For Masco, senior guard Tighe VanLenten, senior center Zach Turcotte and junior guard Jalen Aho have taken over leadership roles for the Chieftains.
Both coaches expect a tight battle when the two teams collide tonight.
“They handled us pretty well early in the year,” Shea said. “We had a ton of injuries in the first five games and we were still in desperation mode, searching for a lineup and looking for guys to fill in. They came in and took it to us pretty much. Hopefully now we’re at full strength and it should be a pretty competitive game. Both teams are playing well and we’ve got those kids back and have a set rotation.”
The Winthrop boys basketball team slipped from its usual perch at the top of the Northeastern Conference Small this season, but that has been no fault of senior point guard Joshawa Babb.
Babb has been extremely productive for a Vikings team that has struggled to a 3-11 mark so far. He is leading the team in virtually all statistical catergories while making a name for himself as one of the conference’s top guards.
Babb has started all 14 games and is averaging 17.4 points per game while shooting nearly 53 percent. He also leads the Vikings in steals with 36 (2.6 per game), assists with 59 (4.2 per game) and rebounds 75 (5.4 per game).
Babb started out at Lynn English as a freshman before spending his sophomore year at Bishop Fenwick. That year he was a valuable reserve for the Crusaders, on the same team as current Beverly standout Nick Cross.
Playing the “what if” game, it would be hard to argue that Fenwick would be one of the top teams in Division 3 North this year if both Cross and Babb had remained at the Peabody school. Babb and Cross would have fit well with Dom Luoni, Matt Costello, Ben and Travis Maxner, Fran Hannon, Jhon Oliveira, Rishad DeSilva, Joe Buccheri and Devin Graham. Fenwick would have been one of the deepest teams around.