Tournament tonight: WHS boys’ basketball vs. Bedford

Raiders stay home to open MIAA state tournament play, starting at 7 p.m. at Watertown High

Eric Furtado, Raider Times staff

    The Watertown boys’ basketball team successfully accomplished the first goal on its list, to win the Middlesex League Freedom Division. With the Raiders’ 11-8 record and a spot in the MIAA state tournament, a first-round home game against Bedford is waiting for them on Wednesday night.

     Watertown will say that the season is just getting started.

     The Raiders, the sixth seed in the Division 3 North Sectional, will play host to the 11th-seeded Buccaneers (6-14) on Wednesday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. The winner will play No. 3 seed Arlington Catholic (15-5) at Woburn High on Saturday, Feb. 28, at 2 p.m.

      Watertown senior captain Mike Hagopian plans on going all the way for one last chance at a state championship. Hagopian has been a part of this team since he was a freshman, and has been a leader on this team the entire season.  He has been the main source of scoring since fellow captain Brendan Hoban went down with a thumb injury in the middle of January.

     Hoban was on a tear for the first part of the season. Being the team’s leading scorer before the injury, he helped win many games. But Hoban is back for the tournament, and he gives the Raiders an edge on both sides of the floor with his scoring and his stellar defense.

     Derek DiPietrantonio has helped in the success of this year’s team. Being one of the big men on a team without much height is a challenge, but DiPietrantonio has taken that challenge and turned it into success.

     With help from Angel Carrion and freshman John Korte underneath, a team that looked like it would have little chance — especially with little to no experience at the positions — ended up beating teams such as Melrose, Lexington, and  Winchester by outplaying them on the glass.

     With the play of Nate Munson-Palomba, who is also in for his last chance at a title, and supporting players Doug Leon and Julio Fulcar, the Raiders, with head coach Steve Harrington at the helm, look destined make a run that just might end up with state championship.

–Feb. 25, 2015–