Published in the December 17, 2015 edition


NORTH READING — After finishing last season a disappointing 8-12, the Hornets boys’ basketball team looks to rebound and return to the state tournament after a one year absence.

North Reading returns eight lettermen including their top three scorers from last season – senior forwards Justin Dorosh, Adam Goldstein and junior point guard Anthony Eldridge.

The team began its season Tuesday night with a thrilling 66–61 overtime win at home against the Masconomet Chieftains.

Head coach Joe Casey said, “We are building our team around these three players and that’s a nice nucleus to build around.”

Dorosh was an All League player last year and is a scorer. Goldstein, according to Casey, “has the ability to take over games and is a streaky shooter that has played with good confidence in the preseason.” Eldridge will be looked upon to run the team, and in the words of Casey he is “tremendously poised” for a junior.

The rest of the returning lettermen will play key roles as well. Senior forward Nic O’Connell, one of the tri–captains along with Eldridge and Dorosh, will be counted on inside to pull down rebounds and play solid defense.

Seniors Sean Castro, Nate Dionne, Billy Brandano and Patrick Riley will be key contributors off the bench.

Seven more players round out the large 15 man roster. Senior David Smith returns to the team after missing all of last year with a hand injury. There is also a group of six promising juniors. Mike McCauley will start at guard, Bobby O’Donnell, Matt McCarthy, Jackson Tormey, Shawn Tilton and Anthony Maldonado will come off the bench.

Coach Casey has been impressed during the preseason. “The team chemistry has been excellent and practices have been spirited. We didn’t have the type of season we wanted last year and the kids have been committed in the offseason to getting better and establishing a strong identity.”

He went on to say, “We have more depth in our lineup; the return of Smith and McCauley, and the additions of O’Donnell and McCarthy give us some more scoring punch. Our defense is way ahead of where it was at this point last year.”

With this depth Casey expects the Hornets to return to the state tournament and challenge for the CAL Kinney Division title.

“Lynnfield is clearly the team to beat with Masco and Newburyport being strong contenders as well. We will be in the mix, but our margin for error is very slim. We are very much looking forward to getting going.”