, Salem, MA


January 7, 2014

In the Paint: Supporting cast the key for Beverly

In the Paint

Matt Jenkins

Nothing is automatic in the nightly rigors of the Northeastern Conference, especially in the top-heavy large division.

But Beverly head coach Scott Lewis carries a certain level of comfort knowing what he’ll get from senior forwards Nick Cross and John Berchoff each game. Something between 30-40 combined points, roughly 20 rebounds and just enough disruptive defense in the paint to cause headaches for opposing frontcourts is what Lewis counts on from that duo.

The veteran coach also knows that Beverly’s key for success rests in the hands of some other players, however.

A trio of seniors — Jonangel Franco, Chris Sinclair and Josh Cairns — have to play well for Beverly to contend for the large title with the likes of Lynn English, Lynn Classical and Salem standing in its way.

“They’re a huge part of the team. I think everybody knows that Cross and Berchoff will be our leading scorers the majority of nights; teams come in and try to stop those two,” Lewis said. “Those three seniors (Franco, Sinclair and Cairns) have lots of experience. They played in big games last year, so how they contribute to us will determine how we do this season.”

Franco, Sinclair and Cairns are each guards that bring distinct talents to the court.

Lewis calls on Franco to defend the opponent’s best scoring guard. Quick and strong, Franco uses his athleticism to his advantage on the defensive end. Offensively he’s at his best when he’s taking care of the ball, and Lewis is hoping to see some more scoring punch from him in the future.

“He keeps guys in front of him. He has long arms,” Lewis said. “Down the other end, we’ve been asking him to take care of the ball and distribute and now that we’re (five) games in, we want him trying to do a little more offensively. He’s thinking his role is to distribute and if other teams are laying off and if he doesn’t look to score, that can’t help us.”

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