Glorious Ending to a Bright Future


Christopher Remy, Author



Going into this year the Ipswich High School boys basketball coach, Alan Laroche, is well aware that the team always comes into the season bringing heart and effort to the court. What the tigers are lacking to have a successful season consists of experience and consistency; the Tigers are hoping to get rid of the string of non-tournament seasons longing back to 2008-09.

“There’s a lot of work that has to be done in the off-season” said Laroche.  Before finishing the season Laroche hoped for the players to asert themselves to the program and continue playing basketball at the end of the season. “When the basketball season is over in a week, it’s the time from mid-February until Dec. 1 that every guy – aside of the graduating seniors – has to commit themselves to. They have to get a basketball in their hands as much as they can.”

“By the second half of the season, guys have had more chances to get better,” said Laroche. “You have to put the time, effort and dedication into basketball. The guys coming back – guys like Aleks Kuljic and Jake Long – have to play a lot more basketball to play better.”

 Along with players working on basketball in the offseason, the main focus for the Tigers Basketball Team this year was “Defense”.   As we all know it is tough to defeat a team that will not let you score, which is what the Tigers aimed to do for the 2014-15 season. The Tigers began their season with a scrimmage in Revere. “I thought we did a good job on the defensive end of the floor [in a Dec. 8 scrimmage against Revere]. That’s going to have to be where we excel this season, not that we can’t score,” said head coach Alan Laroche. “If we can hold teams to right around 50 points, we’ll have a chance to win games.”

The team is returning with three seniors who are this year’s captains for the team: Aleks Kulgic, Robbie Glavin, and Christopher Remy.  Along with a junior point guard with plenty of experience in Jake Long to set up in the offensive zone and be tough on opponents on “D.” Coach Laroche is looking to the tri-captain seniors for leadership as well as dominance on the court. “I think if we’re going to have a successful season, all three will have to have successful individual seasons,” said Laroche. Kuljic is a center and forward; Remy is a guard and Glavin is a forward who also plays some center.

The Tigers started the season with a tough matchup at Newburyport losing 52-47.  Although the Tigers lost, it was a hard fought game and it was the first varsity experience for juniors Liam Sullivan, Peter Pappas, and Alex Morris. All three juniors did not let the “varsity jitters” get to them an showed out well in their first game of the season. As well as freshman Pat Flaherty who showed he would be a threat on both sides of the floor for the Tigers.

The Tigers went on to winning their next two games at Amesbury in close one 46-43, and a 70-56 win against Georgetown. The Tigers season was looking bright from the start and they seemed to be gaining some momentum for the season. Unfortunetly this was not the case for the Tigers who went on a unfortunate downhill slide with 8 straight loses on the season. As we all know to be a Tiger you must never give up and keep fighting no matter how far down you are, which is exactly what the boys basketball team chose to do.

Ipswich Tigers tore off 5 straight wins after their slump and ended the season 6-1. While teams were dealing with snow fatigue and cancelations the last couple weeks of the season, the Ipswich Tigers have been riding high and seeing nothing but sunny days.

After defeating Amesbury on Jan. 30, the Tigers beat Whittier Tech on Feb. 4 (72-64 OT), Georgetown on Feb. 6 (67-51) and North Reading on Feb. 11 (61-56). Both games were closer at the half. The Whittier Tech game saw a 32-29 lead at the halftime.

Jake Long was the hero to send the game into overtime, making both free throws with 0.1 second on the clock for the 61-61 tie after 32 minutes. “Aleks Kuljic was a force inside and took over the overtime, scoring seven of his 17 points,” added head coach Alan Laroche. “Pat Flaherty had a monster game for us, also, with 23 points and 12 rebounds, seven blocks and four steals.”

A day later, the Tigers played Georgetown at home. The Tigers were up by just 36-30, but “defense and offensive rebounding in the second half, and balance scoring were the keys to getting our third win in a row,” Laroche said.

The Tigers saluted seniors Robbie Glavin, Kyle Silva, Zach Eliopoulos, Aleks Kuljic, John Odenback and Chris Remy on Senior Night, Jan. 11, against North Reading.  North Reading was up 22-18, but freshman Pat Flaherty made a big lay-up with 13 seconds remaining to tie the score at 52-52 by the end of regulation. The Tigers went on to win the game 61-56 win.

The final game was a rematch against Rockport the Tigers were seeking blood in this final game and looking to finish on top. The Tigers finished the season in a thrilling way winning the game in a buzzer beater 57-55, with a buzzer beating layup by senior captain Robbie Glavin. The Tigers next year will have be rejoined by seniors Jake Long, Liam Sullivan, Peter Pappas, Alex Morris, and sophmore Pat Flaherty.