New Milford varsity boys basketball team striving for championship
The New Milford varsity boys basketball team has locked up a state playoff berth but still has plenty to play for down the home stretch of the regular season.
The Green Wave (9-4) earned a trip to the state tournament with a 52-48 victory over Pomperaug on Jan. 18. New Milford added its ninth win on Jan. 24 when it outlasted Masuk, 54-53.
“Our focus for the second half of the season remains our team goals,” New Milford coach Al Tolomeo said. “The team set four goals in the preseason and we have only achieved one of them so far. We want to improve each day in practice and in games. We feel, as a group, that we still have a huge upside and there is no reason that we can't reach all of our goals.”
To reach goals like improving every day and making the South West Conference Tournament, the Green Wave will need to continue to show the growth and improvement they have so far this season. Tough games remain and there is plenty of work to do.
“We have some very tough opponents left on our schedule so we need to focus and prepare for each and every one of them,” Tolomeo said. “The team is ready to compete and work hard for the rest of the regular and post season. They need to continue to make each other better and work as a unit to continue to move forward.”
So far this season the Green Wave have had great contributions from the entire team. Tolomeo goes nine deep in his rotation and games usually end with four or even five players in double figures.
Tyler Bowe has been the team’s leading scorer and rebounder and he is averaging a double/double.
Seniors Josian Moralez, Anthony Troccio, Eric Habajan and Hunter Skelly have all provided leadership and a spark for the program along with Bowe, another senior.
Junior John Fitzmaurice has a huge role in the rotation and his offensive and defensive work have elevated his game and the team, and sophomore Eric Diaz has embraced his starting role and is getting better every day.
“Almost every one of the players in our rotation has led us in scoring, rebounding or with assists in one of our games,” Tolomeo said. “Team balance is one of the big keys to our team.”
The home stretch began with a homestand Thursday when 11-2 Newtown paid a visit. A talented Farmington (10-2) team form the CCC comes to town on Saturday and the Green Wave host New Fairfield on Wednesday. If the Green Wave continue to improve, it will be an exciting closing stretch of the season.
“It's a great group of guys this season. They come each day with the attitude and energy to succeed,” Tolomeo said. “We (coaching staff) have challenged and pushed them every day and they have responded. Our defensive effort and rebounding from all positions set the foundation for us to build from.”