By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – The Most Valuable Player on the 2014 Bristol Observer Boys Basketball All Tournament Team was an easy choice to make this year.
Because there was just one player who was head and shoulders above the rest.
And Bristol Central’s Manny Severino earned the MVP behind four stellar efforts in postseason play.
Severino scored at least 16 points in every game – averaging 18.0 points-per-game – while hitting for a team best 72 points overall while banging in six three-point field goals along the way.
Against Career Magnet, he flipped in 20 points and 12 rebounds in one of his best efforts of the season.
“I’ll tell you, Manny played phenomenally this entire tournament from start to finish,” said Central coach Tim Barrette. “He’s one heck of a basketball player. Hopefully, he gets everything together and we can get Manny to a college next year.”
He also nabbed 9.3 rebounds-per-game in tournament action that included a 13 rebound effort against Middletown and a five steal outing in a huge victory over Farmington.
Severino made a statement in the 66-61 overtime loss to Career and if the senior swingman didn’t pick up several cheap fouls early, Central might had been Class L state championship bound.
Don’t forget his dunk at the end of the Farmington game (it was a vicious tomahawk jam that had the entire crowd buzzing).
And then there were the exploits of Central senior point guard Joey DeFillippi, also an Observer first team member.
The warrior- battling a nagging knee injury – gave it his all and scored 51 total points in tournament play, 12.8 points-per-game, while banging in seven three-pointers which included two big ones against Career.
All this on a bad wheel.
“Give Joey some credit,” said Central coach Tim Barrette. “Joey’s been battling a pretty bad knee injury. He’s been going to doctor every single day for the last week. But he made the big shot when he needed to.”
Against Farmington, DeFillippi was the man as he battled through the pain and connected on eight-of-ten free throws and added five assists in 77-59 win over tough Farmington.
He smashed Career for 16 points while pasting Middletown for 14 in the rubber match against the Blue Dragons.
The three-pointer he made against Career Magnet in the fourth period was an amazing shot that eventually forced an overtime session.
Jacob Collins, the senior big man for the Rams, pieced together a very good playoff showing and averaged 14.3 points-per-game.
Collins flipped in 18 points and snared 11 rebounds against Middletown, tallied up 15 points and seven rebounds in the Farmington win and busted Career for 12 points and nine rebounds.
His inside-out attack was tough to stop and his rebounding – 8.3 per game – was ever important in Central’s defensive armaments.
And one player who really had a chance at the MVP award was junior L.J. Johnson.
He certainly stepped it up in state tournament play.
Off his tournament average of 10.0 points-per-game, he raised his season totals of 4.5 points-per-game to 5.4 after the completion of the playoffs.
Johnson totaled eight three-pointers in state tournament action and against Farmington, he was a huge difference-maker before things were said and done.
He scored a season best 16 points against the Indians, hitting four big three-pointers, and also went for 10 points in the Middletown victory.
And each and every three-point bomb Johnson threw in seemed to be a game-changing hoop for Central.
Give credit to the combo guard/forward as his play was critical to the Rams’ postseason charge and it easily earned him Observer first team honors.Finally, St. Paul’s Reid Morin made the squad and averaged 12.3 points-per-game.
He hit for 19 points against against Rocky Hill and drilled an amazing half-court shot – ending in a game-changing four-point play – to turn a possible halftime deficit into a small lead.
Morin zipped in 10 rebounds against Woodland and nabbed nine against Lewis Mills.
He played excellent positional defense all tournament long and against Mills, he put his team on his back and almost willed his squad to the win.
The first team was filled with MVP candidates and the Observer second team wasn’t so shabby either.
St. Paul senior Tyler Jones averaged 6.0 points-per-game and blasted in nine points and three rebounds versus Woodland while hitting Lewis Mills for seven points and six rebounds.
Central junior Landin Rutledge scored 4.0 points-per-game in tourney action, collecting four points and six rebounds in the win over Classical Magnet.
St. Paul big man, junior DeJuan Rodriguez, notched 9.0 points-per-game and had a huge game against Rocky Hill.
Rodriguez played a huge second half and notched 15 of his 17 total points to go along with 10 rebounds over the Terriers.
Austin Morin, St. Paul’s aggressive sophomore, punched home 6.0 points-per-game and nailed two three-pointers in the postseason.
Both Morin boys tried to turn that game against Mills around with seven points and two rebounds while he battled the Terriers for eight points and three rebounds in the winning effort.
Bristol Central’s Ty Hamel wrangled up 5.5 points-per-game and drilled in 10 points against CCC South contender Middletown.
And finally for the Falcons, junior Troy Micale and seniors Jacob Kawiecki and Nicky Villani all made the second team and filled in various rolls for St. Paul.
Micale flipped in 5.3 points-per-game, Kawiecki punched in three total three-pointers and averaged 5.3 points while the crafty Villani zipped in 4.7 points over the three game playoff stretch.
The 2014 Bristol Observer Boys Basketball All Tournament Team
Boys First Team
Name/Grade Team Position Tournament Numbers
L.J. Johnson, Junior Bristol Central Combo 10.0 points-per-game, nailed team best 8 3s
Manny Severino, Senior Bristol Central Guard City leading 18.0 points-per-game, 6 threes
Reid Morin, Senior St. Paul Center 12.0 points-per-game
Jake Collins, Senior Bristol Central Forward 14.3 points-per-game
Joey DeFillippi, Senior Bristol Central Guard Floor general scored 12.8 ppg, hit 7 threes
Runner’s Up: Tyler Jones, Sr., St. Paul (6.0 points-per-game; had nine points vs. Woodland); Landin Rutledge, Jr., Bristol Central (4.0 points-per-game in tourney action); DeJuan Rodriguez, Jr., St. Paul (9.0 ppg); Austin Morin, So., St. Paul (6.0 ppg, hit two three-pointers in tourney action); Ty Hamel, Sr., Bristol Central (5.5 ppg, hit for 10 against CCC South foe Middletown); Troy Micale, Jr. (kicked in 5.3 points-per-game), Nick Villani/Jacob Kawiecki, both seniors, St. Paul (Kawiecki averaged 5.3 ppg; Villani kicked in 4.7 ppg).
MVP: Manny Severino, Bristol Central
By MICHAEL LETENDRE