Boys Basketball Wins First Game Behind 22-Point Performance By Wellington

David Creed •

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The Nantucket Whaler boys basketball team dropped 75 points on the Barnstable Red Hawks Tuesday afternoon en route to a 75-42 road victory. It was the Whaler's first win of the season, which was much needed after two heartbreaking defeats to begin the season against the Nauset Warriors.

Senior captain Karson Wellington scored a team-high 22 points and added 8 rebounds along with some stellar defense.
“We played better as a team today,” Wellington said after the game. “Everyone was trusting each other and we got more shots on the rim like Coach (Willis Ferreira) said. It feels good to get the first one. Now it’s just time for us to go on a roll.”

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Nantucket head coach Willis Ferreira felt a breakout season may be in the cards for Wellington, and so far he hasn't disappointed.

"He just does everything well," he said. "This year we are looking for him to help us score. He doesn't think that way but we need him to put the ball in the hoop. He was more aggressive today, but his mindset isn't about scoring the most points. He rebounds, he defends, he hustles, he does all of those other things. He does so many good things. He worked hard on his game all summer. I am really happy for him. He had an opportunity to go out and play well in the game that he loves."

The game started off slow with Nantucket leading 13-10. But the Whalers heated up in the next two quarters, scoring 48 points (24 in each quarter) to build a 35-point cushion (61-26) between them and Barnstable.

"It took us a little while to get going," Ferreira said. "I liked our effort in the second and third quarters. That was big for us outscoring them 24-8 in both quarters. We hit some shots early. While we aren't a great three-point shooting team, we made some threes (Tuesday) that kept us in the game in the first quarter and as the game went on we were able to handle their press and score."

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Junior point guard Carlos Aguilar had a strong game with 16 points and four assists. He was happy with how he and his teammates played following a pair of heartbreaking defeats to begin the year against the Nauset Warriors.
“I think what was working best today was how hungry we were for our first win and I think our two losses really fired us up coming into todays game, especially our first quarter at home versus Nauset,” Aguilar said. “(Today) we were making shots we make in practice, and we just all trusted each other today which led to the first W for us.”

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Other key contributors on the stat sheet on Tuesday were junior forward Jayquan Francis (13 points), senior guard Treyce Brannigan (8 points, team-high 5 assists), and junior center Jack Halik (6 points and 11 rebounds).

Ferreira said he loved seeing Brannigan chip in offensively. He considers any offense from the senior guard to be a bonus, explaining that his tremendous effort and defense is what earns him his minutes.

Ferreira was also complimentary of the play of junior guard Chris Simpson, who scored all five of his points in the first quarter. They were much needed as Nantucket struggled offensively to begin the game and turned it over several times. He also liked the play of junior Edin Vasquez, who checked in for some minutes to give Halik a breather.

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"I thought overall it was a good win. We needed that," Ferreira said. "We scored and we got more balls to the rim, which we needed to do. We are shooting it pretty good from the free throw line so far this season too. I like what Simpson gave us and Edin gave us a little something. It was just a good team win. Carlos was good at times. Jayquan too, and Halik was really good on the boards."

Nantucket is now 1-2 this season. They will be in action next on Tuesday, January 3 when they host the Dennis-Yarmouth Dolphins (1-3) at 5 p.m.

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