Published in the March 2, 2016 edition

SENIOR CAPTAIN Brendan Sullivan (3) was named Cape Ann League Player of the Year last week. (Courtesy Photo)

SENIOR CAPTAIN Brendan Sullivan (3) was named Cape Ann League Player of the Year last week. (Courtesy Photo)


LYNNFIELD — Boys’ basketball point guard Brendan Sullivan has given opposing teams headaches on the court the past four years and this season was no exception to the rule.

Cape Ann League coaches recognized Sullivan last week when the point guard was named CAL Player of the Year. He is averaging 16 points, seven assists and four steals per game this season.

“It’s an honor,” said Sullivan. “It feels really good when your hard work and dedication are recognized by all the coaches around the league.”

Pioneers head coach Scott MacKenzie said he’s thrilled Sullivan was named CAL Player of the Year.

“This award is a long time coming for Brendan,” said MacKenzie. “To be honest, he should have won the award last year as well. Brendan’s greatness cannot be found in a stat line and this is what makes him so special. This kid is extremely talented, that is indisputable. But, his willingness to compete and will to win is unlike anything I have ever been around on a basketball court. Brendan is the best player on our team, the best player in our league, and he is deserving of every last award and accolade that comes his way.”

Sullivan attributed his success on the court this season to MacKenzie and his teammates.

“I attribute my success to coach McKenzie for putting me in situations to be successful with the ball and also my teammates,” said Sullivan. “We have a really competitive team that really gets after it every practice and every one of those guys pushes myself and others around me to be better.”

In addition to being named as CAL Player of the Year this year, Sullivan was named as a CAL Second Team All-Star as a sophomore and a First Team All-Star as a junior. He was also the runner up for CAL Small Player of the Year last year.

Sullivan wasn’t the only member of the Pioneers recognized by CAL coaches last week. Junior Louis Ellis was named as a CAL First Team All-League player and junior Mike Carangelo was named to the CAL Second Team.

“Louis and Mike, in a lot of ways, have become the backbone of what we do,” said MacKenzie. “Their ability to defend all five positions on the floor is remarkable and this allows us to play the type of man-to-man defense that allows only 45 points per game. We are a group that prides itself on the work we do on the defensive end of the floor and these two guys have been spearheading that charge from day one. Lou and Mike are terrific players and I am excited that the league recognized their monster efforts.”

Sullivan concurred with MacKenzie’s sentiments.

“Lou and Mike have been huge all year,” said Sullivan. “I really thought Billy Arsenault and Jake McHugh could have also been All-Stars, and Tucker Torosian would have got the sixth man award if there was one. We have really talented players, which really opens things up for me. Lou has had a few games where he’s carried us to wins and has been a great defender all year. Mike’s also done it all. His court vision is unbelievable for a big man. He leads the transition a lot after he gets rebounds and makes very good decisions.”

Tourney begins Friday

The second seeded Pioneers will host either seventh seed Pentucket (9-9) or tenth seed Newburyport (10-10) in the Division 3 North quarterfinals, beginning on Friday, March 4. Lynnfield defeated both teams twice this season.

“Right now the focus is on keeping ourselves sharp in practice, maintaining our compete level each day and trying to get ready for Friday,” said MacKenzie. “The fellas are ready. They want to play and this game just cannot get here soon enough.”

Sullivan agreed.

“I can’t wait for Friday,” said Sullivan. “I hope we get Pentucket because we got some unfinished business with them. But if it’s Newburyport, then we’ll also execute.”