By Kevin McCaskill Jr.
On Monday night, I was in Longmeadow to watch the Lancers host the Colts of Chicopee Comp.
The Colts were without their best player Dennis Popovichenko and it showed.
Monday was also Senior Night for two Longmeadow HS Seniors: Guard Colin Hoffman and Forward James McLaughlin.
The tone of the game was set early on, by three players: Hoffman, Junior Ryan Mulderig and Sophmore Nick Carterud. Hoffman’s shot was off early but he was making great passes to his teammates. His passes were on time and in the right place for his teammates to make shots.
Mulderig is an all-around good player. He plays with energy and intensity when he is in the game. He drives to the basket effectively also.
(#11 Ryan Mulderig awaits the inbound)
Carterud dominated the paint tonight. Comp’s Ben Warren is a good defender and he goes after rebounds. Warren and the rest of his teammates had a tough time with Carterud tonight. He is one of the strongest Sophomores I’ve seen. He can get position for post-ups and offensive rebounds. He also runs the floor and he got a few layups in transition. His strength helps him finish through contact.
(Nick Carterud goes for offensive rebound)
(Carterud shoots a FT)
Longmeadow was up 10-2 early in the 1st quarter. They got the shots they wanted to take. On the other side of the ball, they forced Comp to work for every shot. There were many possessions in 1st half where the Colts couldn’t get a shot until the waning seconds of the shot clock. The Comp bench could be heard yelling, “9, 8, 7...” multiple times.
The first quarter ended 19-7 Longmeadow.
(James McLauhghlin, Lancers #22)
The rest of the game was played the same way. Comp’s Mason Carriveu did what he could to try and keep his team in the game. He made some 3s and he played hard on defense.
(Comp's Mason Carriveu shoots a FT)
The Colts couldn’t generate enough offense on Monday. The absence of Popovichenko hurt the Colts tonight.
The Lancers trotted to an easy victory on Monday 66-40.
Scorers for Longmeadow:
Nick Carterud - 18 points
Ryan Mulderig- 15 points
Colin Hoffman - 9 points
Brady Fellows - 6 points
Griffin Collins & Tommy McMahon - 5 points each
James McLaughlin & AJ Miles - 3 points each
Brendan Nkwenti - 2 points
(Tommy McMahon shoots a jump shot)
Scorers for Chicopee Comp:
Mason Carriveu - 13 points
Luke Theroux - 10 points
Hunter Davis - 6 points
John Vandal - 4 points
Colin Scammon - 3 points
Ben Warren & Peyton Batchelor - 2 points each
After the game, Hoffman and McLaughlin were celebrated. They each got bouquets of flowers to give to their family. They also got a photo with their family.
After the celebration, I spoke with Longmeadow HC Patrick Murphy and Senior Colin Hoffman.
⚪️Longmeadow HC Patrick Murphy⚫️
Could you tell us what James McLaughlin and Colin Hoffman have meant to your program?
“They are two of the hardest working players I’ve had come in here in 17 years. Really, really solid kids, who always put the team first and have been fantastic leaders for us and for a lot of our young guys this season. There’s a lot of stuff goin’ on this season with the Covid regulations and all that...and for [this] to be their Senior year, I was sad for them; you never saw it in them. They really handled it with the maturity of people much older than them".
Have either gotten any offers to play past HS?
“Colin is such a [clutch] shooter; he has made over 150 threes in his 3 years here. I think he can definitely play in college. James has only played basketball for 4 years. He was a hockey player growing up. So, his basketball career probably ends this season but I definitely think Colin can go on further.”
What did you do to dominate this game tonight?
“We really concentrated. We played them last week and they beat us up a lil bit, inside. Their big guy [Ben Warren] had a good game against us last week. We really concentrated on trying to dig down on him and making life a little more difficult for him to get the ball and have some easy buckets. Those situations turned into transition baskets that got us going in the right direction early in the game."
⚪️Longmeadow Senior Colin Hoffman⚫️
It's Senior Night, you had your family in the crowd, you do feel right now?
"It's amazing, man. Four years here feel like forever but especially with the pandemic shortened season, [that] went by quick. It was so fun, man. I loved every second of it. Coach Murphy is a great Coach...such a good program to be a part of."
Do you know what you are going to do after you graduate this year?
Next year, I'll be taking a post-grad year...and reclass to the Class of 2022.
What did you guys do to get the victory tonight?
"We practiced hard. We've had, i think, 5 games in like 8 days; it was just exhausting. We came out with a lot of heart tonight and we played our best all around game of the year. We gotta come back...we got a tough East Longmeadow team thats really well coached and they got a lot of guys that are good. We gotta bounce back against them for our last game tomorrow night."
"The Battle of the Longmeadows"
(Tommy McMahon attacks the basket)