NARRAGANSETT – Changes are on the horizon for the Narragansett High School boys basketball program.
Come next winter, not only will the Mariners be adjusting to a new lineup after losing key contributors from last year’s playoff squad, but they will be doing so while adjusting to a new head coach as David Gee has left the program after six seasons.
It is an adjustment process, however, that is already well underway as Narragansett is now five games into their summer season, once again playing in the high school summer league at Christofaro Park.
“It gives them great experience and that’s what I’m looking to do,” said Jason August, long time JV coach at Narragansett who is overseeing the program this summer. “I want these kids to see how fast the game is and I want to give them the opportunity.
“…For the young kids, they’re getting the opportunity to get out there and see how the game is and kind of get acclimated and figure out, ‘Ok, what do I need to do to put myself in a spot to get better?’”
To get the most out of this opportunity to prepare for the winter season, August has entered two teams into the league, balancing both squads out with a mixture of senior leadership – splitting up Narragansett’s only two returning upperclassmen in Brendan Byrne and Dylan D’Aguanno – returning contributors such as Dan and Will Doyle, and Tyrell Smith, and soon to be freshman in Kyle Pereira and Joe Levesque.
While having a split squad has made it difficult at times to produce strong results, the focus over the course of the summer is not wins and losses, but learning and growing for when the games really matter.
“It’s just getting them to touch the ball” August said, “getting used to posting up, getting the ball and being good with the ball. I figured this is the best time for them to do it. It’s the summer, you can make all the mistakes you want.”
While progress has been seen overall for the program, Wednesday was not one of the better nights for the Mariners as both squads dropped their contests at Christofaro.
It was an unprepared squad that took the court for the school’s first game against South Kingstown, resulting in an early 10-0 run for the Rebels, from which the Mariners never recovered.
Once Narragansett finally broke through with their first points nearly eight minutes in, the team found its three-point stroke, putting together a rally late, ultimately trailing 17-11 at the half.
The Mariners shooting continued to improve as the game went on, but the squad could never put together enough of a run to take charge of the lead. Another 10-0 run by the Rebels late in the second put the game away as South rolled in a 41-27 victory.
Narragansett faired a little better in their second game against Providence Country Day.
The two squads battled back-and-forth for much of the first half, but a 12-4 run by PCD over the final six minutes while the Narragansett shooters went cold left the Mariners trailing 28-17 at the half.
They found their touch again to start the second as Narragansett battled back to take the lead, 34-33, with just over 11 minutes to play. They could not, however, maintain it as their offense shutdown for long stretches in the game’s final 10 minutes, opening the door for PCD to pull away for the 56-48 win.