Leominster Boys Basketball Season May be Over, Memories Remain


Photo Courtesy Todd Kent

Leominster scores against Wakefield in an earlier game this season.

Jared Viola, Reporter

After an up and down regular season, Leominster surprised many by making it to the Elite Eight in the Playoffs. 

Though their season is over following a loss to Malden Catholic on Friday, it was also a testimony to the heart and drive of the scrappy team. 

“The Blue Devils had a successful season, winning 13 games including 3 playoff victories and making the Elite 8 in the state,” said Coach Kevin Grutchfield.  “LHS was led by seniors Ricky Encarnacion, Justin Dadah, and Mike Halstead. Justin Dadah also reached the 1,000 point scoring mark, becoming the all-time leading scorer in LHS Boy’s Basketball history.” 

The Leominster Blue Devils Boys Basketball Team ended their regular season at 10-10. They started off in the right direction being 3-0  before taking their first loss to King Phillip Regional.

During their playoff run, they made it to the Elite 8.

They won the first round on March 1, 2023, against Chicopee Comp (38) at Leominster (25).  The Blue Devils won by 52 points, (87-35) almost making it seem like this playoff run will be a breeze. 

On March 3, 2023, the Devils took on #8 Wakefield Memorial at Wakefield. Leominster left with the upset win in overtime of  71-70.

After the game, Senior Captain Justin Dadah said “I feel pretty good.” The confident senior did not seem worried about the playoff run and their upcoming game against #24 Norwood. 

Senior Captain Chase Hause added before their 2nd playoff game against Wakefield.  “Our playoff run so far is going good and it’s building a lot of confidence for my teammates and I…If we keep the same energy from the last game I think we’ll be good, just taking it one game at a time.” 

Chase Hause was taking more of the leadership role with that statement. 

What he said seemed to be true since LHS Junior  Terrance McCormick and LHS Freshman Osiris Lopez stepped up against Wakefield Memorial, both with double digits scores. 

Norwood came into the playoff game being 18-5 and beating every team by at least 60 points and blowing them out, while Leominster, at 12-10 barely won each game, but getting it done scraping away.

Clearly Leominster was the underdog in this game, but Leominster came into this game very strong scoring the first bucket of the game on a layup followed by some three pointers. 

Fast forward to the end of the game, Leominster finished with 74 points and Norwood 50 points.

Justin Dadah was the leading scorer of the game finishing with 22.

Leominster may have lost to #1 ranked Malden Catholic on Friday March 10, but for a team ranked #25, making the elite 8 made the playoff run exciting. 

Photo Courtesy Todd Kent.  Leominster scores in an earlier game against Wakefield.