Mahar, Athol staying sharp on hardwood

  • Noah Pottinger, of Athol, finishes at the rim against Sizer in Monty Tech summer league action, Tuesday in Fitchburg. FOR THE RECORDER/MIKE PHILLIPS

  • Charlie Barnes, of Mahar, finishes at the rim against Leominster in Monty Tech summer league action, Tuesday in Fitchburg. FOR THE RECORDER/MIKE PHILLIPS

  • Bryce King, of Athol, finishes at the rim against Sizer in Monty Tech summer league action, Tuesday in Fitchburg. FOR THE RECORDER/MIKE PHILLIPS

  • Bryce King, of Athol, finishes at the rim against Sizer in Monty Tech summer league action, Tuesday in Fitchburg. FOR THE athol daily news/MIKE PHILLIPS

Staff Writer
Published: 6/21/2019 10:32:32 AM
Modified: 6/21/2019 10:32:21 AM

Sometimes, a spot on a winter basketball team begins with a good summer.

Both Mahar Regional and Athol High School have teams looking to stay sharp on the hardwood at the Monty Tech High School summer league. 

Both teams have varsity level players playing every Tuesday and Thursday at Monty Tech. The added time on the floor can bring extra levels of chemistry heading into the winter.

“Like every year we are trying to build team cohesion,” Mahar coach Enver Softic said. “Trying to develop a sense of continuity on offense and defense. Relying on everybody including player number 12.”

Mahar has players like Charlie Barnes, Jake Tenney, Noaha Chabot, Matt Lyesiuk and Jakob Carron with extensive varsity experience. 

Barnes and Tenney provide stability in the backcourt for Mahar. 

Lyesiuk’s outside jumper is confident and accurate, while Carron will do the dirty work inside for Mahar.  

The established players know their roles, it’s the younger players looking to expand their game to secure varsity roster spots. Players such as Ayden Santana, Gavin Sullivan, Charlie Anderson and Elias Spencer will mix in and look to improve.

“I want them to earn a job for this winter,” Softic said. “I think the competition is wide open. Our best 12 will be on the varsity and the others will have to work hard to get there.”

The Red Raiders’ offense starts with Bryce King. The point guard’s quickness and handle allows shots for himself and his teammates.

Athol brings Noah Pottinger, Mark Ferrari, Maysin Tarbell and Riley Paine from the varsity roster. 

Ferrari is coming off a high-scoring junior season for the Red Raiders.

Athol varsity coach Dan Bevis wants his team to improve even if it doesn’t translate to victories this summer.

“I think the main goal is to get them to play,” Bevis said. “Recognize things we need to work on.”

Bevis does not coach during the summer but will watch his team.

“I can sit on the sideline and take a different perspective,” Bevis said. 

The development and the expansion of Pottinger’s game is something to keep an eye on this summer. 

“He (Pottinger) is someone that can get his shot going and get to the hoop,” Bevis said. “If he can take a step forward that will bring us some success in the winter.”

The Red Raiders can get themselves outside shots, but one major goal for the summer is to find other ways to score.

“We get comfortable with that shot,” Bevis said.  “So much that we don’t look for anthing else.”

Some younger players on the roster include Casey Mason and Vinny Gordon.

Mason showed a lot of athleticism at the junior varsity level while Gordon is a good outside shooter for Athol.


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