With a significant amount of turnover from last season for the boys’ varsity basketball team after star guard Michael Sullivan graduated and now-senior and key starter Jordan Jackson transferred to Tam, Redwood knew it had to adapt this season or face an uphill battle to remain among MCAL’s best teams.
But as head coach Steve Compagno has done so much over his eight-year tenure with Redwood, he has managed to put together a defense-centric squad that frequently features double-digit rotation players. A large part of Redwood’s hot start in MCALs has been the emergence of three sophomores who see a significant amount of playing time. Chance Farrell-Martin, Miles Squiers and Dean Watson have each brought something to the table as Redwood finds themselves tied for second place in MCAL, six games into league play.
Farrell-Martin, a point guard, has worked his way into the starting rotation already, using his court vision and ballhawking ability to lead the team in assists (2.6) and steals (2.5). He uses his quick first step to drive into the paint and create offense for his teammates.
Squiers, a small forward, has a bigger frame and a good shooting ability which allows him to play both shooting guard and forward. His versatility lets him mesh well with any personnel on the floor and while his numbers aren’t eye-popping, he is third on the team in points per game (5.1) and he hauls in 3.3 rebounds per game as well, which is very solid for a sophomore in his first year on varsity.
Watson, while perhaps a little more raw in his abilities, provides a ton of value to Redwood in the sense that he is a rare big body. Already 6’3” as a sophomore, Watson sees time as a back-end rotation player snagging a couple rebounds per game and scoring the occasional basket. More importantly, he provides much-needed rest to the starting big men and should be a beast as he continues to grow and hone his game.
With three very diverse skillsets, it is apparent that Compagno has found his building blocks for the future.
“It is nice that we play three different positions, because it allows us to play together and have strong chemistry,” Squiers said.
According to Squiers, the three first met each other while playing CYO basketball, though Squiers was not teammates with the other two.
Squiers’ team, St. Sebastian’s, had a big rivalry with Farrell-Martin and Watson’s team, St. Patrick’s, as they were two of the best teams in the league, said Squiers.
Squiers added that it wasn’t until later that the three would play together at the local AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) team, NBBA (North Bay Basketball Ball Academy). It was then that the three would develop the chemistry that will be a mainstay on varsity for the next three years.
“I guess we all kind of had the idea we would end up at Redwood together, and the fact that we played together before definitely helped,” Squiers said.
Watson echoed this belief, saying that the three playing in AAU was central to their development as teammates.
According to both Watson and Squiers, the ultimate goal is to win an MCAL championship, but in the near term, they want to familiarize themselves with the game at the varsity level and learn from their older teammates.
“As long as we are winning, I think that everyone will be happy,” Watson said.