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Seniors Get BVT Boys Hoops on Track

After a slow start, the Blackstone Valley Tech boys basketball team has gotten itself back on track with wins in three of four games heading into this week. The Beavers started the stretch with a 68-60 win over Nipmuc just before the New Year. After falling to Douglas, BVT bounced back to score wins over Nashoba Valley Tech and Assabet.
"I think we started a little slow, we had to hit the ground running with some tough games," head coach Jim Kahler said. "Lately we have been playing better. We are scoring more and not turning the ball over as much."
The Beavers opened the season against Worcester Tech and Main South, two of the stronger teams in the Colonial Athletic League and a combined 12-0 in league play. Valley Tech also took a little longer to round into form as a number of players joined the team late after playing out another deep postseason run for the Valley Tech football team.
Senior forward Ben Reiffarth leads the team with more than 14 points per game. He dropped 20 against Nipmuc and has been in double figures seven times. Fellow senior Andrew Carroll has scored in double digits in five straight games and started the streak with a 22 point performance against Monty Tech. "They are both good athletes and strong players who can run and jump very well," Kahler said of his leading scorers. "They are starting to hone in their basketball skills. Andy is long and can get to the rim and finish. Ben is a good shooter for being such a strong kid and he can also muscle his way to the hoop."
Kahler says one of the biggest differences over the last few games has been his team's ability to find scoring from other sources. In the Beavers' win over Assabet, senior guard Tim Tetreault scored 12 points and junior Teddy Floyd hit four crucial fourth quarter free throws to help preserve the lead. "It's been great to get more from different guys," Kahler said. "Everyone in our starting lineup and even some guys coming off the bench have been able to make bigger impacts."
The senior class has lead the way for Valley Tech all season. In addition to Reiffarth, Carroll, and Tetreault, Charlie Brodeur has started at point guard and Austin LeBaste at center. Senior Ashton Gasko has seen some time in the starting lineup or significant minutes off the bench and the junior Floyd along with sophomore Dylan Ramos has provided necessary depth. LeBastie and Gasko are the team's top rebounders, and each has a double-digit rebounding performance to his credit.
Kahler says he wants to see his team play an up-tempo, transition game. He also knows that means an increased chance of turning the ball over. "We are trying to find that happy medium between getting up the floor quickly while also cutting down the turnovers that have increased because we are playing so fast," he said.
BVT began the week fourth in the Colonial, three games behind unbeaten Worcester Tech and Main South.
"We are behind the eight ball in the CAL, but I think if we can beat Worcester and Main South when we see them again, we have a shot at the league title," Kahler said. "Either way, we want to get ourselves to the district tournament and be successful once we get there."




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