BY ABHISHEK RANA & SUBIN BASTOLA
This winter, the Malden High School boys basketball team will play their final season in the Greater Boston League (GBL). After the winter season concludes, MHS will be moving conferences to the Northeastern Conference (NEC). With this season being their last in the GBL, the boys hope to have a successful season and leave the conference on a high note.
Last season, the team finished the with an overall record of 8-11, unfortunately missing the playoffs. Finishing above .500 and making the state tournament as well as hosting a playoff game is one of the major goals the team has heading into the season. After losing key senior players from last year, the varsity team has many newcomers that hope to takeover from the Alumni.
One of the newcomers to the team is junior Malik Bissett who plays power forward or center. Bisset recently transferred to MHS from Chelsea High School and praised his current team. When asked about his new team, he mentioned that all of his teammates “[work] hard,” and are “focused on setting goals for themselves,” without “getting distracted by drama."
Another newcomer to the team is a sophomore point guard, Robens Garcia. As a freshman, Garcia played in the junior varsity and the freshmen team, and this season will be his first as a varsity player. When asked about this, Garcia responded by saying that “[he is] looking forward to a great experience,” as well as “the challenges that come with being a varsity player.”
The team will tip-off their season on December 13th, hosting the Tewksbury Memorial Redmen at the MHS Finn Gym. To get ready for the upcoming season, the team has already played in a few scrimmage games and tested their skills. Two of the scrimmage games came against Quincy and Catholic Memorial on December 3rd.
When asked about what he noticed during their scrimmages, Bisset mentioned that “[they] have to continue working on [their] ball movement,” as well as “causing a lot fewer turnovers.” According to the Head Coach Don Nally, although they have had very few practices together “[the team played] really well together” during the scrimmages. He also observed that “the team needs to improve on offense and continue to move off ball and run set plays.”
Nally described this year's team as a ”battle tested” one because the team also has a lot of returning players such as senior captains Nathaniel Ilebode and Bernard Taylor. He also expects his new players to not “be too nervous” and “contribute to the team”