GFA boys basketball ready to contend again
Updated 4:32 pm, Monday, December 1, 2014
Fresh off a pair of highly successful seasons, the GFA boys basketball team is in the position where it can reload instead of rebuild. The Dragons return most of their core from a 21-4 season that ended with a title, but have added a few new pieces that will hope to maintain the dominance the small school has enjoyed.
Last season, the Dragons reached the FAA title game and won the New England Class C championship for the second straight season. There's no reason to believe the Dragons won't be in contention again in 2014-2015.
"We're supposed to be," GFA's fifth-year coach Doug Scott said. "We're going to score; it's about how hard we can defend and how well can we rebound; that's the problem we're trying to solve at the moment. On paper we're supposed to be good."
Sunday Okeke made an impact last year for the Dragons despite little experience in organized basketball. The six-foot-eight center from Nigeria is already drawing interest from Division I schools.
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"He's a good kid that's continued to improve," Scott said. "He has a seven-foot-three wingspan and can move. When he goes up against six-foot-10 kids in AAU he can put a dent in their scholarship program."
The FCIAC has been raided of its top talent over the past several seasons with student athletes exploring the prep school route to collegiate basketball. The CIAC prevents organized activities during the summer, forcing players to make a tough decision. The Dragons have added Chile Larraguibel and Isaac Manton from Greenwich High and Mack Muller from Staples.
"Every team in the FCIAC lost its best player," Scott said. "In a small roster sport like basketball, you just get a better experience than just sitting back whole working in the summer is monumental in how you develop."
GFA did graduate point guard Matt Tate, who owns the school's assists and steals records.
The Dragons will take on all of the FAA's top contenders, including Masters, which handed GFA three losses last season, Jan. 13 and Jan. 26. GFA opens its season at home Dec. 9 against St. Luke's. GFA will also compete in the Scholar Roundball Classic, an invitational tournament featuring some of New England's best, in Boston.