Boston High School: Dennis Clifford

BC men's hoop adds Hingham's Kilcullen

June, 2, 2011
Boston College yesterday announced the addition of three additional players to its incoming freshman class, including Hingham native Ryan Kilcullen.

After a career at St. Sebastian's that included an All-ISL nod in 2009-10, Kilcullen did a post-graduate season this past year at Philips Exeter (N.H.). There, he averaged 16 points and seven rebounds and earned NEPSAC All-New England Class A second team honors. He also played AAU for the Bay State Magic program.

Kilcullen will join Milton Academy center and Bridgewater native Dennis Clifford in the incoming recruiting class, which has been spotlighted nationally by the signing of ESPNU 100 forward Ryan Anderson out of Long Beach Poly (Calif.)

McDonald's All-American nominees announced

January, 25, 2011
Thirty-eight athletes playing at Massachusetts high schools have been nominated for this year's McDonald's All-American basketball games, and it is quite the interesting list. On the boys side, Notre Dame Prep has a whopping six players nominated; also of note, Newton North's Tevin Falzon gets a nomination despite not playing a minute all season due to a wrist injury.

Below is the complete list of nominees for the boys and girls games:


Pat Ackerman, Worcester Academy
Khem Birch, Notre Dame Prep
Joe Bramanti, Andover
Ryan Canty, Brimmer & May
Sam Cassell Jr., Notre Dame Prep
Dennis Clifford, Milton Academy
Pat Connaughton, St. John's Prep
Aaron Cosby, Northfield-Mt. Hermon
Myles Davis, Notre Dame Prep
Tevin Falzon, Newton North
Grandy Glaze, Notre Dame Prep
Jon Henault, St. Bernard's
Kyle Kager, Deerfield Academy
James Kennedy, Cushing Academy
Samir McDaniels, New Mission
Joe Mussachia, Manchester-Essex
Angel Nunez, Notre Dame Prep
Kachi Nzerem, New Mission
Andrej Pajovic, Wilbraham & Monson
Joe Sharkey, Northfield-Mt. Hermon
Chris Sherwood, Brimmer & May
Tyler Strange, Notre Dame Prep
Vincent Van Nes, Northfield-Mt. Hermon
Jimmy Zenevitch, Central Catholic


Nicole Beresford, Marshfield
Sophie Bikofsky, Newton South
Kendall Burton, Newton South
Blake Dietrick, Wellesley
Amber Dillon, Brookline
Tori Faieta, St. Mary's
Julie Frankian, Millbury
Natalie Gomez-Martinez, Andover
Brenna Goncalves, Coyle-Cassidy
Briana Hunt, Newton North
Mariah Lesure, Tabor Academy
Samantha Mangano, Winchester
Gabie Polce, Central Catholic
Clare Sullivan, Rivers

Stauskas, defense deliver for St. Mark's

January, 8, 2011
MILTON, Mass. -- With the second half barely three minutes old Saturday, the St. Mark’s boys basketball team was once again finding itself. One of its best players was on the bench in foul trouble. The other was on the floor, but with more whistles against him than baskets.

“We were a little bit lost,” coach David Lubick said, “what to do offensively.”

Defense seemed to work just fine.

Essentially down their best offensive options, the Lions tightened up to hold Milton Academy to two field goals in the first eight minutes of the second half, providing more than enough time to pull away for a 68-58 victory.

Nik Stauskas finished with 18 points and six rebounds to carry the offense for stretches, and guard Kevin Zabo added 15 points. More importantly, St. Mark’s (8-0) flipped a switch defensively to limit the touches of Boston College-bound Dennis Clifford (eight points, seven rebounds) and leave Milton Academy (7-3) with few options inside the 3-point arc.

It turned a 3-point halftime deficit into a comfortable 10-point lead St. Mark’s held for the majority of the second frame.

“The first thing is just pressuring the ball,” said forward Alex Murphy. “At this level, if you pressure the ball, a lot of guys have trouble handling that. We just have guys who are willing to play defense, willing to play hard all the time.”

St. Mark’s is loaded with athleticism and size, best combined in the forms of 7-foot Kaleb Tarczewski and the 6-foot-8 Murphy. Tarczewski finished with 14 points and eight rebounds, but he sat for nearly a five-minute stretch in the second half. Murphy chipped in eight points, but two early offensive fouls had him scoreless by halftime and thereafter, his attention turned to guarding Clifford with Tarczewski out.

That left the offense largely in the hands of Stauskas, who was 6-for-6 from the free throw line and hit two 3-pointers. But it left the game leaning on the Lions’ defense.

“We’re still trying to find our way because we’re a young team,” Tarczewski said. “We haven’t played too much together. We have a lot to learn. We’re starting to figure out how to play offensively. Points really aren’t a problem for us. But we’re trying to play better on defense. I don’t know if you saw a few times, but the weak side help wasn’t there. We gotta be more aggressive sometimes.”

That wasn’t a problem Saturday. Milton hit two 3-pointers early in the second half, but managed little else after going basket for basket with St. Mark’s in the first. It cut the deficit to five with 5:44 to play, but Tarczewski answered with a lay-up and St. Mark’s scored eight of the game’s next 10 points.

“I think we became too satisfied with what happened in the first (half),” Clifford said. “I think we [ticked] them off enough for them to come back harder. We didn’t match that at the beginning of the second half.”

Clifford, however, did his part. Paired against Tarczewski in the game’s most interesting match-up, he consistently forced the 7-footer baseline and under the hoop for difficult shots. He also finished with four blocks, and has clearly become Milton’s emotional leader.

“I don’t think he was just holding his own,” Milton coach Lamar Reddicks said of Clifford. “It should be like that. I look at it as a battle of two good big guys. I don’t think either one got the better of the other. It was just a really good battle.”


-- Like Clifford, Tarczewski and Murphy are Division-I bound, though their destinations haven’t been determined. Tarczewski remains the most raw, but has a enormous ceiling because of his fluidity for his size.

“He’s been focusing his intensity and realizing his greatest gift is his athleticism and ability to run down the floor,” Lubick said. “He really wasn’t a skilled player (before). He had trouble catching the ball and making moves last year. He can now catch the ball a little bit on the move.

“Most 7-foot kids, there’s some flaw there athletically. You can see it before they even start. But he’s got an incredible gift.”

Spending time this summer with former Celtics coach John Carroll has helped his offensive game immensely, Lubick said.

“It’s coming easier,” Tarczewski said. “It’s a day-to-day thing. I’ll take a step forward, then I’ll take a step back. I’m trying to improve my presence on the court. Today wasn’t an overly good game for me but everybody else stepped up.”

-- Lubick joked he wasn’t overly fond of Stauskas’ decision to drain a 3-pointer with the Lions up nine with under a minute to play. But he’s proven more than simply a complementary piece to his two star teammates.

“A nice release valve,” Lubick called him.

Preseason All-State Hoops squads

December, 8, 2010
High school basketball season is finally upon us, and to kick things off, we're unveiling our All-State teams for both boys and girls basketball. Without further ado...



First Team
G – Joe Bramanti, Sr., Andover
F – Pat Connaughton, Sr., St. John’s Prep
F – Richard Rodgers, Sr., St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
F – Jake Layman, Jr., King Philip
C – Jimmy Zenevitch, Sr., Central Catholic

Second Team
G – Victor Aytche, Sr., West Springfield
G – Steve Wynn, Jr., New Bedford
F – Samir McDaniels, Sr., New Mission
F – Akosa Maduegbanum, Jr., Charlestown
F – Noah Vonleh, Soph., Haverhill

Third Team
G – Zach Hurynowicz, Sr., Burlington
G – Jules Tavares, Sr., New Bedford
G – Jon Henault, Sr., St. Bernard’s
F – Shane Sims, Sr. Brockton
C – John Swords, Sr., Lincoln-Sudbury

Mass. All-NEPSAC (post-grads excluded)

First Team
G – Rene Castro, Soph., Beaver Country Day
G – Marcus Grant, Sr., Lawrence Academy
F – Alex Murphy, Jr., St. Mark’s
C – Kaleb Tarczewski, Jr., St. Mark’s
C – Dennis Clifford, Sr., Milton Academy

Second Team
G – Jaylen Brantley, Soph., Wilbraham & Monson
G – Canaan Severin, Jr., Worcester Academy
F – Nik Stauskas, Jr., St. Mark’s
F – Andrew Chrabascz, Soph., Cushing Academy
F – Evan Cummins, Jr., Northfield-Mt. Hermon


First Team
G – Blake Dietrick, Sr., Wellesley
G – Kendall Burton, Sr., Newton South
G – Nicole Boudreau, Jr., Andover
G – Khadijah Ellison, Sr., Burke
F – Mariah Lesure, Sr., Amherst

Second Team
G – Natalie Gomez-Martinez, Sr., Andover
G – Briana Hunt, Sr., Newton North
F – Elizabeth Belanger, Jr., Acton-Boxborough
F – Leigha Tacey, Sr., Foxborough
F – Melissa Miller, Sr., Central Catholic

Third Team
G – Blake Underhill, Jr., Ashland
G – Gabie Polce, Sr., Central Catholic
G – Sophie Bikofsky, Sr., Newton South
F – Shannon Holt, Jr., Wachusett
F – Amanda Harrington, Sr., Sutton