Boys basketball: Cadets looking to lengthen the game

The St. Joseph High boys basketball team is looking to turn a shortcoming into a strength this season.

“We are by no measure a tall team, so we want to pressure the ball and take away the ability to play a halfcourt set,” head coach Chris Watts said of his team’s mindset. “We won’t be able to matchup with a big player. We want to take away that post feed and get after it.”

Omar Telfer, Tim Dineen, Will Quigley and Joe Lucy are team captains.

“Omar is our leader on the floor,” Watts said of his junior point guard. “Tim will play small forward, Will is our center-forward and Joe is a guard.”

Cam Menefee is a junior guard who will play off the ball, Curtis Eller a senior guard and Josh Reaves a freshman who will earn minutes in the backcourt.

Alec Pelletier, a junior, and Chandler Hutcherson, a senior, will help inside. Jordan Island is a senior the team counts on every day to help his team get better.

“We need to lengthen the game by pushing the ball — exposing an opponent’s big players by playing full court and making them come outside and defend,” Watts said. “No more two or three guys going to the glass and looking to break, we’re not that kind of team. All of our guys are going to have to box out and compete for rebounds.”

St. Joseph begins the season playing in the Kellenberg (N.Y.) Memorial Tournament on Tuesday, Dec. 22, with Trinity Catholic-Stamford and Kolbe Cathedral-Bridgeport the other teams in the field. The Cadets open with Trinity and will play Kolbe on Dec. 23. Four FCIAC road games follow before the Cadets return home to play Danbury High on Jan. 19.

“I think there is parity in the league,” Watts said. “Honestly I don’t see one powerhouse like Trinity has been for years. The talent is well distributed. Whichever team can execute their game plan on a given night will have the edge.

“I believe our kids have bought into our motto this year, which is to make sure your play in practice is equal to or better than how you play in a game. No one is coasting. They are playing harder.

“It’s going to be a good year for the league. Everyone has a shot. I’m confident we’re going to get after it and compete, put ourselves in a good position to be successful.”