By Jess Thomas

Stow’s Jake Astapoveh takes to the air                                          
Stow’s Jake Astapoveh takes to the air

The Nashoba Boys Summer Varsity basketball squad took to the Maynard High School floor on Wednesday, July 8 and defeated Tahanto 75-28 in its sixth game of the Nashoba Hoops summer program.

The team, made up of returning Nashoba seniors and juniors, improved to 5-1 with the lopsided victory.

The Chieftains were at full strength, while Tahanto was playing with only five players, so each player had to go the full 40-minute distance without any rest.

“It’s very tough to play a full game with only five players, so I give credit to their team,” Nashoba coach Bill Jones said. “Their team played hard. They just got more tired and we had more depth, but Tahanto gave a great effort the entire game.”

Jones has been helping out with the summer program for two years and he is looking for his players to work hard and improve their chances of making the varsity squad in the winter.

Jones said, “The kids enjoy playing summer basketball, as it provides a chance to bond with classmates without the pressure they encounter during the school year.”

On Wednesday, it looked as if the players have bonded quite nicely through six games, as they made crisp passes, executed their shots all night long and played hard-nosed competitive defense for the full 40 minutes.

“It just shows that this is a very good, unselfish team,” Jones said. “This group of kids really puts the team success first.”

The Chieftains spread the points around to all 10 active players, with Gregory Kane (13 points), Trevor Manyak (11 points) and Tony Kennon (10 points) leading the way on offense.

Kennon, a senior, is a returning captain and team leader.

“Tony Kennon was injured earlier this summer, but has recovered and continues to be a great team leader on and off the court,” Jones said.

At halftime, the score was fairly close at 30-16, but a 16-0 Chieftain run in the second half stretched the lead to 52-18 and Tahanto ran out of gas as the last several minutes ran off the clock.

Jones noted that the summer league has received great support and help from people such as Sam Peirce, who currently coaches the Hale Middle School boys basketball team.

The league in which Nashoba participates has 12 teams based on proximity of the towns. Teams in the summer league include squads from Maynard, Lincoln-Sudbury, Acton-Boxborough, Concord-Carlisle and Tahanto.

The full season consists of nine games, followed by playoffs based on team records.

Jones has enjoyed his team as coach of the Nashoba squad along with assistant coach Mike Perisho.
Jones said, “It is nice working on the game of basketball with such a nice, polite group of boys.”