WESTPORT, Conn. – Greens Farms Academy’s boys basketball won 15 straight games heading into the postseason last winter. The consecutive losses in the first round of the Fairchester Athletic Association and the New England Prep School tournaments are providing the motivation for the Dragons as they enter a new season.
Greens Farms finished 18-5 last year, and was ranked fourth in their class among New England prep schools. The Dragons return four starters from that squad, and have one of the nation’s top centers in 6-foot, 9-inch Sean Obi. The Dragons have big goals this season, and are determined to reach them.
“We’re playing a little bit with a chip on our shoulder,’’ said Greenwich’s Hunter Eggers, a senior who scored a game-high 21 points in a season-opening 75-60 win over St. Luke’s on Monday. “We want the hardware at the end of the season, and we’d like to get both. Sometimes it’s good to be greedy.”
It is not going to be easy for the Dragons. They play an ambitious schedule, including the Holiday Hoops Tournament in Boston later this month and a tournament in Milton, Mass., in February. The biggest challenge, though, will be fending off teams eager to avenge last season losses. Greens Farms went 11-3 in league play last season and finished second.
“Now we’re the old team,’’ coach Doug Scott said. “We’re not sneaking up on anyone. On our practice jerseys, we have targets on our backs. We’re going to get everyone’s good game, so we’re going to see how we can handle that.”
Obi, who committed last month to play in college at Rice University, is the centerpiece to the Dragons’ plans. He averaged 18.2 points and 20.0 rebounds per game last season, finishing second in the nation in the latter category. Obi scored 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds against St. Luke’s, his 46th straight game with double figure points and rebounds.
Eggers and Matt Tate, both of Greenwich, and Darien’s Pat Ryan also started last year for Greens Farms. Ryan scored 15 points in the season-opener while Tate was the team’s top assist man last year. Stamford’s Zach Baines, a sophomore, also moves to a starting role this year.
Tremont Waters, an eighth-grader, is a star in the making. Van Barnet, Andrew Chase and Scott Deutsch come off the bench for the Dragons, who don’t have as deep a bench as they did a year ago. But with the quality of their starting unit, that may not be as critical.
“We’re hustling hard, we run all the time at practice,’’ Eggers said. “Coach is killing us. We don’t have as big a bench, but with the conditioning we have, we can stay in the game longer. And coach is doing a good job of using everybody.”
The Dragons looked impressive in a fall league, finishing 8-0 against mostly Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference teams. They know they can go a long way again this year. “Those playoff losses were great medicine,’’ Scott said. “We know we can have another good season.”
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