HARWICH – Even during normal times, high school basketball seasons quickly pass by for the players, coaches and officials involved. This year, considering all of the high school athletic seasons were shortened due to COVID-19, the basketball season seemed to go by especially fast.
It even seemed quick for the teams that played the longest, such as the Monomoy boys basketball squad, which advanced all the way to the last game of the year, the Cape and Islands League Lighthouse Tournament final.
“Seasons usually go by fast, but when you cut out five or six weeks from a season, it was just unbelievably quick,” Monomoy’s first-year boys basketball coach Dan Taylor said. “I think, if anything, I learned how important it is to really manage your time and focus on the really important things.”
Taylor and his team’s season ultimately ended in disappointment, as the second-seeded Sharks suffered a 71-42 loss to top-seeded Cape Cod Academy in the Lighthouse Tournament championship Friday evening in Osterville.
“It was a tough game,” said Taylor. “We came out a little flat, which we tend to do, but we hung tough in the first quarter. They just made a lot of shots. (Jaeden) Greenleaf had a good day and we got into foul trouble. The kids played their butts off, it just wasn’t our night.”
Friday’s loss marked the third time the Sharks fell to the Seahawks, who finished 16-1 behind Greenleaf, a junior who holds the distinction of being Cape Cod’s all-time leading scorer. Greenleaf was deep inside his bag of tricks against Monomoy, as he recorded 38 points, 12 rebounds and five assists for CCA.
As disappointing as the loss was for the Sharks, Taylor said he was really pleased with the results of his debut season. More importantly, however, the coach said he was thrilled the team’s seniors — Aidan Melton, Bradley Alexis, Miles Boyle and Sean Deveau — were able to create one last season’s worth of memories they’ll leave MRHS with.
“The biggest thing about this year was giving the seniors some extra memories to go out with,” Taylor said after the team finished 11-3. “That was kind of the main focus.”
Melton, who scored 12 points against CCA, and Alexis, who chipped in eight points, served as the backbones for the team for much of the year.
“Aidan and Bradley, you can’t replace guys like that,” Taylor said. “They’re both three-year varsity basketball players. Brad was an honorable mention last year and Aidan was an All-Star last year, and they’re both All Stars this year.
“What they brought to the table was pretty unique — Aidan for his scoring and Brad’s defensive playmaking — we’ll certainly miss them.”
He noted the athleticism that will be lost with the departures of Deveau and Boyle.
“Sean is an athletic high-character kid we’ll definitely miss and then Miles is another great athlete,” he said. “We’re definitely losing a lot of athleticism and a lot of experience.”
If there’s one thing that has Taylor optimistic about next year it’s that the Sharks will bring back an abundance of young talent that gained lots of experience this season. That starts with guards Michael Rocco and Dan Gould, both of whom will return as seniors next year.
Gould was recently named a league All-Star for the Lighthouse Division, while Rocco routinely took on ballhandling duties and led the offense at the point guard position.
“They’re going to have to shoulder a lot of the burden, but they’re two guys I think that’ll handle the challenge,” Taylor said.
Although the season-ending loss hurt for Melton and the rest of Monomoy’s seniors, the forward said they were happy to earn a win their final game on their home court. The Sharks rolled to a 62-20 victory over Rising Tide in the semifinals Feb. 24 to clinch a spot in the final against CCA.
Melton led the way with 26 points, 13 rebounds and five steals in that one.
“It was a great way to go out,” said Melton, a Harwich resident. “Everyone got quality minutes and contributed to the win, it was great to see everyone get an opportunity to go the game.”
Like the boys, the Monomoy girls saw their season end at CCA as they suffered a 64-56 loss to the Seahawks in the Lighthouse Tournament semifinals on Feb. 24.
“That was probably the best game we were involved in,” first-year Monomoy coach Bill O’Connell said after his team finished 9-4. “It was like a 1990s Detroit Pistons Bad Boys-type of game. There were a lot of fouls and obviously tons of offense with 120 points scored between the two teams. It really had everything — tons of offense but ridiculously good defense, too.”
Junior Caroline DiGiovanni and sophomore Melissa Velasquez were both named league All-Stars while seniors Maggie Dever and Leah Nash received honorable mention and league Sportsmanship Award honors, respectively.
DiGiovanni and Velasquez were also named co-captains for next year’s team, responsibilities they’ll hold alongside Lucy Mawn, a sophomore guard.
Email Brad Joyal at firstname.lastname@example.org