Defending champions dribble into the new season

Dec 6, 2023

The Division Four champions have returned for a new season.

A week before their first big game, on Tuesday, Dec. 5, the Wareham High School varsity boys basketball team faced off in a scrimmage against Scituate High School sailors. The vikings defeated the sailors in all four rounds. 

Head Boys Basketball Coach Steve Faniel said the performance wasn’t perfect, but the team played fast and had “good energy.”

Faniel said the team has been working hard and getting all the practice they can. 

The team is now competing independently in the South Coast Conference as the rest of the school’s sports teams started in the Mayflower Conference this year. This status allows the basketball team to pick their own schedule, said Senior Co-Captain Ajay Lopes.

The schedule is much harder this year,” Lopes said, adding how Faniel wants to prepare the team for the challenges they’ll face this season.

“It's going to be tougher this year,” he added. “I'm just looking forward to those tough teams, so we get a challenge to get ready for the playoffs.”

Faniel said, “Our biggest opponent is ourselves.”

He added it’s important for the players to stay focused and not get too ahead of themselves.

“We're looking forward to tomorrow — just trying to get better tomorrow,” he said. “That's really all we're looking forward to. You can't look ahead — can't skip steps — it’s about the process.”

He added the athletes will continue to play as a team and work together through the process of bettering themselves every day.

In his final year of high school basketball, Lopes said he’s “feeling great.”

He said he is looking forward to working hard this season, and especially to do it with all of his friends.

Faniel said the town was “great” last year in showing its support for the team.

“We're going to give it all we got and hopefully everyone comes out, watches and enjoys it,” he added.

The next scrimmage will take place at home against Taunton High School on Thursday, Dec. 7 at 4 p.m. The first game of the season will be on Tuesday, Dec. 12 against Old Rochester Regional High School at 6:30 p.m.