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Saturday, August 17 News

Green Wave boys basketball team starts off strong

What the New Milford High School boys basketball team lacks in experience it has the depth to make up for as it looks to return to the playoffs this season.

Al Tolomeo returns for his third season as New Milford boys basketball coach and he will be looking to guide the Green Wave back to the postseason.

New Milford went 9-11 last season and earned the No. 26 seed in the CIAC Division II Tournament. The Green Wave went on the road in the first round and lost, 66-48, to No. 7 New Britain. South West Conference rival Immaculate knocked New Britain out in the quarterfinals and went on to win the Division II state title.

The Green Wave are in Division III this season with the likes of Wamogo (Division V finalists a year ago), Newtown and Avon, which lost in the Division III title game last season to Waterford (now Division II).

This year’s edition of the Green Wave boys basketball team will be senior heavy and looking to overcome the loss of four contributors in Matt Brevard, Chris Gesualdi, Steve Davis and Malik Proctor.

Key returning players include seniors Tyler Bowe, Josian Morales, Hunter Skelly, Anthony Troccio and Eric Habaja, junior John Fitzmaurice and sophomore Eric Diaz.

While five of the team’s top seven players are expected to be seniors, the Green Wave are not overly experienced at the varsity level. Tolomeo is looking for the team’s depth to help overcome the lack of experience early in the season.

“We do not have a lot of varsity experience but we are very deep,” Tolomeo said. “We have the ability to have a 10 plus player rotation. The team is very athletic and has the ability to play at a high pace. We should be able to put up points and we have great leadership within the team.”

The SWC will provide plenty of tests for the Green Wave and Tolomeo expects Bunnell, Immaculate and Notre Dame-Fairfield, last season’s Division I champion, to be contenders for the league crown.

The Green Wave opened the 2018-19 season with a solid 60-53 victory at Norwalk on Friday to get the campaign off to a good start.

Norwalk led 26-18 at the half and maintained a 37-34 advantage entering the fourth quarter. The Green Wave offense got going in the final eight minutes as they outscored the Bears 26-16 in the quarter to pull out the win.

“We just want to keep progressing throughout the season,” Tolomeo said. “The goal is to make the league and state playoffs.”

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