Craig is a sophomore point guard for Marblehead who got a significant amount of playing time as a freshman last winter. The Magicians could be embarking on a bit of a rebuilding campaign, but look for Craig to make that process a little less painful.
Peabody High’s Correale is also a sophomore, but he’s getting his first varsity action this season. Made famous by his time as an outfielder on the Peabody West Little League team that advanced to Williamsport, Pa., for the Little League World Series, Correale will spend a lot of time this winter proving he’s also a dynamic basketball player.
Currently coming off the bench for the Tanners, Correale’s natural instincts and good shooting range will allow him to draw big minutes.
Pingree has an excellent blend of size, athleticism, and youth. It’s just a hunch, but the Highlanders could be destined for big things later this winter.
Juniors Johnny Spears, Kyle Lentini and Connor Reardon alone would make Pingree difficult to deal with, but the Highlanders also have four promising freshmen in the mix. Nino Leone and Alonzo Jackson are a pair of 6-foot-5 forwards who will make the team’s frontcourt a serious strength, along with Lentini and Reardon.
Justin Assad and Griffin Beal are also talented ninth-graders who are ready to make an immediate impact.
That Pingree frontcourt will face a big challenge tomorrow afternoon (4 p.m.) when Berwick Academy visits South Hamilton. Berwick is led by 6-10 senior center Tom Nason.
In The Paint, a column on North Shore boys’ basketball, runs every Tuesday during the winter sports season in The Salem News. Contact staff writer Matt Jenkins at 978-338-2648, by email at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter @MattJenkins_SN.
Five for Thought ... The calendar year is coming to a close, so here is a list of five games worth watching before we enter 2013: 1. Berwick at Pingree, tomorrow, 4 p.m. -- Pingree just seems like it's going to be a really fun team to watch this year, and why not catch them when 6-foot-10 center Tom Nason is in town? 2. Cristo Rey at Bishop Fenwick, Thursday, 7 p.m. -- Cristo Rey, the former North Cambridge Catholic, is a Catholic Central League Small team, and the Crusaders would love to get a little momentum going before the holiday. 3. Lynn English at Beverly, Friday, 7 p.m. -- The Northeastern Conference Large division title was shared by these two teams last year. With a win over Lynn Classical already under their belts, the Panthers would love to add the Bulldogs to their list of early season W's. 4. Saugus at Danvers, Friday, 7 p.m. -- These two teams met at the Tsongas Center last year in the Division 3 North final, and the Sachems appear to be Danvers' biggest challenger in the NEC Small this winter. 5. North Shore Tech/Essex Aggie at Peabody, Thursday Dec. 27, 7 p.m. -- Putting this game on the list isn't as far-fetched as it may seem. Both teams are hungry for wins, and there is some history between them: the Bulldogs won a game against Peabody a couple years ago, and North Shore coach Jody Norton used to be an assistant for the Tanners.