Niagara Gazette — The Niagara Catholic boys basketball team, runners-up in last year's Monsignor Martin Athletic Association Small School division, looks set to repeat that success this season, albeit with a largely different roster.
Gone are five seniors from last year's team, including Joe Lowery, now playing for a prep school in Florida.
Despite that, this year's team is not starved for talent.
Leading the way this season will be junior guard Jonathan Jackson, a player with speed to burn who's electric in the open court.
"Jonathan is growing into a strong role, more of a leadership role," coach Eric Fields said. "He's been lucky the past few years — he's had seniors around since he was a freshman. Now the team is young, and he's bringing a lot of leadership and it shows in his play.
"We've got a guy in his third year of varsity basketball in the program, and he hasn't done anything but improved since Day One."
Joining Jackson in as part of a very good junior class will be forward Andrew Adamson and guard Brian Thomas. Adamson is a well-rounded player who's still relatively new to organized basketball, while Thomas is one of the team's top ball handlers, as well as its best shooter.
"This is only Andrew's second year with us," Fields said. "He was a little inexperienced last year, but over the offseason there was a tremendous amount of improvement, especially in his rebounding and shooting. He knows what we need and what we're looking for as a player, and you can see that improvement. I can see him continuing to get better year-to-year."
Joining the juniors so far this season in the starting lineup, which Fields says is subject to change, have been sophomores Jake Socha and Craig Paige.