Bolts beat Huskies in opener

Posted 12/13/23

Although the Cranston East boys basketball team is rebuilding this winter, the Bolts are confident and ready to compete on a nightly basis in the loaded Division I group.

The team graduated some …

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Bolts beat Huskies in opener


Although the Cranston East boys basketball team is rebuilding this winter, the Bolts are confident and ready to compete on a nightly basis in the loaded Division I group.

The team graduated some key pieces from last year’s team, including All-Division standout Naz Milien. East will turn to its four seniors and a handful of youngsters to help keep things steady as they build toward the future.

“We’re going to be in full rebuild and the kids have bought into everything that we’re teaching. We’re going to be a young team, but we’re seeing some real leadership develop in our program and our team. That might put us on the fast track to rebuilding a little bit quicker and I give our kids that are buying in a lot of credit for doing so in such a short amount of time,” said East coach Dave DelFino, who takes over the program after coaching at Exeter-West Greenwich.

“We feel very good coming into this year. We have a brand new coach, coming in as a family, we’ve had good practices. We feel good and we see the areas that we need to improve,” said senior Juel Goris. “We’re going to come in with high energy and we want to come into every game and play the best basketball that we can play. Most importantly we want to just go out there and have fun.”

The Bolts missed the playoffs last season and finished with four league wins. The down year has motivated the returners to get back into the postseason mix.

“We have great communication. We need work but as of now we’re alright. We learned that our communication and attitude wasn’t too great. We had a losing record, not everyone was happy which brought the energy down. This year we have a team that can stay positive through the ups and downs,” said Noah Barros.

Fans will be keeping track of the wins and losses each night, but DelFino has urged his players to ignore the noise and focus on the classroom and effort.

“If we’re basing our success on wins and losses, then at the end of the year, there is only one team that can be successful and that’s the furthest thing from the truth. We base our success on our players being eligible with grades, being present at every practice, every meeting. That’s what we base our success on,” said DelFino. “The character we present on the court and our toughness and how hard we play. We have a lot to learn and a lot to get better at, but that’s what we will base our success on.”

Senior Adrian Nunez is prepared to also step up as a leader and will demand nightly effort from the underclassmen, who will need to log significant minutes across different roles.

“For the young kids, they just have to put their all into the game. They need to listen to the coaches and bring it all on the court at practice and games,” Nunez said.

As far as wins and losses go, the Bolts got off to a strong start by beating Mt. Hope in its non-league opener last week when they handed the Huskies a 61-52 loss. Goris led the way with 17 points while Albert Keese and Darien Peterson each added 10.

“Coming out of that win, we felt that we could have been more together as a team. We feel that we can utilize different things and improve as a team. We know what we need to do right and wrong,” said Keese, who looks forward to the battle which is Division I. “We’re as prepared as possible. Our coaching staff has brought us together and we’ve worked as much as we’ve needed to. We’re looking forward to looking into teams and trying to study as much as we can.”

As the Bolts look forward to the rest of their schedule, DelFino and his staff are simply looking for the players to work hard and master the fundamentals while developing respect and chemistry within the locker room.

“We’re going to make sure that everyone is bought in to what we do. Every day we talk about culture. We want to have the best culture, and that culture begins with love for each other. That’s a choice they’re making right now,” said DelFino. “On the court, we will hold them accountable and they’re going to have to play with up-tempo speed, they’re going to have to play with great pride on the defensive end. We feel that offense wins games in the regular season, defense wins playoff games, and rebounding wins championships.”

Bolts, Huskies, basketball


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