SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

January 22, 2013

In The Paint: Pingree pushing for respect, championships

(Continued)

Costello, on the other hand, is not a natural guard. At 6-foot-3, Costello is one of Fenwick’s taller players and he’s not that quick, but he passes the ball well and makes good decisions.

“He’s just a smart player. He doesn’t have the best foot speed in the world, he knows that,” Kane said about Costello. “We put him in the middle against pressure because he knows how to read defenses and sees the court well. He’s also good down low and knows how to use his body to finish.”

The combination of Oliveira and Costello with Dom Luoni, an excellent shooter and scorer, makes Fenwick a dangerous team. The Crusaders also have depth now with the return of senior center Ben Maxner, who broke his wrist in the first game of the season.

Fenwick also has two dirty-work players in Joe Buccheri and Fran Hannon, a lanky forward in 6-foot-3 Travis Maxner, a secondary ball handler in Rishad DeSilva, and a good perimeter scoring option in Devin Graham off the bench.

If Fenwick can stay healthy down the stretch, it has a great chance to get back to .500 from its 4-7 record and contend for a postseason berth.

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Two keys to St. John’s Prep’s excellent first half have been junior guard Max Burt and sophomore forward Jake Burt.

Both important reserves for the Eagles, the Burts (who are not related) each bring valuable skills to the floor. Max Burt is really a combination guard, someone who can fill in as the backup point guard but also score like a two-guard. An increased effort on the defensive end has given coach Sean Connolly added confidence in the junior.

Jake Burt, meanwhile, is a strong, hard-working forward who can give either Josh Syska or Max Butterbrodt a rest when needed. While he’s in the game the Eagles lose nothing in their frontcourt, and he has been more of a scoring threat lately.

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