Massachusetts is conducting the ultra competitive State Basketball Finals Saturday evening in Worcester, MA at the DCU Center. All season long, teams have battled for the privilege to call themselves 2015 Massachusetts State Champions. There is an impressive field of teams of boys and girls which have advanced to the finals. Let’s take a look and see how they all stack up.
Boys Basketball Division 1
Putnam is playing for history and looking to capture a third straight Massachusetts State Championship and officially be able to call themselves a dynasty. Putnam will be looking to become the second team in Massachusetts history to win three consecutive state titles, joining with Cambridge Rindge and Latin’s dominant teams which featured Patrick Ewing. Putnam will play a difficult foe as they face Catholic Memorial in the State Final. This game should feature a run and gun mentality, especially for Catholic Memorial as they have been known to send five guards onto the court at once giving them superior speed and ball handling ability at every position.
Girls Basketball Division 1
Braintree is also looking to make history as they are competing for back-to-back Massachusetts State Championships. Braintree finished an impressive season going 24-0 and won a majority of their game by double digits. Braintree dominated the girls high school basketball scene and is looking to put an exclamation point on their dominant season.
Additional matches taking place in Worcester on Saturday include:
Boys Basketball Division 2
Danvers vs. Marlborough
Girls Basketball Division 2
Duxbury vs. Medfield
Boys Basketball Division 3
Hoosac Valley vs. Old Rochester
Girls Basketball Division 3
Hoosac Valley vs. Archbishop Williams
The great thing about high basketball is that most of the players involved are playing because they still truly love the game they learned to play early on as kids. There are no corporate sponsorships or endorsement deals which get in the way of the game. Student athletes learn how to balance a demanding academic schedule and still be part of winning basketball programs which also demand many hours of practice and dedication. Long bus rides to away schools and late nights trying to complete homework assignments are typical for high school athletes. This Saturday in Worcester, MA is the culmination of a season which begins right after Thanksgiving and ends within the madness of March.
High school athletes give up much of their social lives in order to be part of a team and make a commitment to show up to each practice, to each game, to each school day and try to give their best effort. Being involved in high school sports is an opportunity to learn valuable life lessons that these student athletes will most likely carry with them into their adult lives. Let’s hope for a safe, fun, and exciting day of high school basketball, and let’s wish all of the students luck as they perform under the bright lights of Worcester’s DCU Center.
Contributing writer Jasen Sousa for Premier Hoops is the author of a number of poetry and fiction books for young people. Jasen has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing and is a life-long participant and fan of the game of basketball.