Douglas boys basketball: all together again
Members of the Douglas High boys basketball team have a long and successful history behind them, as they try to make a run in 2022-23.
By CHRISTOPHER TREMBLAY, Staff Sports Writer
Playing together on the travel team since the fourth grade, members of the Douglas boys basketball team are united again on the school’s varsity squad this winter. In their first season together, some eight years ago, this group of athletes was able to win the league title and they went on to play in the state tournament every year thereafter. Each year these Douglas basketballers would advance into the finals, but could never capture the title they so often chased.
“They’ve been playing basketball together for a good number of years,” Douglas Coach Chad Gosselin said. “Last year as sophomores the core group of them made the varsity team; this year the remainder of them moved up to once again play together.”
The starters, all juniors now, will look to not only get the Tigers back into the Division 5 State Tournament, but secure a few wins once there. Last season Douglas qualified for the tournament but fell in the first round to Hull 67-53.
Last year’s back-up point guard, Isaac Gosselin, has been elevated to the team’s starting point guard and it will be his show this winter. Playing some solid minutes last year as a sophomore he was able to lead the team in scoring during a handful of games.
Owen Gray, who has been on the varsity squad since his freshman campaign, will be the Tigers’ shooting guard or small forward. Gosselin will be looking for Gray to be the team’s offensive presence this season and hopes he takes that next step forward.
“Owen defiintely has the talent to take his game to the next level,” the coach said. “Last year was really tough, he was injury-plagued and along with Covid didn’t get much of a chance to play all that many games. I expect him to be back to his usual self this year and leading us on the court.”
As the team’s sixth man though the first few games last season, Adam Dunphy was the first one to come off the bench for Douglas. It didn’t take too long before Dunphy to insert his influence on the court and before long he had earned a starting spot for the Tigers. Playing last winter as the team’s four, Dunphy will be the team’s starting center at 6’2” this year.
Colton Howard will be the team’s two; according to the coach he’s more of a slasher and attacker to the basket and is able to create offense off the dribble.
Rounding out the starting lineup and playing in his first season with the varsity team is 6’4” Brady Nolan. As a Junior Varsity member he was playing the five, but this year he has not only grown, he has improved on his rebounding and ability to hit the boards.
Gosselin is hoping that Gray can carry the team’s offensive attack this fall with Gosselin right behind him on the scoreboard. Dunphy, who had himself some monster games for Douglas last year, should also find himself in the top three of scoring this year.
The first guy of the bench this year will be Josh Farrell and he too could have himself an early season similar to that of Dunphy’s a year prior.
“I see him in our sixth man role,”: Gosselin said. “But he definitely has the potential to break into the starting lineup at some point.”
The rest of the team that could see some action throughout the season includes Andrew and William Hogan, Ethan Vassar, Mathew Doyle, Gavin Gaultieri, Bo Grier, and Felipe Sena. Gaultieri will be a back-up to Dunphy and Nolan as one of the team’s bigs. Sena, the team’s only senior, is hoping to see some action on the court but it’s unsure at this point as he tore his Achilles during the fall league and isn’t expected to be back before February, but that may be pushing it.
The Tigers are looking to earn a spot in the 76-year-old nostalgic Clark Tournament, which takes place during February school break. Teams must earn their right to participate. Douglas took home the Christmas Tournament Championship last year against the likes of Milford, Bethany-Christian and Ludlow and would like to do so once again this winter. Rounding out the coach’ expectations will be qualifying once again for the Division 5 State Tournament.
“We are hoping to build off last year’s momentum and getting that tournament experience under out belts,” he said. “I would like to host a game or two while also winning a few,” Coach Gosselin said. “I don’t see our team going to the finals this year, but next year as a collectively senior team with everyone together on the varsity team having a year together I believe that we could have a shot.”