Boston High School: Ben Ferris

New England Roundup: Vermont

April, 6, 2011
4/06/11
1:44
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Rice Memorial guard Reagan Jewell and Essex guard Ben Ferris have been selected as Vermont’s Miss Basketball and Mr. Basketball, respectively, for the 2010-11 season.

VermontThe awards, which are given to the top boys and girls player in the state, are determined by the Burlington Free Press.

Jewell helped Rice win last season’s Division I championship by beating Champlain Valley Union 45-36 in the title game. The Green Knights completed the season with a 19-5 record and won the program’s first state championship since 2001.

Jewell led Rice in scoring (14 points per game), rebounds (10.0), assists (4.2), steals (3.0) and blocked shots (3.0).

She will continue her basketball career at Holy Family University, a Division II school in Philadelphia.

Ferris helped Essex win the 2009-10 Division I title. He was the only returning starter from that team and averaged 23.4 points, 10.2 rebounds and 6.5 assists per contest last season.

Essex finished the season with an 11-10 record after it won eight of its last 11 games. The Hornets were one of two teams to defeat Division I champion Rice during the regular season.

Ferris became the fifth player in the program’s history to score more than 1,000 career points in high school. He will play college basketball for Division III Tufts University.

Ferris was also selected as Vermont’s Gatorade Player of the Year following the 2010-11 season.

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New England Roundup: Vermont

March, 25, 2011
3/25/11
5:00
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It’s been quite a school year for Rice Memorial seniors Christian McCormick and Austin Robinson.

VermontMcCormick and Robinson helped Rice win the Division II football championship last fall, and each player tossed in a game-high 19 points as Rice won the Division I boys basketball championship Saturday by beating Rutland 55-49 at the University of Vermont’s Patrick Gymnasium.

“So far it’s been a fun year,’ McCormick said. “We’ll see what happens during baseball season.”

Robinson scored seven of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, when Rice outscored Rutland 22-12.

“Never thought I’d win two titles in my senior year,” Robinson said. “Might have to play a spring sport now.”

The victory handed Rice (22-2) its 12th title overall, and third in the last five years.

Alex Snyder, a 6-foot-7 center, led Rutland with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Tre Hysell added 10 points for Rutland (20-3), which was trying to win its first state championship since 1967.

Rutland outscored Rice 19-10 in the third quarter and led 36-33 entering the fourth, but lost to Rice in the postseason for the third consecutive year. Rice beat Rutland 61-58 in overtime during the regular season.

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The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, today announced Pat Connaughton of St. John's Preparatory School as its 2010-11 Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Basketball Player of the Year. Connaughton is the first Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Basketball Player of the Year to be chosen from St. John's Preparatory School.

The 6-foot-5, 205-pound senior guard led the Eagles to a 24-1 record and a berth in the Division 1 state championship game, scheduled for March 19. Entering the state final, Connaughton is averaging 22.0 points, 16.6 rebounds and 7.9 assists per game. A member of the 2010 Boston Herald Dream Team and the Boston Globe Super Team, he is a three-time Catholic Conference All-Star and a two-time league MVP.

Connaughton has maintained a 3.53 weighted GPA in the classroom. A standout pitcher for the St. John’s Prep baseball team and an accomplished Latin scholar, he has volunteered locally as a youth basketball coach and elementary school tutor and has donated his time at a day care center.

“Pat’s a very physical player, very strong,” said Michael Crotty, Connaughton’s AAU coach with the Middlesex Magic. “He can get to the hoop, slash and finish above the rim. He’s as good a 6-foot-5 rebounder as you will see in the country. When you need a big one, he gets it.”

Connaughton has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at the University of Notre Dame this fall. He also intends to play baseball.

Connaughton joins recent Gatorade Massachusetts Boys Basketball Players of the Year Nate Lubick (2008-09 & 2009-10, St. Mark's School) and Stevie Mejia (2007-08, Lawrence Academy), among the state’s list of former award winners.

Below are the winners from the five other New England states:

CONNECTICUT: ANDRE DRUMMOND, ST. THOMAS MORE

The 6-foot-10, 240-pound senior power forward and center led the Chancellors to a 30-7 record and the National Preparatory School Championship this past season, earning postseason MVP honors in the process. Drummond averaged 15 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and four blocks while shooting 64 percent from the floor. He scored 19 points in the title-clinching win over Notre Dame Prep.

Drummond has maintained a B average in the classroom at St. Thomas More. A campus tour guide and residence assistant at his school, he has volunteered locally on behalf of food and clothing drives for the homeless and as part of a fundraising campaign to benefit cancer research.

Drummond intends to complete a year of post-graduate study, beginning this fall.

Drummond joins recent Gatorade Connecticut Boys Basketball Players of the Year Brandon Sherrod (2009-10, Stratford), Greg DeSantis (2008-09, Notre Dame Catholic), and Allan Chaney (2007-08, New London), among the state’s list of former award winners.

RHODE ISLAND: MICHAEL CARTER-WILLIAMS, ST. ANDREW'S

The 6-foot-5, 175-pound senior guard averaged 23.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.0 steals this past season, leading the Saints (25-9) to the New England Prep School Athletic Council Class B semifinals. The returning Gatorade Rhode Island Boys Basketball Player of the Year, Carter-Williams is the first Rhode Island player selected to play in the McDonald’s All-American Game. A two-time NEPSAC First Team All-Conference honoree, he concluded his prep basketball career with 2,260 points.

Carter-Williams has maintained a 3.06 GPA in the classroom. The lead in his school’s stage production of “Aladdin,” he has volunteered locally as a youth football and basketball coach and as a peer tutor.

Carter-Williams has signed a National Letter of Intent to play basketball on scholarship at Syracuse University this fall.

Carter-Williams joins recent Gatorade Rhode Island Boys Basketball Players of the Year Jay Jeannotte (2008-09, Narragansett) and Ashton Watkins (2007-08, Classical), among the state’s list of former award winners.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: CONNOR GREEN, BISHOP GUERTIN

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound senior forward has led the Cardinals to a 19-2 record and a berth in the Division I state final against Trinity High, scheduled for March 19. Green is averaging 20.6 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game while shooting 77 percent from the free throw line. A 2011 New Hampshire Mr. Basketball finalist, he has recorded a double-double in 20 of Bishop Guertin’s 21 games this season.

Green has maintained a 3.30 GPA in the classroom. He has volunteered locally as a peer tutor and on behalf of multiple community service initiatives in association with his church youth group.

“Connor Green has developed into a complete player,” said Bishop Guertin High Head Coach Jim Migneault. “Each game he is just as focused on grabbing rebounds as he is about scoring points. He has matured so much as a player this season.”

Green intends to complete a year of post-graduate study, beginning this fall.

Green joins recent Gatorade New Hampshire Boys Basketball Players of the Year Melvin Ejim (2009-10, Brewster), Alex Oriakhi (2008-09, Tilton), and Emmanuel Negedu (2007-08, Brewster), among the state’s list of former award winners.

MAINE: TYLER MCFARLAND, CAMDEN HILLS REGIONAL

The 6-foot-6, 220-pound senior forward led the Windjammers to a 23-0 record and the Class B state championship this past season. McFarland recorded 24 points and 11 rebounds in the 68-59, state title-clinching victory against Cape Elizabeth High, capturing All-Tournament Most Valuable Player honors in the process. The state’s Mr. Basketball award-winner and a Maine McDonald’s Senior All-Star Game selection, he averaged 24.1 points, 11.4 rebounds, 2.8 steals, 2.0 assists and 1.8 blocks per game. McFarland shot 55 percent from the field and 77 percent from the free-throw line. The three-time Class B Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Player of the Year, he also led Camden Hills to the 2009 Class B state title as a sophomore.

McFarland has maintained an A-minus average in the classroom and serves as a member of Camden Hills High’s student and captains’ councils. The recipient of the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership and Maine Principals Association’s awards for outstanding citizenship, he has also donated his time as part of his school’s peer-mentoring program and as a youth basketball instructor.

“The thing that distinguishes Tyler McFarland is his intense desire to not only be the best player he can be, but how much he enjoys helping his teammates become the best players they can be,” said Camden Hills High Head Coach Jeff Hart. “He will do whatever it takes for his team to win. If we need him to score 40, then he’ll score 45. If we need 20 rebounds, he’ll go get 25. He wants to be a role model for all the young people not only in our community, but wherever he ends up going to college. Tyler is the most impressive young man who I have ever met in 29 years of coaching here at Camden Hills High.”

McFarland remains undecided upon a collegiate destination.

McFarland joins recent Gatorade Maine Boys Basketball Players of the Year Stefano Mancini (2009-10, Falmouth), Thomas Knight (2008-09, Dirigo), and Ryan Martin (2007-08, Maranacook Community), among the state’s list of former award winners.

VERMONT: BEN FERRIS, ESSEX

The 6-foot-3 senior guard averaged 23.4 points, 10.2 rebounds and 6.5 assists this past season, leading the Hornets to the Division I state tournament. A member of the All-State team as a junior, Ferris was named to the Vermont Basketball Coaches Association Dream Dozen in 2011. He is also a two-time First Team All-Metro selection.

Ferris has maintained an A average in the classroom. He has volunteered locally as a mentor for elementary school children.

Ferris will attend Tufts University this fall, where he will play basketball.

Ferris joins recent Gatorade Vermont Boys Basketball Players of the Year Joe O'Shea (2009-10, Burlington), Clancy Rugg (2008-09, Burlington), and Matt Joslin (2007-08, North Country Union), among the state’s list of former award winners.

New England Roundup: Vermont

January, 26, 2011
1/26/11
5:01
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Paul Pecor guided the Rice Memorial boys basketball team to two Division I championships in his first seven seasons as the program’s head coach, so it made headlines when he called the 2010-11 Rice team the most talented group he’s ever coached.

VermontThen Rice made headlines again when it lost to an 0-2 Mount Mansfield team that failed to score more than 47 points in either of its first two games.

Pecor said that loss may have been a good thing, and it’s hard to argue otherwise. Since then the Green Knights have won seven games in a row to raise their record to 8-1. Rice’s latest victory came Tuesday night, when it avenged its earlier loss to Mount Mansfield, 55-34.

“Everybody was freaking out and saying we were overrated after that loss, but you know what? It helped us. It refocused us,” Pecor said. “I’m literally watching us get better as we go.”

That’s not good news for other Division I teams. Rice returned four starters from a team that won nine games last season: sophomore forward Marcus Willingham, sophomore guard Casey Tipson, junior forward Jake Maynard and junior forward Tim Rensch. Willingham, Tipson and Rensch are each averaging more than 11 points per game.

The Green Knights also added guard Austin Robinson, a transfer from Burlington High School, to the mix. Robinson is averaging 14.1 points per contest.

Pecor said the most indispensible player on the roster isn’t a starter, however. It’s senior Christian McCormick, a senior captain who agreed to come off the bench.

McCormick, a guard, was the starting quarterback for the Rice football team, which won the 2010 Division II championship. He was named the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year for football.

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New England Roundup: Vermont

January, 1, 2011
1/01/11
2:10
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The Vermont boys' high school hockey season isn’t even three weeks old, but Champlain Valley Union may have already established itself as the team to beat in Division I.

VermontCVU raised its record to 5-0 by defeating Rice 8-1 Thursday night.

“From what I’ve read it does seem like we have that bulls-eye on us,” first-year CVU coach Mike Murray said. “We’re an explosive club and we’re eight deep in defensemen. That gets overshadowed by our offense.”

Forward Robbie Dobrowksi is an early favorite to be named Vermont’s Mr. Hockey. Dobrowski, who led team with 31 goals and 22 assists last season, collected nine points in CVU’s first two games – victories over Waterville (Maine) and Scarborough (Maine). He had three goals and two assists in the 6-0 triumph over Waterville, and added a goal and three assists in the 9-2 victory over Scarborough.

Dobrowski, who has 20 points in five games, has been a starter since he was a freshman.

“He’s a quick skater,” Murray said. “He’s got a very accurate shot and he sees the ice well. This year he’s figured out that he has to play at the other end of the ice as well.

“He’s also a 4.0 student. I know Middlebury is very interested in him.”

CVU’s Kyle Logan and Derek Goodwin are also among the top offensive players in the state. Goodwin, Logan and Dobrowski each scored twice in Thursday’s victory over Rice.

Goodwin has 10 goals through five games.

Eric MacLean is the team’s only senior defenseman. If there’s a question mark it’s in goal, where junior Jason O’Brien is a first-year starter.

“We’ll probably go where he takes us,” Murray said.

CVU will enter the new year as one of four unbeaten teams in Division I. St. Albans, Essex and Rutland are the others.

Although it was the No. 7 seed last season, CVU advanced to the Division I championship game, where where its improbable run ended with a 4-1 loss to Spaulding. The Redhawks, who won the Division I state title in 2009, have reached the Division I championship game in each of the last three seasons.

BOYS BASKETBALL: ZABILI CARRIES BURLINGTON

Bodel Zabili scored nine of his team-high 18 points in the fourth quarter to lead Burlington to a 51-46 victory over Essex last Thursday in a matchup of programs that met in the 2010 Division I championship game.

Curtis Rodgers added 12 points for Burlington.

Senior guard Ben Farris tossed in a game-high 22 for Essex, which beat Burlington 44-37 to win last season’s title. Essex was within a point, 45-44, after Farris made back-to-back 3-pointers, but Burlington hung pulled away after Farris was called for an intentional foul with 29 seconds to play.

In other action, Rutland made 9 of 11 free throw attempts in the fourth quarter and improved its record to 6-0 by defeating Spaulding, 51-41, in the Fran Pinard Holiday Tournament’s championship game.

Alex Snyder led the Rutland offense with 19 points. Troy Davine added 17.

Rutland overcame an eight-point halftime deficit to beat Mount Mansfield 58-55 in the tournament’s opening round. Rutland has won the Pinard Tournament in each of the last four years.

GIRLS BASKETBALL: STOWE’S SEASON ENDS EARLY

After one game, the Stowe administration had seen enough and brought a premature end to the school’s girls basketball season.

After a meeting that included parents, players and Stowe athletic director Joanna Graves, the decision was made to cancel the remainder of the 2010-11 season because of lack of players.

Stowe had five players eligible for games scheduled before the holiday break, and one of those five players was nursing an injured knee.

FOOTBALL: HILL REPLACES PERRY

Jim Hill has been in charge of the Otter Valley football team’s defense for the past nine seasons, but he’ll have a lot more to worry about this fall.

Hill, 34, was recently named Otter Valley’s head coach. He replaces Dennis Perry, who retired after serving as the program’s head coach for six seasons.

Hill was a captain and an all-state linebacker at Rutland. He graduated from high school in 1994 and played football for one season at Dean Junior College.
Hill will remain in his position as Otter Valley’s boys lacrosse coach.

Roger Brown has covered high school sports in New England since 1992. He currently covers high school and college football in the Northeast for ESPN/Scouts Inc.

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