Mounties wait for season to start

Mounties wait for season to start

Boys’ basketball team adjusts to guidelines for abbreviated D-III schedule

WOONSOCKET – As the president of the Rhode Island Basketball Coaches Association, Mount Saint Charles Academy head boys’ coach Henry Coleman was the perfect person to ask for a quick rundown of the rules and regulations that teams will have to follow during this unusual two-month season.

Among the guidelines that he mentioned:

– Masks are obviously in. So is playing four eight-minute quarters instead of two 16-minute halves.

– Fans are out, as is the use of locker rooms.

– Social distancing will be stressed off the court, especially at halftime – which will only last five minutes instead of 10 – and during timeouts.

– Each team will be minus a timeout this season, but each team’s full timeout will be 75 seconds instead of 60.

– Basketballs will be changed out after each eight-minute quarter and sanitized.

– During substitutions, only one player at a time from each team can check in at the scorer’s table.

– A team can only carry as many as 16 individuals (players and coaches). Any additional coaches can sit two or three rows behind the bench, but can’t be an actual part of the bench’s area.

That alone seems like a lot to digest, but in Coleman’s eyes, that’s a small price to pay for his team, which received the green light to hold workouts for the past week-and-a-half and hopes to begin its Division III schedule as early as next weekend.

“It feels good to be in the gym,” said Coleman. “The kids are enjoying it, and I know it’s a little bit different, but it’s good to see them have some type of normalcy back in their lives.”

Playing games against actual opponents and checking the standings and scores from around the division will also be a sign of normalcy. West Warwick, Moses Brown, and Prout, who have moved down from the D-II ranks, should be three teams to watch in the division, noted Coleman, as are Blackstone Valley Prep, “which has a nice core coming back from last year’s team,” and Times2 Academy, which also has a lot of returning players, “plus I heard that they added some freshmen with some talent.”

And the Mounties also hope to make their presence felt in the division with a squad that’s led by its senior co-captains and four-year varsity players, forward Jack Bennett and center Gary Kalmer.

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Bennett, who was also a captain last season, earned Second-Team All-Division honors, as he averaged 9.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, and Kalmer, who is 6-foot-5, averaged 7.7 points and 9.8 rebounds a night.

“They have great leadership qualities on and off the court,” said Coleman. “It’s nice to build around them, for the fact that they have quite a bit of experience to help share with the younger players in the program.”

Coleman is also expecting to receive some good leadership and production from seniors Jared Beaudoin, Owen Noecker, and Alec Rizzi, who he noted “have been putting in the work, and I know they can really contribute this upcoming season,” and three juniors to watch are Alex Gasbarro, Nate Kilburn, and Nathan Tessier.

If the Mounties are able to take the floor for a game next week, their season opener could be on their home court on Saturday, Jan. 23, at 1 p.m. against BVP.

Games against RIIL newcomer Highlander Charter, Davies, Central Falls, North Smithfield, Ponaganset, Exeter/West Greenwich, St. Patrick Academy, and Moses Brown are then scheduled to take place over the next three weeks.