 5:00 pm on Tuesday night in Hyannis (venue TBA). Tech is seeded 11th and finished at 10-10. Austin Smolinski and Rally Wheaton have helped the Rams get it done before. Let’s see what the Lions have in store for the visitors come tip-off.

Cape Cod Academy got the job done against Holbrook last week, ripping off another 70-plus point game thanks to two of the region’s best players, Johnny “The Love” Hatem and Henry Zezze. Zezze has played like a small version of Bill Walton for the Seahawks this season, turning in 19- and 20-rebound games like he was playing pick-up with somebody’s five-year old nephew. Hatem, when he’s on, is unconscious. Yes, Tom Ferreira’s Academy boys do have something, they just need to bring it to the table when they hit the road seeded 13th against host Bristol-Plymouth on Tuesday (Feb. 24). Cape Cod Academy finished at an even 10-10 and B-P went 15-5 and is seeded fourth. Maybe not the fairest of match-ups out of the gate, but do not underestimate the fire and brimstone the Academy has kept tethered most of the season. It’s there, the question remains, will it be there Tuesday in this do-or-die postseason mania. Secret weapons? We’ll go with Jack Massari on the perimeter any day if the Seahawks’ man with the golden gun has the ammo in the chamber. Tip-off: 6:30 pm.

Divison 4 South Bracket Notes:
1. Bishop Connolly (17-1) .944
2. Nantucket (16-4) .800
3. South Shore Voc. Tech. (15-5) .750
4. Bristol-Plymouth (15-5) .750
5. Cohasset (15-5) .750
6. Saint John Paul II (14-6) .700
7. Avon (13-7) .650
8. Cathedral (13-7) .650
9. South Shore Christian (11-7) .611
10. Blue Hill (11-9) .550
11. Upper Cape (10-10) .500
12. Old Colony (10-10) .500
13. Cape Cod Academy (10-10) .500
14. Southeastern Reg. (9-11) .450

The Falmouth High School girls basketball team finished 20-0 and is seeded number 2 just behind 21-1 Duxbury. The Clippers face Dartmouth Tuesday at 6:30 pm at home in the Division 2 South girls' tourney opener. Sean Walsh/capecod.com sports

The Falmouth High School girls basketball team finished 20-0 and is seeded number 2 just behind 21-1 Duxbury. The Clippers face Dartmouth Tuesday at 6:30 pm at home in the Division 2 South girls’ tourney opener.
Sean Walsh/capecod.com sports

This postseason bracket is a hoop-lovers’ dream, but just as importantly, it’s a Cape hoop fanatic’s jackpot. The undefeated Falmouth Clippers, coached by the esteemed and razor-sharp Bob Buscher, have picked apart opponent after opponent this winter like Patton went through North Africa. There’s virtually no limit to the number of weapons the Clippers have or the depth of their bench. Seeded number 2 behind Duxbury, don’t be surprised if the Clippers square up come the finals versus the Green Dragons. First, though, Falmouth has to deal with Dartmouth on Tuesday night at Falmouth High School at 6:30 pm. The Indians are seeded 15th and finished at 8-8. Let’s take it day-by-day, just like the Atlantic Coast League champions did to finish unbeaten on the regular season. Coach Buscher never likes his Clipper girls to get too far ahead of themselves.

Girls’ Division 2 South Bracket Notes:
1. Duxbury (21-1) 1.000
2. Falmouth (20-0) 1.000
3. Foxborough (18-2) .900
4. Westwood (18-2) .900
5. North Attleboro (15-5) .750
6. Notre Dame Academy (15-5) .750
7. Norwood (16-6) .727
8. Walpole (14-6) .700
9. Pembroke (14-6) .700
10. Hingham (13-7) .650
11. Plymouth North (12-8) .600
12. Oliver Ames (12-8) .600
13. O’Bryant (10-8) .556
14. Milton (10-10) .500
15. Dartmouth (8-8) .500

Girls’ Division 3 South Bracket Notes:
1. Abington (20-2) .909
2. Apponequet (16-2) .889
3. Rockland (16-4) .800
4. Martha’s Vineyard (16-4) .800
5. Hanover (14-5) .737
6. Carver (14-6) .700
7. Archbishop Williams (15-7) .682
8. Wareham (14-8) .636
9. Old Rochester (12-8) .600
10. Norwell (13-9)
11. Bishop Stang (11-9) .550
12. Ursuline (11-9) .550
13. Randolph (10-10) .500
14. Coyle & Cassidy (10-10) .500
15. Dedham (4-16) .200

Hayley (2) and Kaia Whiteley (11) sky over Barnstable center Carly Whiteside in a fast-paced overtime win for the Lions last night in Hyannis, 43-38. Sean Walsh/capecod.com sports

Hayley (2) and Kaia Whiteley (11) will help the St. John Paul II Lions welcome Diman Voke (13-5) on Wednesday at 6:30 pm.
Sean Walsh/capecod.com sports

Falmouth Academy might be the newest addition to the top-tier teams of Division 4 South, but in one season with such players as Eliza Van Voorhis and freshman phenom Kendall Currence, the Mariners have truly showed they can compete. Seeded number 4 and coached by basketball and fitness guru Gus Adams, the Falmouth Academy girls (17-3) are set to face 13th-seeded Sacred Heart (10-10) at home on Wednesday at 6:30 pm. The Mariners have already faced an defeated the girls from Kingston so barring a major implosion, expect more of the same.

The Upper Cape Tech girls got a nice preview of their Wednesday opponent Old Coloy Voke on Friday night and after a fairly close game early on ran away with it with a stifling full-court press. The 17-3 Rams had a mid-season coaching change with athletic director Mike Herndon taking over the reins, but have not missed a beat. Old Colony Voke is seeded 12th and finished at 10-10, but if the DiBona sisters of UC Tech have their way, along with Alexandra Hill and Dasia Green underneath and the scrappy Michaela McDuffy in the two-spot, forget about it. Send it in. From everything we’ve seen, Herndon’s sharpened the Rams’ weapons and they are ready to go.

St. John Paul II is seeded 8th after a 15-5 campaign and top to bottom they are strong and fast and tough. Yes, playing under first-year coach Mike Tierney may seem some nights like a visit to Parris Island, but these girls can play with the Whiteley sisters wrecking havoc beneath the boards, junior co-captain Tori Gibson in the middle and Jess Tierney and Olivia Bengston in the guard spots to start, it’s an all-star caliber squad that is battle-tested and should be rested come tip off at home on Wednesday at 6:30 pm against Diman Voke (13-5). Diman is seeded just below the Lions at number nine. This could be a good battle and if the Lions can stick together and move forward, then they may just get that chance to upset Greater New Bedford Voke down the road.

The Nantucket Whalers’ have considerable talent but finished at 10-10 this season and are seeded 14th. They’ve got a tough one on their plate with #3 seed West Bridgewater (18-2), plus the Whalers have to hit the road via the fast ferry and a bus ride to West Bridgewater. Tip-off is Wednesday (Feb. 25) at 4:00 pm.

Girls’ Division 4 South Bracket Notes:
1. Greater New Bedford (20-0) 1.000
2. Westport (17-1) .944
3. West Bridgewater (18-2) .889
4. Falmouth Academy (17-3) .850
5. Upper Cape Tech (17-3) .850
6. Holbrook (16-4) .800
7. Cathedral (13-4) .765
8. Saint John Paul II (15-5) .750
9. Diman (13-5) .722
10. Cohasset (13-7) .650
11. Bristol County (9-9) .500
12. Old Colony (10-10) .500
13. Sacred Heart (10-10) .500
14. Nantucket (10-10) .500

— Sean Walsh is the sports editor for www.capecod.com. His email is seanwalsh@ccb-media.com. Follow him on Twitter @coachwalshccbm

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