Blue Prints

Boys basketball shoots for deep playoff run

Brandon Parker, Staff Writer

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The boys basketball team has
much to prove this winter as they
look to rebuild following last season.
The team has lost a lot after
the class of 2017 graduated, including
four-fifths of the starting
line up, major team leaders, and
some of the all-around best players
in Middletown history. Despite
these losses, the team is as
tenacious and motivated as ever.
The team is currently sitting
right above .500. The Blue Dragons
have a record of 10 wins and
8 losses.
Senior DeAaron Lawrence
said, “[The team] is not like it has
been in the past, but we are getting
better.”
The team has been struggling
with consistency this season and
recently lost a double overtime
nail biter to Bloomfield by score
of 67-70.
However, the players remain
positive and optimistic, always
looking onto the next game.
Senior captain Brennen Maxfield
said, “A
couple of
these game we
should have
won, but they
came down to
the wire and
we couldn’t finish.”
Despite the
slow start
to the season,
coach
Rick Privott
is confident
about
the team.
He said,
“Our goal
is always
to win the
state championship,
so
we will just
continue to work hard.”
However, as the team hovers
just above a .500 winning
percentage, the players have
a long road to the championship.

The biggest struggle for the
team has been lack of height.
Most games, the team starts four
guards and one center. Without
tall, floor stretching forwards,
the team has struggled to grab
both offensive and defensive rebounds.
Junior Stephen Hill has
stepped up and taken on a rebounding
role alongside senior
Kalil Thomas.
The team has lots of dynamic,
young players who have been
playing exceptionally well.
Privott said, “Tejan Lanser is
playing well, along with Jay Hoggard.”

Lanser, a junior, is having a
phenomenal breakout season.
His defense stretching jumper
and determination on the other
end of the floor have helped ease
some pressure off of the rest of
the team.
In the win over Berlin (57-53),
Lanser drained two clutch free
throws with 2.4 seconds left to
finish off a strong Berlin team.
In addition, Hoggard has outperformed
expectations in the
wake of senior Jordan Council’s
suspension.
Maxfield has been leading the
team with both his outstanding
plays and his passion for the
game.
Lanser said, “Brennen is always
wo r k i n g
hard, he
h u s t l e s
the whole
game, always
giving
one
hundred
p er cen t.
He brings
life to
the team,
motivates
us to
push ourselves.”

Max –
field gives
his all every
time he’s on the court. His
physical defense wears out opposing
teams and his stamina
is unmatched. He has been an
incredible leader on and off the
court this season, demonstrating
the qualities vital for athletes.
In the loss to Bloomfield, senior
guard and captain DeAaron
Lawrence reached a tremendous
milestone. Just halfway through
his senior season, he scored his
1,000th career point.
When asked about this achievement,
Lawrence responded with
modesty. He said, “We lost. So it
wasn’t too special.”
Lawrence, who has been a varsity
player since freshman year,
has been having a phenomenal
final season, scoring a season
high of 30 points in the team’s
78-74 win against Bristol Central.
Lawrence is consistently the best
player on the court, outperforming
opponents game after game.
Maxfield said, “[Lawrence] is
a great scorer, so whenever he’s
hot we try to get him the ball.
Opposing coaches notice his
freak athleticism and dominating
presence on the court. Lawrence
is living up to his expectations.”
Privott said, “DeAaron Lawrence
is doing what we expect
him to do, he’s been that type of
player for years now.”
The team looks to improve
their season following a 75-62
win over Maloney and a 73-60
win over Platt, as they make a
push towards the state tournament.

An exceptional team in recent
years, the boys have big shoes
to fill. The 2016 and 2017 teams
were full of talent and had phenomenal
seasons. The Dragons
look to return to the state championship
at Mohegan Sun after
the devastating loss two years ago.
The team faces a tough schedule
for the remainder of the season,
including games against Hamden
and Berlin.

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Boys basketball shoots for deep playoff run