Since the 2006 season, the BFA-St. Albans boys’ basketball team has put together 11 consecutive seasons where it finished over .500 with their worse regular season being 11-9 in the 2012 and 2014 seasons.
During that strong stretch, one thing that has eluded the Bobwhites is a return to the Division I semifinals, which is something that hasn’t happened since the 1996 season.
The Bobwhites goal for the upcoming season is to grab a top-four seed in the Division I playoffs to put them in good position for a deep playoff run.
“Our first six are on the road this year, so this team will be tested early,” said BFA coach Matt Toof, who is entering his third year as head coach at the varsity level. “We are focused on seizing the opportunity as a chance to get coveted playoff points. Also, these kids have put pressure on the coaching staff. These players have made a huge commitment to improving their game in the offseason. As a coaching staff, we are going to make sure we give this team every opportunity to succeed.”
The Bobwhites finished the regular season last year with a 12-8 record and drew the No. 7 seed in the Division I playoffs. They drew an exciting matchup with rival Missisquoi in the first round of the playoffs and came away with a 65-34 win.
BFA went on to drop a tough quarterfinal game to Rice, who went on to the championship game. the team will be led by a core group of juniors this season with big-man Jens Ulrich-Verderber being a force in the post for the team.
Other juniors looking to have a big season will be Danny Reyome and Will Harvey, who also saw a lot of time as sophomores last year.
“Verderber brings size, strength and a great inside game for us,” said Toof. “Harvey was our most dependable defender last year and will be expected to pick up some slack on the offensive end this year. Reyome, one of our more versatile players, will be expected to blossom into a two-way player we know he is capable of becoming.”
While Verderber locks down the post for the team this season, Toof said keys for a strong regular season will depend on how well players develop on the defensive end this season to feature the balanced offensive attack.
“We have two lock-down defenders in Harvey and Reyome, so our success will depend how well other players develop on the defensive end,” he said. “On the offensive end, we have balance. Verderber and Reyome will be featured in the post with Harvey and Logan Tobin have the ability to get to the basket, while James Konrad can knock down shots from the outside. We are going to be a tough team to defend; having said that, we must reduce the number of physical mistakes we made last year and eliminate all mental in order to succeed.”
The Bobwhites begin their stretch of six games in a row on the road when they travel to Colchester on December 16.
“This season, we plan to compete with an aggressive approach at both ends of the floor,” said Toof. “It should be a fun team to watch.”