Jake Felman of Staples boys basketball team is undersized for a center. "I'm six feet, on a good day,'' the senior said after the Wreckers' 51-50 win over Stamford on Tuesday.
While Felman is shorter than just about every center he goes up against -- he gave away five inches to Stamford's Luis Briddter -- he comes up big in a lot of other areas. Like determination, intensity and intelligence. "He is,'' says coach Colin Devine, "the heart of our team."
Tuesday's game was reflective of Felman's season for the Wreckers. He scored a team-high 12 points, helped hold Stamford to one if its lowest point totals of the season and took a charge at a critical point late in the fourth quarter when the game hung in the balance.
Felman has been a key player all year for the Wreckers, who enter the weekend with a 12-4 overall mark and 11-3 league record. His scored a season-high 20 points in a 51-49 loss to Ridgefield in December. His real value is doing whatever it takes to help the team win, especially on defense.
"I go against bigger guys every day,'' Felman said. "I just try to use my body and take charges. I know I'm not going to block too many shots."
Felman and Gabe Seidman worked several perfectly executed pick-and-rolls in the fourth quarter of Tuesday's victory. Seidman is the Wreckers' leading scorer, but Staples is a team that is not dependent on one player and works well together as a unit.
The Wreckers have established themselves as a league contender and bring a seven-game winning streak into Friday night's game against Wilton. They have a stiff test on Monday against St. Joseph, another league contender.
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