The last time the Hamden Hall Boys Varsity Basketball team walked off the court, they had just been crowned New England Champions, having defeated Canterbury School 75-66 in the Class B final. Not long after that, fans, players, and coaches began wondering what will the Hornets look like for the 2019-2020 campaign. After all, the trio that had been at the heart of the Hornet success are now graduated and have embarked on collegiate careers. Forward Christian Adams is averaging 10 points a game at Pace University, while Tim Dawson is a starting guard at NY Institute of Technology, and Tre Breland is garnering minutes at New Jersey Institute of Technology.
However, Coach Sean Doherty is very excited about the prospects for this year, and NEPSAC has still ranked the Hornets #6 in New England. With a team that is a blend of key returnees and fresh faces, Coach Doherty has compiled and shared a preseason look at this year’s Hornet squad. (See below)
On Wednesday, there was a solid turnout of students, parents, and fans at the Beckerman Center Wednesday evening eager to see the new look Hornets in action and the team certainly did not disappoint, as the Hornets swarmed The Gunnery 67-44 in the season tap off. The visiting Gunners entered the game with a much improved roster from last year and matched the Hornets at both ends of the floor in the early going. However, the Hornets soon demonstrated how their preseason prep work could pay off as they upped the tempo at every opportunity, driving the floor, finding the open man, sweeping the glass for rebounds, and forcing turnovers. Senior co-captain, Jackson Benigni, MVP of both last year’s New England Tournament as well the New Haven Register All Area team, led the way with 20 points, while Corey Walters, having transferred back from Hamden HS, threw in 17. The Hornets also got great games from the likes of co-captain Jahkai Pettway, Owen McDonough, and Carson Benigni. After the game, Coach Doherty said, “I thought our guys came in very focused tonight and our leaders showed the way for the younger players to follow. I felt every younger player I put in the game showed they were ready to play at this level, which is a great sign for this season and the future."
The next game is Saturday at 6:30 vs. Holderness from New Hampshire at the NEPSAC Tip Off Tourney, hosted by Marianapolis Prep, featuring many of the best prep powers in Class B.