Every team in the boys TVL this year has had good games and bad, great stretches of play and others that have made their coaches reach for the heart medicines. In the spirit of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” which was last made into a movie in 2003, let’s compare this year’s teams to their parallel Hollywood actors.
Denzel Washington (provides a stellar performance every time out)
Last year’s co-champion Medway and Westwood squads were close, but no teams this year rise to the level of Coach Herman Boone in “Remember the Titans.”
Ed Norton (delivers a great performance most of the time)
Medfield and TVL Small and Large leaders Dedham and Norton, fittingly, have both played games in which they’re like Norton’s “Fight Club” character Tyler Durden, But they’ve both had a couple of games when they played more like the actor’s upcoming animated movie “Isle of Dogs.” While the Lancers and Warriors both have tonight off, Dedham hosts Medway in a game in which the Mustangs hope to get their own star in the walk of fame.
Bradley Cooper (usualluy delivers long-remembered performances of American heroes, but too often shows his softer romantic side)
Bellingham, Medway, and Ashland in the Small, and Hopkinton in the Large all have both the good and bad of Cooper. The Hillers led wire-to-wire with tenacious defense and efficient offense in the spirit of Cooper’s character Chris Kyle in “American Sniper” in wins over Medfield, Millis, and Ashland, but showed their youth and inexperience in 4th quarter collapses against Bellingham and Holliston that called to mind Cooper’s character Karl in “Baby, Baby, Baby.” Bellingham showed similar traits in big wins over Dedham and Medfield, but got beaten soundly two weeks ago in Ashland. The Clockers had great wins over the Blackhawks, D-S, and Holliston, but against Hopkinton on Tuesday night they trailed by 30 with four minutes to go in the 2nd quarter. And 10 days ago Medway was playing the best ball in the Small, but they’ve lost their last two, including a league defeat in Medfield and a loss to a tough Wellesley squad.
Kirk Douglas (has delivered some of the best performances in the history of cinema, but appeared to be nearing the end at the Golden Globes 2 weeks ago)
Millis, Holliston, Westwood, and D-S have all had stellar games, coupled with even more in which they’ve struggled. D-S is probably the most Douglas-like, as early wins over Westwood, Norton, and Millis seemed to show that the Raiders were for real, appearing to be almost Spartacus-like. Since then they’ve lost four straight league contests, and their league title aspirations will hinge on getting resuscitated prior to going on the road to Bellingham tonight. Holliston started league play 2-2 with wins over Medway and in overtime at Hopkinton, but they’ve since dropped three straight league games, albeit by no more than six points. Westwood played Norton tight in the opener then beat a good Medfield team, but has a string of close league and non-league losses along the way. And while Millis has but one league win, non-league tight losses to strong Fenway and Bishop Stang teams continue to demonstrate that Millis isn’t packing it in anytime soon.
In tonight’s league action, Hopkinton and Medway go on the road in hopes of avenging season opening home losses to Holliston and Dedham, respectively. Ashland travels to Westwood in their lone scheduled meeting of the year. D-S travels to Bellingham for the first of back-to-back games in which they face each other.