Salem News Boys Basketball Player of the Year
St. John's Prep, Senior
The St. John's Prep basketball team entered the 2012-13 season as an overlooked group, a club with low expectations placed on it by outsiders. The same could be said of its best player, senior guard Drex Costello.
Costello found his place with the Eagles over the previous two years, but hadn't proven to be much more than a good defensive player off the bench for Sean Connolly's crew. This season he made sure everyone found out that there was more to his game than just defense.
Costello was a picture of consistency on both ends of the floor for the Eagles. He brought his usual tenacity on defense, highlighted by a late-season showdown with Central Catholic in Danvers. In that game, Costello hounded and harassed Central Catholic's high-scoring guard Tyler Nelson, holding him to just 10 points on 1 for 13 shooting.
On offense, it seemed like Costello was a lock to score somewhere between 12-18 points every night. He ended up averaging 13.5 points per game and pulling down five rebounds a game. Costello was especially dangerous from the perimeter and he had shooting range that extended well beyond the three-point line
He guided the Eagles to an 18-2 record overall and an 8-0 mark in the Catholic Conference. He earned the Catholic Conference MVP in the process.
Costello's defining moment in an Eagles uniform happened in the first round of the year-end IAABO Board 130 Classic Tournament in the second meeting between Central Catholic and St. John's. Locked in a tie game, Costello drilled a deep three with seven seconds left to lift St. John's to victory.
The 6-foot-4 Bates was one of the most athletic players on the North Shore ... Averaged more than 12 points and 11 rebounds per game in a balanced Danvers attack ... Named Northeastern Conference All-Star ... Scored 22 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in win over Salem ... produced 12 points, 17 rebounds and two blocks in Division 3 state championship win over Smith Academy ... Will continue playing basketball at either Keene State, Salve Regina, or Salem State.