, Salem, MA


January 15, 2013

In the Paint: Hitting their stride: Young Generals starting to put wins together

The Hamilton-Wenham boys basketball team is small in terms of height; almost all of its experience has been earned through its first nine games this season, and it has faced some strange statistical trends so far.

Yet through it all, the Generals have started to find ways to win.

Hamilton-Wenham has won three straight games to move to 4-5 and has a chance to climb back to .500 tonight (6:30) at Georgetown.

The Generals’ three victories last week over Pentucket (58-54), Rockport (48-45) and Amesbury (63-55) didn’t necessarily look pretty in the box scores, especially when considering perimeter defense. In the three games, Hamilton-Wenham surrendered a combined 32 three-pointers. To be fair, the Generals did limit their opponents’ other scoring opportunities.

”I can’t really explain that logically,” Hamilton-Wenham coach Doug Hoak said about giving up so many threes but still registering victories. “We’re small, so I guess we are defending the paint well. Either that, or we’re not defending the perimeter well.”

The Generals weren’t expected to be much of a threat in Cape Ann League Division 1, but they’re proving to be at least enough of a pest to make current league leader North Reading at least work for the title.

That, in and of itself, is impressive considering no one would have given a second thought to a team that basically brought up all JV players.

Sophomores James Foye and Jimmy Campbell were the only two returning players with real experience, but Campbell was lost for the season when he broke his leg in football. That left the fate of the program in the hands of Foye and a bunch of newcomers.

Foye, an intelligent, high-scoring guard, has more than lived up to the challenge, and Hoak has been pleased with the progress of several other players.

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