, Salem, MA


January 28, 2014

In The Paint boys basketball column: Generals continue moving forward

In the Paint

Matt Jenkins

If not for bad luck, it seems like Doug Hoak and the Hamilton-Wenham boys basketball program would have none.

But a little bad luck isn’t enough to stop Hoak and the Generals from moving forward, however.

A year ago, with very little on-court experience, Hamilton-Wenham suffered a great loss when then-sophomore Jimmy Campbell — one of two players returning — broke his leg in football and missed the entire season. The Generals soldiered on, winning 10 games and qualifying for the Division 3 North tournament.

The future looked bright with Campbell expected back at full strength and with classmate James Foye making a major leap. Plus, the emergence of several other young players had Hoak smiling about the future.

Hamilton-Wenham faced even more offseason adversity this year, though.

Nikos Lara and Nick Loeper, two players who stepped up last year, started the season injured. Foye elected to go to Phillips Exeter, and freshman point guard Marcus Zegarowski started the season on the shelf with a broken thumb.

But Campbell returned to the lineup and quickly began rounding into form and senior Henry Eagar picked up where he left off last year, thus keeping the Generals near the top of the Cape Ann League standings.

Hamilton-Wenham is now 10-2 and its luck is changing. Lara, Loeper and Zegarowski have all returned to the lineup, and a new set of young players has stepped forward.

“Well, it’s been a pleasant experience. I didn’t know what to expect with those three (Lara, Loeper and Zegarowski) out,” said Hoak. “Henry and Jimmy have done a great job. They held us together during that time, and we had some unheralded kids who played really good roles for us.”

Frankie Bucco did an admirable job filling in at the point guard position while Shawn Kotch, Kyle Craig and Max Zegarowski (Marcus’ brother) helped plug the holes.

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