Published in the March 6, 2020 edition.

WAKEFIELD — The Middlesex League boys’ basketball coaches met recently to vote on this year’s All-Star selections in both the Freedom and Liberty Divisions.

The Wakefield Warriors, who finished the season 12-9 overall and 9-7 in the league, had two All-Stars named in the Freedom Division: senior captain Ryan Marcus and junior Brett Okundaye.

Marcus concluded his four-year varsity career with a senior season in which he averaged 14.4 points per game (10th in the Middlesex League). He also had 88 assists (4 per game), 114 rebounds (5.2), 31 steals (1.4) and shot 82 percent from the free line, the 5th best percentage in the league. Marcus was 10th in the league in 3-point field goals made with 40.

“His versatility the last couple of years was remarkable,” said head coach Brad Simpson. “He’s played every position for us from point guard to center. He was the ultimate glue guy.”

Okundaye took his first varsity season by storm. The junior led the Warriors in scoring and was second in the Middlesex League with 18.6 points per game. He shot an incredible 63 percent from the field which was also tops in the league. Okundaye collected 155 rebounds (7 per game), 78 steals (3.5) and 27 assists.

“Brett was our engine,” said Simpson. “When he was on his game he could pull us through a period or a half and just dominate.”

Okundaye’s impression was felt on both ends of the court. In addition to finishing many passes from Marcus and creating his own shot, Okundaye’s defense often set the tone as evidenced by his 3.5 steals per game which Simpson said was the most by a Wakefield players since the early 2000’s. 

First-place Burlington led the balloting in the Freedom Division with three All-Stars including the league MVP in sophomore Aiden Olivier. Watertown, Melrose and Wakefield each had two selections while Stoneham and Wilmington each had one.

In the Liberty Division, first place Belmont who went 14-2 in the league, tied for the lead with three All-Stars including MVP senior Mac Annus. Wakefield handed Belmont their first home league loss since 2017 on Feb. 4, 69-63. Okundaye scored 28 points in that game while Marcus had 22 including five 3’s. Belmont will play Beverly in the Div. 2 North finals tomorrow, 4:15 p.m. at the Tsongas Center.

Winchester also had three All-Stars. Reading had two while Woburn, Lexington and Arlington each had one.