MANCHESTER-BY-THE-SEA, Mass. -- Don't look now, but after a rough start to the season, Manchester-Essex is rolling. The Hornets are sitting at 10-2 in the Cape Ann League (12-4 overall), with wins over front-runners Wilmington and North Andover, and have stirred up conversation about their chances of competing for a Division 4 state title.
Two components have keyed M-E's success so far in 2010-11:
A) Speed -- The Hornets aren't afraid to run and give themselves more possessions, and it often shows in the scoreboard. In 32-minute games this season they've gone over 75 points six times, 80 thrice, and 90 twice, including a 92-85 win over Wilmington a week ago.
B) Joe Mussachia -- After losing three starters early on, the 6-foot-5, Amherst College-bound forward has carried play with his unique skill set, able to fit into any of the spots on the floor, one through five. Mussachia has seen his share of double-teams, triple-teams, box-and-one's and triangle-and-two's thus far in the CAL, which has forced head coach Duane Sigsbury to get creative.
And boy, can Sigsbury get creative. He sat down with ESPNBoston.com following a Thursday afternoon practice to go over some of the Hornets' sets that have made them so vicious down the stretch.