We have just passed the mid way point for the high school boys basketball season on Cape Ann and if the second half is anything like the first half, all three Cape Ann teams have several good games in store.
It’s been a roller coaster ride over the first half of the regular season as Gloucester, Rockport and Manchester Essex have sustained their fair share of ups and downs. Manchester Essex appears to be well on its way to another state tournament berth while Rockport and Gloucester have shown drastic improvements from a year ago.
Next month the MIAA state tournament pairings will be announced and Cape Ann could see multiple representatives in the boys basketball field.
All three teams have work to do over the second half of the year, here’s a look at what we have seen and will see from the teams on Cape Ann.
X-Factor: Sophomore point guard Jeff Oliveria
Big Win: 69-62 over Winthrop on December 18
Big Loss: 46-45 vs. Marblehead on January 4
Outlook: The Fishermen have already tripled their win total from a year ago and have rarely been outclassed the way they were last season. Gloucester, however, still has an extremely young squad and it has gone through growing pains over the first 12 games of the season as the team sports just four seniors.
Gloucester has held its own in Northeastern Conference Small play. Although they sport just a 1-7 NEC record, Gloucester has been in several close games that could have gone either way. If a few more baskets had fallen against Marblehead, Swampscott and Saugus, Gloucester could be hovering around the .500 mark.
Unfortunately for Gloucester the NEC Large has proven to be a tough and deep conference this winter and the team has struggled in NEC crossover games sporting an 0-3 mark and dropping all three games by double digits.