BRATTLEBORO -- Already having one thing in common with the NBA team in Indiana, the Pacers from the Granite State would like to mirror Roy Hibbert’s squad in another way.
The Hinsdale boys basketball team, which went 3-14 last season, will start off by playing at Wilton-Lyndeborough on Friday at 7 p.m. The team’s home opener is scheduled for Dec. 18 versus Monadnock.
"Our weakness is that we’re young. We don’t have a lot of experience," said Pacers coach Brad Venice, whose team lost eight players to graduation. "We struggled to rebound at times last year. But this team is scrappy. They never give up. This is my seventh year coaching, and my teams have always given 100 percent."
The Pacers are led by all-everything guard Matt Boggio, who is a good ball handler, passer, slasher and shooter. He scored 250 points a year ago as a freshman.
And opposing teams probably won’t be able to afford to throw junk defenses at him, unless they want to get burned inside by post players Hunter Nichols and 6-6 freshman Kyle Rideout.
"Our offense will depend on Rideout. If he develops, we will be a post-oriented offense. If not, we will be more guard-oriented," added Venice.
That could be found out as early as today, when the Pacers face Bellows Falls in a scrimmage. But the Hinsdale coach said he probably won’t even be set on a starting lineup until the third or fourth regular-season game.
One thing he does know is that Nichols is a force inside. The junior is a big body, has good post moves and is a good rebounder according to Venice. He scored 135 points as a sophomore.
The Hinsdale defense will be anchored by junior Ben Kilelee. The tenacious, lock-down defender has good speed and quickness.
"We will try to play more man-to-man defense this season. We have faster guys," noted Venice. "We will play some 2-3 and 3-2 zone just to mix it up. We have to play strong defense and rebound well."
The coach said that Boggio has the potential to be a good defensive player, that Nichols provides solid post defense, and that Markee Frazer is an athletic kid that should really help out at that end of the court.
Hinsdale boys basketball roster: Coach -- Brad Venice. Players -- Matt Boggio, Hunter Nichols, Ben Kilelee, RJ Cacelli, Markee Frazer, Zach Lepisto, Joey Yardley, Kyle Rideout, Danny O’Melia, Matt Crothers.
Shane Covey can be reached by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.
-- -- --
The Hinsdale girls basketball team will open up tonight at 5:30 by hosting Concord Christian. The Pacers, who went undefeated during the 2012-13 regular season and made it to the Division 4 semifinals, had their Monday opener postponed due to the weather.
Coached by Terry Bonnette, the Pacers return their top three scorers in Skylar Bonnette, Allison Scott and Bridget Bourne.
Hinsdale girls basketball roster: Coach -- Terry Bonnette. Players -- Skylar Bonnette, Allison Scott, Bridget Bourne, Brianna Benjamen, Tessa Pierce, Katherine Fecto, Meghan Finnell, Kaitlyn Towle, Jaqueline Atkins, Skyler Leclair.