Justin Assad, Pingree, Fr. G. May have been the North Shore’s best-kept secret this winter. A solid defensive player who already has a versatile offensive game, you have to wonder how much higher he can take his game in another year. The one drawback for Assad? Pingree is returning just about everyone, so his numbers may not increase much.
Kieran Beck, Danvers, Jr. F. The top reserve on a state championship team, Beck will be counted on to do much more next season. The Falcons will have four big holes to fill next winter, and Beck just might surprise some people with how well he adjusts.
Jake Burt, St. John’s Prep, So. F. A solid, dirty-work type of forward for the Eagles off the bench early in the season who became more of an offensive threat as the year advanced.
David Kazadi, Salem, Jr. F. Maybe the most improved player on the North Shore this season, Kazadi brought size, athleticism and great instincts to the Witches’ front line. In addition to playing defense, Kazadi started finishing around the basket in the second half of the year.
The All Dirty Work Team
You know these guys ... they’re usually tough, physical forwards who sacrifice scoring points for gathering rebounds, collecting loose balls and setting picks. Our quintet will actually show you there are some little guys who fit the category, too.
Jared Louf-Woods, Salem, Sr. F. A strong, unselfish forward who was often overshadowed by Salem’s dynamic backcourt. Louf-Woods is the type of player who would seemingly prefer to take a charge than make a shot, and Salem coach Tom Doyle considered him the team MVP through the first quarter of the schedule.
Josh Syska, St. John’s Prep, Sr. F. Intense and tough, Syska provided a physical presence in the middle of the Prep’s defense. He averaged 11 rebounds a game and developed a dependable catch-and-shoot midrange game.