Everett Rec Seventh-Grade Basketball Team Claims New England Title

Playing its best basketball of the season, the Everett Recreation seventh-grade boys team captured the New England regional championship in the annual tournament at Mass Premier in Foxboro.

Coaches Chris Stopford and Joe Young guided their talented contingent to a 17-3 record and the Metro West League regular season title, qualifying for the New England Championships.

Everett swept the regional tournament, defeating teams from Connecticut and Massachusetts.

“We had a very talented group of Everett basketball players,” said Stopford, who is a former EHS Crimson Tide basketball and baseball player (from 2003 to 2006) and coached the Everett fifth grade team to a New England title in 2023. “We knew we had a championship-caliber team after we won Saugus and Sudbury summer league tournaments. They worked hard all season and really played great team basketball in the playoffs. It was a pleasure for Joe and I to coach this group.”

Suncar Leads The Way

Jacob Suncar, a 6-foot-2-inch seventh grade center, was the star among stars for the Everett contingent. Suncar averaged 26 points and 12 rebounds this season.

“Jacob was the most dominant player in the league,” said Coach Stopford.

Other major contributors in the starting five were forward Nick Young, a sensational player in the Everett Little League last summer, forward James DeSousa, and guards Samuel Wanyama and Carlos Flores.

Point guard Youssef Benhamada, a double-digit scorer and top playmaker, excelled during the regular season and in the state tournament, but was unable to suit up for the New England finals due to an ankle injury.

Everett’s key reserves included defensive stalwart Nick Savi, who like Nick Young, was a top-tier Little League All-Star, Ralph Dagne, Bryson Cabral, and Mohammed Cheblaoui.

Chris DeSouza and Thai Spencer were promoted from Everett’s other seventh grade team and helped solidify the depth of the championship team.

Stopford said there will be a banquet to celebrate the team’s championship season.

Mayor Carlo DeMaria has invited the coaches and players to City Hall for an April 22 awards ceremony.

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