Boston High School: Reggie Hobbs

Recap: Lexington 75, No. 24 Belmont 68

February, 11, 2014
Feb 11
10:14
PM ET
LEXINGTON, Mass. – In their first meeting this season, the Belmont boys' basketball team raced out to an early lead, then held off a furious Lexington comeback attempt.

On Tuesday night, the Minutemen repaid the favor, scoring the first 15 points of the game en route to a 75-68 win over the visiting Marauders.

“The last time we played them, we lost by six,” said senior Hugh O’Neil. “It was close, and it had been back and forth, so we knew it was important to get out early on them because they did it to us the first time. At practice yesterday, we talked about really taking it to them and proving to them that we are who are, and not who we were.”

Who they were the last time the teams battled was a scuffling 4-8 squad trying to find their basketball identity. Rattling off seven straight wins, and eight in nine games, it’s become very clear who the Minutemen are now.

“Lexington played like a team who was playing for something beyond just tonight,” said Belmont coach Adam Pritchard. “We played like a team whose season ended tonight. That’s the way teams play when they don’t have a postseason to go to. They came to play and we didn’t.”

It was O’Neil who kicked off the early scoring barrage, accounting for the 13 points of the game himself. He finished the first quarter with 19 on the way to a 35 point showing in the win for the Minutemen (12-9).

“He has great length and he has a nice high release,” said Lexington coach Reggie Hobbs. “At 6-6, he can be a little bit of a mismatch problem and he was able to exploit that tonight. He took a lot of good shots. He’s done that in stretches for us before, scoring in bunches. He had 18 points in the second half of a win over Woburn earlier this year, so it’s not a surprise when he does something like that.”

Lexington finished the first quarter with a 17-point lead, built on that in the second quarter and led by as much as 25 midway through the third.

Belmont (14-4), the Middlesex League champ, charged back into things late in the third and early in the fourth – mostly behind the scoring ability of Adam Kleckner, who had 18 points and 10 rebounds in the loss. With just under three minutes to go, the Marauders slashed the lead to just five points.

“We kept our composure,” said Hobbs. “They’re obviously a great team, they won our league. We knew they were going to make a run – they have too many weapons not to. For a young group, I thought it was good for us to be in that situation and not give in.”

O’Neil, who also had 11 boards in the win, took matters into his own hands to slow the comeback, netting eight points in the fourth quarter. With the lead down to five, he connected on his third 3-pointer of the night to push the lead back to eight. A defensive stop and an outlet pass to David Barner quickly made it a 10-point lead, effectively ending any comeback hopes for Belmont.

“Hugh did everything for us tonight,” said Hobbs. “We ask him to do a lot of different things – defend, handle the ball a bit against pressure, make good decisions. That’s what you want from your senior captain.”

Energy Boost: With just over 3:30 remaining in the third quarter and Lexington enjoying a 23 point lead, an errant in-bounds pass from the baseline by the Marauders bounced back behind half court and headed for the other end of the floor.

As the nearest Belmont player closed in on the ball, Barner went racing up the floor toward the ball. He dove across the floor, screeching as he caught up to the basketball. In one motion he got his hand on the ball, redirected it off the Belmont player’s leg and out of bounds, giving Lexington the ball under their hoop.

“He never stops,” said O’Neil. “It’s incredible. He’s always up and down the floor. He thrives the most in transition, but even on defense he’s always flying up the court.”

The minutemen added two points on the in-bounds play to push the lead to 25.

“High energy. He really has high energy,” said Hobbs. “We talk about trying to win the quarter. I yell ‘next’ a lot to get them to play the next play and when you make a mistake, can you transition and make the next play. I yelled it in the third and fourth quarter a lot tonight, and that effort right there was a good job of it. He plays so hard and we feed off of his effort and his emotion.”

Barner kept that motor running the whole game, pouring in 23 points to go with eight steals, six assists, four rebounds and two blocks.

The junior guard teamed with sophomore Glenn Smith to form an impressive backcourt on both ends of the floor. Especially effective on the defensive end, the duo combined on 14 steals in the win.

“We talked a lot about ball pressure and we predicate our defense on what my assistant calls unrelenting ball pressure,” said Hobbs. “What we work on with them is not gambling, because they’re good enough to play defense without doing so. It’s a tremendous advantage for us to have.”

Good Sports: Lexington 49, A-B 48

January, 25, 2014
Jan 25
8:41
PM ET
BOSTON -- It became very clear on Saturday afternoon at TD Garden during the Good Sports 2014 Invitational that the Lexington Minutemen should never be counted out.

They proved it first by surging back from a 15-point first half deficit. After climbing back into the contest, things seemed to be slipping away for the Minutemen again, as Acton-Boxborough took a four-point lead with just over a minute to go.

As the clock ticked under a minute, Hugh O’Neil made sure Lexington would once again beat the long odds as he slid beyond the three-point line and connected on his third trey of the night to cut the lead to just one point, setting up the Minutemen’s eventual 49-48 win over the Colonials.

“My brother set me an incredible screen and I came off it strong, saw the opening and I took it,” said O’Neil. “I’m a captain, that’s my job.”

Added Lexington coach Reggie Hobbs: “That’s a huge shot, and that’s a senior captain stepping up in a big way.”

After forcing a defensive turnover, Lexington took the lead for good when fellow senior captain James Laurenzi grabbed an offensive rebound and followed with a put-back lay-in for the go-ahead score.

A-B wasn’t able to get their designed offensive play off, Lexington’s pressure caused a loose ball, and the Minutemen were able to secure the ball and the improbable come from behind win at the same time.

In the early going it was all A-B, which used a 16-1 near the end of the first and into the second to open up an impressive 24-9 lead. The Colonials offense went completely cold though after the first, making just seven field goals in the second, third and fourth quarters combined.

Michael Mundowa had 12 of his 15 points before halftime for A-B, while Ryan Graziano netted nine of his 14 before the break. Only Nnamdi Udokwu had more than one second half field in the loss as he poured in all eight of his points from the beginning of the third quarter on.

“We tend to be an up-and-down team scoring, and sometimes we just struggle scoring for long amounts of time,” said A-B coach Rick Kilpatrick. “They did a good job pressuring the ball and taking some of our options away. We had some turnovers. They took a three or four point lead in the second half, and I was happy with how responded and took a lead of our own again, but they just made a few plays down the stretch than we did.”

Led by O’Neil’s game-high 15 points, his brother Harry’s 10 and David Barner’s nine were able to slowly work back into the game -- closing the gap more quickly after the half when the trio combined on 21 of their points.

Many things had to break right for Lexington to forge it’s comeback, but leaving TD Garden with a win was hardly the product of luck, but rather never giving in, especially on the defensive end.

Never was that more evident than when Mundowa picked off a pass at midcourt with just over three minutes to play. As he went in for what looked to be an easy lay-up, Barner chased him down from behind and the 5-foot-11 guard blocked the shot off the backboard to prevent the easy score.

When the Colonials grabbed an offensive rebound, Darius Mathis -- who was racing behind the fast break -- took from just inside the free throw line and swatted the ball out of bounds, allowing Lexington to set up in the defensive zone, eventually forcing a turnover.

“That was an energy play, and we talked about that a lot at halftime,” said Hobbs. “One thing we really stressed was transition defense, and that’s the epitome of it. (David) gets that block, then Darius comes down and follows with another block, and it’s just guys running the floor and sprinting the floor. Absolutely love to see them playing like that.”

Lexington improved to to 6-8 with the win, while A-B fell to 6-4.

ESPNBoston's MIAA All-State Boys Basketball Team

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
4:59
PM ET
THE SUPER TEAM

All-StateGuard – Aaron Calixte, Jr., Stoughton
An exceptional athlete gifted with a tenacious motor, and one of the state's most dynamic scorers, the 5-foot-11 Calixte was the driving force behind the Black Knight's run to the Division 2 Eastern Mass. final, and asserted himself as the state's premier point guard. For his junior season, he averaged 19 points and six assists, and was named a Hockomock League All-Star. Calixte also stands out on the gridiron for the Black Knights' football squad.

All-StateGuard – Tyrese Hoxter, Jr., Charlestown
After playing in the shadows of former All-Stater Akosa Maduegbunam a year ago, the 6-foot-3 Hoxter thoroughly burst onto the scene and had a monster campaign for the Townies, leading them to the TD Garden floor for the first time since 2005 before bowing out to Brockton in the Division 1 Eastern Mass. Final. This season he averaged 19 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals.

All-StateGuard – Tyrell Springer, Sr., Springfield Central
After falling short of a state title two seasons ago with New Leadership, the 6-foot-2 Springer led Central to the DCU Center floor this season where the Golden Eagles captured their first Division 1 state title since 1991. The centerpiece of one of the state's most athletic lineups, Springer averaged 15.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, seven assists and 7.3 steals. He is undecided on college plans.

All-StateForward – Jake Layman, Sr., King Philip
The 6-foot-8 Layman was one of the most dominant players in Massachusetts this season, with the ability to score both inside and out, as the Warriors set a school single-season record for wins (18) before suffering a surprise upset in the Division 2 South quarterfinals. In 21 games, he averaged 26.5 points, 16 rebounds, 5.8 blocks, 3.2 assists and three steals. He closes his career with with 1,752 points, 1,098 rebounds and 391 blocks, giving him career averages of 20.6 points, 12.9 rebounds, 4.6 blocks, 2.8 steals and 2.6 assists. This is his second appearance on the Super Team; he also captured the Hockomock League's MVP for the second straight season. Layman, who was named ESPN Boston's "Mr. Basketball" earlier this week, is ranked the nation's No. 62 overall senior by ESPN, and will continue his career next season at the University of Maryland.

All-StateCenter – Sayvonn Houston, Sr., Brockton
A nightly double-double machine, Houston established himself as one of the state's most dominant true centers, making life difficult down low as the Boxers went 23-3 and made their first Division 1 state final appearance since 1985. He saved his biggest performances for the biggest stages, such as his 20-20 night in the Division 1 South semifinals, or his 22-point, 13-rebound effort in Brockton's overtime win over Charlestown in the Division 1 Eastern Mass. Final at TD Garden. Houston is undecided on college plans.

BEST OF THE REST

All-StateJalen Adams, Soph. G, Melrose
Quickly rising as one of the Bay State's most complete scoring guards, the 6-foot-1 Adams took home Middlesex League MVP honors after averaging 21 points per game. He led the Red Raiders to an 18-2 regular season record, before they fell to state runner-up Brighton in the Division 2 North semifinals. Adams has already declared that he will be transferring to Wilbraham & Monson Academy next season, where he will reclassify to the Class of 2015.

All-StateJaylen Blakely, Jr. G, Brockton
Like Houston, the 5-foot-11 Blakely saved some of his best performances for the crunch time in the playoffs, such as his eight-assist performance in the Boxers' win over Catholic Memorial. Blakely distributed evenly to Brockton's talented shooters and post players, as they went 23-3 and reached their first state final appearance since 1985.

All-StateMatt Droney, Sr. F, Catholic Memorial
A terrific shooter, the 6-foot-4 Droney was named the Catholic Conference's MVP after a season of averaging 20.7 points, six assists and five rebounds per game. He also became the eighth player in school history to surpass 1,000 points earlier this season. The Canton resident will be doing a post-graduate season next year at the Taft School in Connecticut.

All-StateDarien Fernandez, Jr. G, Wareham
The 5-foot-7 waterbug demonstrated a tenacious motor in leading the Vikings to their second Division 3 Eastern Mass. Final appearance in three seasons. Wareham was the state's last unbeaten before losing to state champion Danvers. For the season, Fernandez averaged 24 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds and five steals, and recorded three triple-doubles. He needs just 45 points next season to reach 1,000 for his career.

All-StateRony Fernandez, Sr. G, Charlestown
Fernandez was one of the most outstanding point guards of the MIAA tournament, leading the Townies to a thrilling win over Lexington in the Division 1 North final before bowing out to state runner-up Brockton in the Eastern Mass. Finals. For the season he averaged 16 points and seven assists. He is undecided on college plans, but is currently fielding interest from Division 1 programs such as Maine, Northeastern and Hartford.

All-StateJoey Glynn, Sr. F, Cardinal Spellman
The 6-foot-5 Abington resident did it all this season for the Cardinals, averaging a double-double (18.5 points, 12 rebounds, three steals, 2.2 blocks) as they lost to Eastern Mass. runner-up Wareham in the Division 3 South semifinals. For his career, Glynn scored 1,425 points. He will continue his career next season at Bentley University.

All-StateSteve Haladyna, Sr. G/F, St. John’s Prep
One of two repeat All-Staters, the 6-foot-3 Haladyna was unable to lead the Eagles deep in their Division 1 state title defense, but he still leaves the Danvers campus as one of its most decorated basketball stars. He averaged 22.4 points and 9.5 rebounds per game, both team highs, and for his career he finishes with 1,392 points -- second all-time on Prep's scoring list. The South Hamilton resident will continue his career next season at Tufts University.

All-StateMalik James, Soph. G, Brighton
The 6-foot-1 James elevated his game when the Bengals needed it most, as they made their first state final appearance in school history, falling to Mahar in the Division 2 title game. For the season, James averaged 18.1 points, 8.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds as the Bengals won their first-ever Eastern Mass. title.

All-StateJameilen Jones, Jr. G, BC High
BC High's season came to an unexpected halt as the Eagles loss in the first round of the Division 1 South tournament, but the 6-foot-2 Jones has established himself as one of Eastern Mass.'s premier two-way players. For the season, he averaged 17 points and eight rebounds as the Eagles went 15-6.

All-StateZach Karalis, Sr. G, North Andover
The 6-foot-1 Karalis was one of the driving forces for the Scarlet Knights, who went 21-2 and reached the playoffs an unprecedented 47th straight time. For the season he averaged 15.9 points and shot 46 percent from the field, to go along with 6.5 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.8 steals. Karalis will continue his career next season at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

All-StateKevin LaFrancis, Sr. C, Acton-Boxborough
After a stellar season in leading the 21-2 Colonials to a Division 1 North semifinal appearance, the 6-foot-6 LaFrancis was named the Dual County League's MVP. He averaged 19.5 points and eight rebounds this season, and finishes his career at A-B with 1,012 career points. He is undecided on college plans.

All-StateAlex Lopez, Sr. G, Springfield Commerce
The 5-foot-10 Lopez led the Valley League in scoring for the second straight season, averaging 22.3 points as the Red Raiders went to the Division 1 Western Mass. Finals and took state champion Springfield Central to the wire. He led Western Mass. in field goals made (185) and total points (512). Lopez is currently undecided on college plans.

All-StateDamian Lugay, Sr. G, Weymouth
The 6-foot-2 Lugay led the Wildcats to a second straight 17-win season, before they were bounced in the first round of the Division 1 South tournament. For the season he averaged 18.1 points and just under four assists, and leaves Weymouth as a two-time First Team All-Bay State Conference. Lugay is undecided on college plans.

All-StateGeorge Merry, Sr. C, Danvers
At 6-foot-7, Merry was a force at both ends of the floor for the Falcons, known for his ability to redirect shots as much as his scoring touch. He averaged 16.1 points, eight rebounds and 6.6 blocks as Danvers captured its first Division 3 state championship in school history. Merry is currently undecided on college plans, but showing interest from several schools in Divisions 2 and 3.

All-StateMarcus Middleton, Jr. G, Stoughton
Tasked nightly with locking down the opposition's top scorer, Middleton established himself as one of the state's premier on-ball defenders. Middleton averaged 16 points per game for the Black Knights, who won the Division 2 South title before bowing out to state runner-up Brighton in the Eastern Mass. championship at TD Garden. Middleton also stars on Stoughton's football squad.

All-StateMatt Mobley, Sr. G/F, St. Peter-Marian
One of state's most pleasant late-blooming surprises, the 6-foot-3 Mobley was one of the leading scorers in Central Mass. as the Guardians made it all the way to the Division 1 Central Final. For the season, he averaged 23.2 points in leading SPM to its most successful season under head coach Marcus Watson. Mobley finished his career at SPM with 1,175 points, and will do a post-graduate season next year at Worcester Academy.

All-StateTyler Nelson, Soph. G, Central Catholic
The 5-foot-11 Nelson established himself as one of the state's premier shooters, as the Raiders made it to the Division 1 North semifinals before bowing out to champion Charlestown. He averaged 15.5 points and four assists this season, shot 42 percent from three-point range, and 91 percent from the free throw line.

All-StateColin Richey, Jr. G, Whitinsville Christian
After winning a Division 3 state title a year ago, the 6-foot Richey nearly led them back, as the Crusaders lost in the final seconds to state runner-up St. Joseph Central in the state semifinals. For the seaosn, Richey averaged 16.8 points, 6.7 assist and 6.3 rebounds for the Dual Valley League champions.

All-StateKamari Robinson, Jr. F, Springfield Central
The 6-foot-5 Robinson was a rock underneath for the Golden Eagles, who captured their first Division 1 state title since 1991 and third overall. He was a nightly double-double threat this season, averaging 13 points, 11 rebounds, four steals and three assists, as Central went undefeated in Massachusetts.

All-StateMichael Thorpe, Sr. G, Newton North
The Tigers went run-and-gun this season, and the 5-foot-11 Thorpe kept them thoroughly going. One year after reaching the Division 1 South finals, he nearly led them back, before losing to state runner-up Brockton in the semifinals. He was named the Bay State Conference's MVP, with averages of 15 points and four assists. Thorpe will continue his career next season at Emerson College.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
All-StateMARCUS MIDDLETON, STOUGHTON

The kind of on-ball pressure Middleton provided nightly to some of the state's premier scorers can take its toll physically, but he was routinely up to the task. As teammate Aaron Calixte saw a barrage of double-teams and box-and-one's, Middleton did his part at the other end, hedging off screens and staying one one's hip, chasing them all over the floor. As much praise as Calixte will get in this unprecedented season for the Knights, an equal amount must be thrown Middleton's way.

ALL-DEFENSIVE TEAM
G – Marcus Middleton, Jr., Stoughton
G – Anthony Hodges, Sr., Holy Name
G – Darien Fernandez, Jr., Wareham
F – Jake Layman, Sr., King Philip
C – George Merry, Sr., Danvers

COACH OF THE YEAR
All-StateHUGH COLEMAN, BRIGHTON

The Bengals lost their best player before the start of the tournament, and backpedaled into the playoffs with uninspiring losses to Acton-Boxborough and Madison Park. Yet in the end, they were one step away from the school's first-ever state title. Coleman is an unabashed disciple of the legendary Jack O'Brien, and staples of those historic Charlestown squads are sprinkled all over the program. Not only has Coleman done a remarkable job bringing the team to heights never before reached in his three seasons at the helm, but this is a program that will be dangerous for the next few years.

RUNNERS-UP:
Paul Connolly, Newton North
Dean O'Connor, Franklin

FINALISTS:
Kevin Brogioli, Wareham
John Gallivan, Stoughton
Reggie Hobbs, Lexington
Malcolm Smith, East Boston
Chad Softic, Mahar
John Walsh, Danvers
Dennis Wilson, Madison Park

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