WESTERLY — Getting named to the Division II second team usually would be cause for celebration for many sophomores, but it was actually a little bit of a disappointment for Westerly High boys’ basketball player Jacee Hamelin.
Hamelin earned Division II-South first-team honors but was the sixth-ranked player in the Division II selections and just missed out on the Division II first team.
“He was second in points per game behind Barrington’s Corey Daugherty and fifth in the state in points per game, according to the Providence Journal,” Westerly coach Mike Gleason said. “I know points aren’t everything but it’s hard to leave a guy like that off.”
There were five teams in Division II-South and 12 teams in Division II.
Scott Liguori and Kyle Allen each earned a spot on the Division II-South second team.
Hamelin led Westerly in points per game (21.7) rebounds (9.7) and assists (4.7).
“He and I were both a little disappointed that he didn’t make first team. I think he had extenuating circumstances working against him because he’s a sophomore and our team didn’t make the playoffs,” Gleason said.
“These other coaches don’t see a lot of what he does for us every game. He didn’t get a lot of the junk defenses like the diamond-and-one that Austin (Cilley) saw but they still paid a lot of attention to him defensively.”
In addition to being the focal point of an offense that featured Cilley the year before, Gleason said Hamelin was able to jump up in his production simply by getting stronger.
“He got a lot bigger and stronger,”the coach said. “No one in the state can stop him when he goes to the hole. He’s a special player.”
Hamelin earned a spot on the Division II-South second team as a freshman.
Gleason said he was pleased that the time Liguori and Allen missed with injuries was not held against them in the voting.
Liguori missed the first five games of the season and Allen missed the last five.
Liguori, a senior guard, was second on the team in points per game with 10.5 and Allen, a junior, led Westerly in 3-pointers with 37.
Allen was named Most Valuable player of the WCCU Holiday Tournament. He made five 3-pointers including big ones late in the Bulldogs’ 57-52 championship-game victory aainst Stonington.
Allen finsihed with 19 points — one fewer than his season high.
Liguori played a key role in the Bulldogs’ late-season push for the Division II playoffs, which came up just short.
Liguori scored in double figures in in the last four games and six of the final eight. He had a season high 21 points and 10 rebounds in Westerly’s 80-78 double-overtime victory against Shea on Jan. 28.
Westerly finished 8-14 overall and 6-12 in Division II-South.
The awards were the first of Allen’s and Liguori’s careers.
Liguori, senior forward Anthony Garro and senior reserve center Ryan Young were all named to the Academic All-League team.
Players who contribute to the varsity team and have a 3.0 grade-point average or better.