Proven Cast Leads OFA Into Hoop Challenges
Updated: Nov 27, 2019
BY DAVE SHEA
In preseason practices OFA has been gearing up for one of the most challenging regular season boys basketball schedules in school history. The Blue Devils will face two teams from Section 2 in the Albany area in the first weekend of the season, they play home and home against Lowville which lost to Glens Falls in the closing seconds of the New York State Class B title game, they will play home and home with Watertown High, they play New York State Class D Champion Harrisville and they host Canton in the day-long Freddie Tournament.
OFA will open its season on Tuesday with an NAC Central matchup with Potsdam and then face Green Tech and Mekeel Christian next Friday and Saturday.
The severity of the challenge will be undertaken with a explosive team featuring seven different players who started games in a memorable 23-2 season which ended in an exciting matchup with eventual New York State Class B champion Glens Falls in the regional championship game at SUNY Potsdam.
The Devils went 14-0 in NAC Central Division play and reclaimed the Section 10 Class B title.
"We are returning many contributors from last season. Seven of those players coming back started games last season" said OFA Coach Mark Henry who will be assisted by Jim Adams, Shannon LaFave, Megan Morrison and longtime junior varsity coach Scott Sargent. Two former Blue Devils in Dakota Brady and his assistant Jon Rogers have taken the helm of the JV team this season.
"We have a very strong nonleague schedule and the Central Division should be very competitive."
The members of Devils' returning cast are all bigger, faster and stronger and looking to pick up from last season's uptempo success.
Five seniors all provide stellar leadership in different fashions on offense and defense.
Explosive point guard Mesean Johnson was honored as the NAC Central Co-MVP last season and First Team Watertown Times All-North after averaging 12 points and eight assists per game as offensive starter and finisher and defensive stopper.
Center Jackson Jones earned First Team All-NAC Central and All-North honors after averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds per game in the low post. He turned in a career best 37-point scoring game in the regional finals against Glens Falls.
Guard Connor Griffith averaged eight points per game and made 35 three pointers in his junior season.
Guard Harry Powers buried 42 threes as a dangerous streak shooter and high energy performer.
As a junior, forward Brogan LaRose shot 40 per cent from three-point range and was also a very dependable interior performer at both ends of the court.
Junior Trent Sargent came off the bench so effectively last season that he earned Second Team All-NAC Central honors as a sophomore reserve. He scored nine points per game and showed the desire for taking the big shot making 52 three-pointers.
Sophomore Tristan Lovely played very effectively and physically at forward and guard as a freshman finishing second on the team in rebounds and steals.
Coach Henry has been very pleased the efforts of the first year varsity players who are juniors moving up from the junior varsity level.
"The newcomers, all juniors, all doing great things in practice,"
David Vernsey looks to contribute through rebounding, Eli Bullock is ideally suited for the running game, Logan Horton will add to the team's outside options and JD King is a great teammate and a vital cog in team chemistry.