The boys' basketball program goes back many years at Dublin, but in recent seasons it has gained considerable popularity. So much so that in 2011 the athletic department, in an effort to meet the increased interest, started the school's first-ever junior varsity boys basketball squad.
The varsity team's 20-game season runs from early December through the end of February. The team plays in the River Valley Athletic League. Our schedule is made up of similar sized varsity clubs from all over New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont, including Putney, Eagle Hill, and White Oak, among others. The coaching staff is committed to maximizing the talent and effort from each player, all within an environment that encourages leadership and fosters confidence.
The team's season consists of practices four days a week and games every Wednesday and Saturday. In recent years Wildcat basketball has enjoyed some much deserved success including multiple RVAL Championships.
School support for the program is strong. A healthy contingent of students and faculty attend road games, while home games are a true event at Dublin. Whitney Gymnasium fills up with fans and contests often include several entertaining fan-related half-time events, such as half-court shot contest, blind shooting, and a relay race.
Dublin hosted Winchendon on Saturday in its final game of the season. The Wildcats put it all together in the first half, executing well on offense and feeding co-captain Wyatt Switzer '19 (Marlborough, NH) in the post for 10 points before intermission. Dublin held its own on the boards against the bigger Winchendon forwards, and took a 27-26 lead into the locker room. But the height difference in the front-court made a difference in the second half, as Winchendon capitalized on 16 offensive rebounds to pull ahead for good, while Dublin's shooters went cold. Switzer led the team with 12 points, while Nate Gryczka '20 (Keene, NH) and Jaydon Belliveau-Ryan '20 (Peterborough, NH) each added 11.
In a year led by underclassmen, the Wildcats (6-14, 3-4 RVAL) made great strides both individually and as a team. With all players returning, expectations are high for Dublin's 2017-2018 campaign.
Dublin ran into a deep, athletic, talented squad from Cambridge, MA, on Wednesday and got pummeled, 77-34. Idriss Traore '19 (New York, NY) led the team with 13 points. Jaydon Belliveau-Ryan '20 (Peterborough, NH) added 10 and Will Campbell '19 (Milford, NH) had 9.
Dublin played its third road game of the week on Saturday and lacked the spark of the first two, falling to a scrappy Holderness team 54-44. The Wildcats got beat badly in the rebounding department and shot poorly from the floor. Jaydon Belliveau-Ryan '20 (Peterborough, NH) and Will Campbell '19 (Milford, NH) led the team in scoring with 14 points apiece. Idriss Traore '19 (New York, NY) added 7.
Dublin boys' Varsity basketball traveled down to Springfield, Massachusetts, for the final of the River Valley Athletic League tournament on Thursday. The opponent, Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School, was undefeated and mostly unchallenged in league play, but the Wildcats gave them all they could handle. Both teams got up and down the floor in a hurry in this fast-paced contest, in which the momentum seemed to swing every few minutes. Hot-shooting Paulo Freire jumped out to an 18-point lead that Dublin cut down to 7 with 2:00 to play in the first half, but a rash of turnovers led to a 10-0 Paulo Freire run before halftime.
The semifinals of the River Valley Athletic League tournament were held at Eagle Hill School in Hardwick, MA, where second-seeded Eagle Hill hosted the third-seeded Wildcats. Nip and tuck from the get-go, the game was broken open late in the first half. A three-pointer from Will Campbell '19 (Milford, NH) and two jumpshots from Jaydon Belliveau-Ryan '20 (Peterborough, NH) spurred Dublin to an 11-0 run and a 30-19 halftime lead. Both defenses clamped down in the second half, causing turnovers and getting crucial stops. But Dublin kept its cool down the stretch, with Nate Gryczka '20 (Keene, NH) going 5-5 from the free-throw stripe and Wyatt Switzer '19 (Marlborough, NH) pulling down clutch rebounds in the final minute to clinch a 49-40 upset and a ticket to the RVAL finals.
Belliveau-Ryan led all scorers with 17 points, followed by Switzer with 12 and Gryczka with 9. Kyle Mincey '19 (Newark, NJ) and Fabryce Joseph '18 (Easton, PA) played well off the bench for the Wildcats. Dublin will face first-seeded Paulo Freire in the RVAL championship game on Thursday.
Dublin hosted Paulo Freire Charter School on Saturday, the first-ever meeting between the boys' programs. Paulo Freire came in undefeated and unchallenged in the league, featuring a slew of hot shooters with great range. The Wildcats were up for the challenge in the first half, shooting 50% from the floor and riding their trapping half-court defense to a 34-28 lead. But the visitors heated up in the second half, knocking down nine three-pointers while Dublin's shooters went cold. A layup by Jaydon Belliveau-Ryan '20 (Peterborough, NH) cut the deficit to 8 points with four minutes remaining, but that was the closest the Wildcats would come, as Paulo Freire pulled away, 66-50. Will Campbell '19 (Milford, NH) added 18 points and 6 rebounds, while Fabryce Joseph '18 (Easton, PA) played a terrific all-around game, collecting 7 points, 12 rebounds, 4 deflections, 3 assists, and a steal.
Dublin Varsity boys' basketball traveled north to Wolfeboro, NH, on Monday night to take on Brewster Academy (Varsity B). The visitors jumped out to a 9-8 lead, but Brewster's height and offensive firepower soon changed the momentum, and Dublin went into the locker room at halftime trailing 34-16. Jaydon Belliveau-Ryan '20 (Peterborough, NH) scored all his team-high 11 points in the second half, but they weren't enough to mount a serious challenge, and Dublin lost by a final score of 60-35. Will Campbell '19 (Milford, NH) added 10 points.
The Wildcats had a closer call against Bradford Christian Academy (Varsity B) on Saturday, escaping a nail-biter with a 45-44 win. Dublin led most of the way, but their 8-point cushion evaporated in the last five minutes of the game. With one minute remaining and the shot clock winding down, Will Campbell (Milford, NH) '19 knocked down a three-pointer from 25 feet to put the home team up by four. BCA answered with a three of their own, and after Dublin's four missed free throws in the final 30 seconds, had a chance to win. But the defense held strong, getting the crucial stop when the team needed it most, just as time expired. Jaydon Belliveau-Ryan (Peterborough, NH) '20 led the Wildcats once more with a game-high 20 points and 7 rebounds. Campbell added 13 points, and Wyatt Switzer (Marlborough, NH) '19 took an important charge in the second half to swing the momentum in Dublin's favor.
Dublin's boys' Varsity basketball team claimed the first of two back-to-back home victories last weekend with a 68-60 win over Vermont Academy (Varsity B). The team shot 48% from the field, its best percentage of the season, led by Jaydon Belliveau-Ryan (Peterborough, NH) '20, who erupted for a season-high 32 points on 13-23 shooting. Sophomore Wyatt Switzer (Marlborough, NH) had a double-double, with 16 points and 11 rebounds, and his fellow co-captain Will Campbell (Milford, NH) added 12 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists.
Dublin traveled to Hardwick, Massachusetts, on Wednesday to face Eagle Hill School in a River Valley Athletic League matchup. Defense was strong on both ends, and scoring for both teams was low throughout. The Wildcats shot just 6 for 35 in the first half, which ended with the visitors trailing, 19-13. Dublin outrebounded Eagle Hill significantly, dominating the glass 50-28 over the course of the game, but could not translate its frontcourt advantage into points. Down 10 with 5:00 to go, they finally closed the gap to 3 on a Fab Joseph (Easton, PA) '18 layup with 0:06 remaining. After an Eagle Hill turnover, Dublin had one final chance to tie the score, but Will Campbell's (Milford, NH) long attempt at the buzzer fell short. Jaydon Belliveau-Ryan (Peterborough, NH) led the team once again with 14 points and 3 steals; Joseph added 7 points and 15 rebounds, 9 of them on the offensive glass.
On Saturday the team traveled to the ancestral home of basketball, Springfield, Massachusetts, and was soundly thumped by a talented Commonwealth Academy squad, 86-29. Commonwealth, one of the top AAA teams in New England, took advantage of superior height and speed, holding Dublin to just 1-19 shooting in the first half. Jaydon Belliveau-Ryan (Peterborough, NH) '20 led all scorers with 16 points, but lacked a supporting cast offensively. Will Campbell (Milford, NH) '19 added 6 points and 7 rebounds.
Dublin Varsity boys' basketball improved to 2-0 in the River Valley Athletic League with a 57-39 victory on the road against Four Rivers on Friday night. Offensive efficiency helped propel the Wildcats, as they shot 43% from the floor. Co-captain Will Campbell (Milford, NH) '19 led the way in all categories, collecting 15 points on 7-11 shooting, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists. Jaydon Belliveau-Ryan (Peterborough, NH) '20 had 11 points to go with 9 rebounds and 5 steals; Wyatt Switzer (Marlborough, NH) '19 added 8 points; and Harrison Atlas (Houston, TX) '18 added 6.
In its first game back from the holiday break, Dublin Varsity boys' basketball traveled to Cambridge on Wednesday to take on Buckingham Browne & Nichols. The Wildcats struggled to hold their own in the front-court, getting outrebounded and outscored in the paint from the get-go. Down by 20 points at the half, Jaydon Belliveau-Ryan '20 jump-started a comeback, hitting three three-pointers on his way to a game-high 23 points. But BB&N answered with a 12-0 run that put the game out of reach, defeating Dublin by a final score of 67-40. Co-captains Wyatt Switzer '19 and Will Campbell '19 added 7 and 6 points respectively.
Dublin boys' Varsity basketball picked up a big win on the road on Friday, outpacing Putney 61-49 in the year's first meeting between these River Valley Athletic League rivals. The Wildcats started the game on a 12-4 run, getting steals out of their trapping zone defense and converting them into breakaway layups by Jaydon Belliveau-Ryan '20 (Peterborough, NH) and Fab Joseph '18 (Easton, PA). Putney held tough, however, and trailed by just five points at halftime. In the second half, Dublin protected and extended its lead on some hot shooting by Belliveau-Ryan, Will Campbell '18 (Milford, NH), and Nate Gryczka '18 (Keene, NH), who finished the game with 22, 16, and 9 points, respectively. Joseph added 6 points, and Harrison Atlas '18 (Houston, TX) scored his first bucket in a Dublin uniform.
On Saturday, December 10, Dublin returned to face Newman School in the consolation game, squeaking out a victory in the final seconds, 40-38. After a physically and emotionally taxing loss the night before, the Wildcats struggled offensively, shooting just 30% from the floor, but their defense was equally stingy, nabbing 18 steals, many of which turned into fast-break buckets. With the game tied 38-38, Belliveau-Ryan drove hard to the hoop and drew a foul with 0.8 seconds remaining. With the game on the line, he calmly drained two free throws, and Dublin had its first win of the year.
Dublin boys' Varsity basketball went on the road last weekend, traveling to Worcester for the annual "Charlie A. Invitational Tournament" at Bancroft School. Dublin's opponent on Friday night was Watkinson School, a talented squad whose full-court press caused an astounding 37 Wildcat turnovers through the course of the game. But despite ball-handling troubles, Dublin scrambled back from an 8-0 deficit, and a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Nate Gryczka '20 to end the first half cut Watkinson's lead to 42-39.
Leads were traded many times in the fast-paced second half, and Dublin held a slim lead with three minutes remaining in the game. But Watkinson's defense proved the stronger down the stretch, holding off Dublin by a score of 73-67.
Boys' Varsity basketball took one under the chin at home on Saturday, losing big to a deep, talented Groton School squad, 67-21. Co-captain Will Campbell '19 was knocked out of the game early on with a possible concussion, and the Wildcats couldn't find any momentum offensively, trailing 18-2 after the first eight minutes. Sophomore Kyle Mincey '19 gave Dublin a lift off the bench, scoring his first five points in a Varsity uniform, but the rest of his teammates had a tough shooting night, going a combined 7-for-37 from the floor and turning the ball over a whopping 35 times. Jaydon Belliveau-Ryan '20 had 7 points and 5 rebounds, and Nate Gryczka '20 played important minutes for Dublin, grabbing 6 rebounds and adding 3 points.
Dublin's Varsity boys' basketball team dropped a tightly contested season opener, losing to Cardigan Mountain School 46-40. Dublin came out hot on their home court in the first six minutes of the game, jumping out to an 11-1 advantage on buckets by Will Campbell '19 and Jaydon Belliveau-Ryan '20, but Cardigan soon closed the gap and took a 19-16 lead into halftime. Dublin briefly regained the lead, 33-32, with five and a half minutes remaining, but turnovers caused by Cardigan's scrappy defense proved costly to the home team down the stretch. The taller and stronger Wildcats dominated the boards throughout, led by Idriss Traore '19 and Wyatt Switzer '19, who collected 13 and 12 rebounds, respectively. Belliveau-Ryan led the team with 18 points on the night to go with 7 rebounds, followed by Campbell with 14 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Henry Walters enters his third season as Dublin's boys' basketball coach. A coach's son himself, and a gym rat from a young age, Walters grew up in Clinton, Michigan, where he captained his high-school team for his final two seasons, advancing to the district finals. After attending Harvard College, where he played intramural and pick-up ball (briefly rubbing shoulders with Jeremy Lin), he taught and coached for two seasons at Groton School, lived in Ghana, Ireland, and Italy, and made an appearance for the Minotauro Taormina (Sicily) basketball team under the assumed name Andre LoGiudice. At Dublin, Walters runs an annual summer basketball camp, and has set expectations high for the Wildcats to compete and succeed at a high level in the competitive New England prep-school scene.