Losing nine players from an historic 23-win season is never easy to rebound from. Just donֱt tell that to Lawrence coach Jesus Moore.

After eight seniors graduated, and sharpshooter Jonathan Ocasio transferred to Deerfield Academy, Moore is looking for senior Obbie Luciano to be a veteran leader, after a strong performance throughout the summer and fall league grind.

ֱOur team is a new group that lacks experience, but they compete hard and play well together,ֱ said Moore. ֱIgor Gonzalez currently holds a D2 offer from Albany State, and he is another name to watch out for.ֱ

Lawrence also returns senior Joendy Rosario, as well as sophomore Francisco Santana, who has an offer from Georgetown University.

Knights set to make chargeNorth Andover, on the other hand, returns a bevy of contributors, led by returning starters ֱ-Tribune Super Teamer Zach Wolinski,guard Cam Bethel and forward Niko Catalano.

The Scarlet Knights went on a run to the MIAA Division 1 state semifinals last spring, before falling to runner-up Needham, and coach Paul Tanglis expects more of the same with ten players returning overall.

Jake Saalfrank, a 6-foot-4 senior, looks to be a big addition to the starting lineup after losing ֱ-Tribune All-Star Jake Denney to graduation.

Wolinski looks destined to be in the conversation for the MVP in the Merrimack Valley Conference, after averaging 18 points a game as a junior.

Central recovering from tough offseasonSimilar to Lawrence High, the offseason did not treat Central Catholic well.

After losing key pieces in prep-bound Joey Hart and Nick Sangermano, sophomore captain Javi Lopez looks to take a big leap after an impressive freshman season as a starter.

ֱWe are really excited about this yearֱs group, they are very coachable and hungry to compete,ֱ said Raiders head coach Mark Dunham. ֱWe have another very difficult schedule that will hopefully prepare us for another deep postseason run.ֱ

John Kelley, at 6-foot-9, and senior guard Bladimir Hiraldo look to complement Lopez in the starting lineup.

Andover looking to surpriseDave Fazio has seen it all in 35 years at the helm of the Andover High boys basketball program. Fazio believes something just feels different about the 2023-24 Warriors, despite inexperience at the varsity level.

ֱThis year, we bring a group of outstanding kids,ֱ said Fazio. ֱWe have a young, inexperienced team, yet have a competitive mindset. Everyone is eager to play and compete, working to gain more experience day-by-day.ֱ

Luca Palermo assumes a lead role after averaging 12 points and 10 rebounds a game during his successful freshman year campaign, while senior Danny Resendiz brings length as a guard, grabbing six rebounds a game as a junior.

Methuen hungry for MVC small three-peatEarl Pemberton Jr. and Isaiah Andino made significant leaps last year for the Rangers, and coach Anthony Faradie expects more of the same, as Methuen returns three starters after a successful tournament run, before falling to Brockton.

ֱWe return our two leading scorers in Earl (Pemberton Jr) and Isaiah (Andino), and they look to be our leaders once again,ֱ said Faradie. ֱWe have some key losses due to graduation, but we look forward to a fun and challenging season.ֱ

Faradie expects big contributions from Drew Eason, as well as James Levesque and Lennon Abreu De La Cruz.

Haverhill looking to DelgadoDonֱt let last yearֱs 8-12 record fool you. Haverhill High made some massive leaps in the offseason, claiming the Lawrence Summer League title. They return three starters.

ֱDespite being a young team, we have a good amount of experience that will be relied on,ֱ said coach Souleymane Wane. ֱPlaying a tough schedule, including facing off versus Andover and Lowell in the first two games, will help us as the year goes on.ֱ

Alejandro Delgado, sharpshooter Colin Snyder and guard Jhonaton Wallis look to push Haverhill into the state tournament.

Whittier Tech in transitionWhittier finds itself in a situation familiar to others in the area, after losing all five starters last year to graduation, including ֱ-Tribune All-Star Tyler Rice, who averaged 17 points a game.

ֱWe have a very young team after graduating our five starters last year,ֱ said coach Dave Charbonneau. ֱLosing guys like Tyler (Rice) is a massive loss. Our successes and failures will be entirely based on how this group of players come together and grow as a team.ֱ

Captains Zayden Goicochea and Josias Henriquez look to take big leaps in the starting lineup, striving to lead Whittier back into the state tournament.

Reggies rebuild under MartinezLongtime Central Catholic assistant Stevie Martinez takes over as the head coach at Greater Lawrence, and looks for his eight seniors to make some noise in the conference.

ֱThis is a group of young men who have done nothing but dedicate themselves since I got the job,ֱ said Martinez. ֱHappy to have this group as my first group, I know Iֱm going to enjoy coaching them.ֱ

Martinez expects guard Willie Concepcion to contribute offensively, adding ֱWillie might be the best shooter that nobody knows about.ֱ

Follow Evan Applebaum on ֱXֱ, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter: @EvanApplebaum2.

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