Magic Win in Coachs Honor
The Middlesex Magic went 5-0 this past weekend to take the championship at the New England AAU Super Regional.
Middlesex Magic founder and longtime director Mike Crotty Sr., who tragically passed away this February, was honored during a halftime presentation of the quarterfinal game and inducted to the New England Amateur Athletic Union Hall of Fame.
Mike Crotty Jr. led the Magic u17 team from the sidelines as they defeated a talented Boston Warriors squad in the quarterfinals, the New England Storm in the semis, and then Mass Premier Elite in the championship game to capture the title.
“It’s tough that he’s not here during some of these great moments but it’s great to have this team with me,” said Crotty Jr.
The Magic, who have dedicated their season to their late coach, are now a perfect 9-0 wearing the initials “MC” on their jerseys this season.
The Magic were led throughout the weekend by the trio of Pat Connaughton, Bryan Hurley, and Patrick Ackerman. Connaughton averaged 24 points and 15 rebounds over the weekend and scored 18 points in the second half of the championship game to help seal the win.
“Pat took over in the second half of the championship game,” Crotty Jr. said. “He is the unquestioned leader of the team. He gets every rebound you need and makes every big play.”
Crotty also credited Hurley with being the “consummate point guard”, saying he dictated the tempo of the game, caused problems for the opposing point guard, and both scored and distributed the ball beautifully.
Ackerman stepped up his scoring and showcased excellent post moves to accompany his mid-range jump shot according to his coach. He also anchored the defense, averaging five blocks per game and changing countless others.
Pagliuca may be best known as a knock down shooter but he also earned recognition this weekend with his defense and his rebounding. Meanwhile, Mahoney continued to shoot the ball beautifully for the team while Barry “was the best player on the floor at times with his defense and driving ability.”
Other players stepped up at various times throughout the weekend as Eric Olson finished with a double-double in the quarterfinals and Tom Kowmow came off the bench to provide a spark in the championship game.
Avi Cohen, Max Massucci, and Brian Edgerley also played important minutes for the Magic throughout the weekend.
“In a weekend when my father was inducted in the New England AAU Hall of Fame, the team really played hearts out to win the Super Regionals in his honor,” Crotty Jr. said.