Boys basketball: Experienced Lawmen look for improvement

The Jonathan Law boys basketball team will boast experience and a growing rotation of players available to contribute when coach Tim Dooley’s Lawmen play host to East Haven High in their season opener on Saturday, Dec. 19, at 12 p.m.

“We have ten seniors and seven played big varsity minutes (a year ago),” Dooley said. “Having that experience on our side going forward is important.”

Nolan Beardsley and Destin Johnson are team captains.

“Nolan is a little bit of a hybrid because he can play either forward or guard,” Dooley said. “Destin is a pure point guard. Matt Marino is also a point guard and can play in a tandem with Destin. Evan Carollo is a pure shooting guard and can play the wing.

“Justin McFadden is one of our three returning starters (with Beardsley and Marino) and will be a center-forward. Coming off the bench will be senior Tim Caldwell, juniors Tom Gambardella and Matt Zancewicz and a newcomer to the program in Bobby Varnum, who had to sit out after transferring in from Notre Dame of West Haven.”

Dooley, who will be assisted by Chris Zuraw, Pat Gallagher and Pat O’Brien, is counting on last year’s experience, plus a healthy dose of playing time in the summer and fall, to move the program forward.

“The first seven guys have been in the system for four years,” said Dooley, now in his fifth year at the helm. “They know what it takes and now we can go into finer details on a daily basis, especially with our defense. That experience will also be a strength to handle those critical minutes that come up in every game.

“The guys played in both the Shehan Center summer and fall league, where I really like the competition. In our two scrimmages, I’ve seen how much the players have improved, especially in our ball handling against pressure. They also hit the weights and are stronger.

“We’re still feeling out who will see time after the first seven. I’d like to go ten deep. After the seven we have a couple of juniors and sophomores I’m looking to see improve themselves to play at the speed and pressure at this level.”

Law, 2-18 a year ago, will visit Amity-Woodbridge on Monday, Dec. 21, at 7 p.m.