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MHS Boys Basketball Young, but Experienced

MHS Boys Basketball team. Contributed photo

By Chris Villani
Sports Writer
Milford had the youngest boys’ basketball team in the Hockomock League a season ago, and this year the Scarlet Hawks may once again be among the league’s youngest squads. But MHS has significantly more varsity experience this winter and head coach Paul Seaver is hoping it will pay off.

 Jake Soares, Wyatt Zagami, Jacob Ligor (3 Capts) and Head Coach Paul Seaver (who is also an MHS Alumni). Contributed photo

“We are still super young but we had a great offseason and we have a lot of guys returning, a handful of new guys in the fray, and a big roster,” Seaver said. 
Many of the Scarlet Hawks were seeing their first varsity action last winter for a team that won only twice. But this year Milford has enough experience that Seaver refuses to use youth as an excuse. Senior Wyatt Zagami is a captain and one of the top three scorers returning. He’s someone MHS is counting on scoring again this year.
Junior Jake Soares is another captain and was Milford’s leading scorer as a sophomore, before an injury cut his season short. Milford is also getting a lift from Ryan Franklin, a 6-foot-3 forward who notched a double-double in his first game of the season.
Senior Joey Buckley, a 6-foot-5 senior, fellow senior Guy Saintyl, and junior Nick Araujo are three more veterans who the Hawks are looking to for leadership. Seaver took solace in Milford’s start to the season, which included a win and a pair of single-digit losses against strong league competition.
“Those types of things are going to happen,” he said. “We are in the process of learning how to rebuild and how to compete, and we are doing a good job of competing. We need to turn that into learning how to win and that’s only going to come with time and adversity and some growing pains.”
Sophomore Andrew Rivera is a key offensive cog for the Scarlet Hawks and has put up multiple double-digit scoring performances. Freshman CJ Farrell is another skilled offensive player who has also been able to get into double figures despite it being his first season.
“They are both guards who are scoring and really pacing us,” Seaver said. 
Sophomores Gus Coutinho, Luca Testa, and Tyler Ballard are also providing contributions for MHS, and senior captain Jacob Ligor is recovering from an injury and aiming to be back before the end of January.
“We are relying wholeheartedly on a lot of guys who are still young,” Seaver said. “But there have been some encouraging signs.”
The most encouraging sign has been the uptick in offense relative to last season. But Seaver said his team is still turning the ball over too often, but he said the mistakes he is seeing now are fixable.
“In the long run, I think things are encouraging,” he said. “We are the youngest team in a very, very tough league, but that’s not an excuse.”