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South Boston prepared to make most of trip to city tournament

Posted by Zolan Kanno-Youngs  February 18, 2013 05:07 PM

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South Boston coach Jeremy Silva talks to his players at a timeout (Pavel Dzemianok / For the Boston Globe)

If there were a most improved team award in the city league, South Boston would undoubtedly be a contender.

In a one year span, coach Jeremy Silva’s team have gone from a 6-11 season to their current 10-8 record, making the south division winners worthy of a trip to the Boston City League tournament.

“We’re really proud to represent our league in the city tournament,” Silva said.

The Knights will have the tall task of facing Brighton at 4 p.m. on Wednesday at Madison Park after the Tigers upset No. 1 Danvers in the Comcast tournament. Both teams have already crossed paths once this season, ending up in an 87-50 loss for South Boston.

Despite this, senior guard Phil Lodge and his fellow Knights are ready for a potential upset.

“We’re looking to hold off on turnovers. We can’t have turnovers,” Lodge said. “We’re going to have to slow them down and make them bring the ball to the middle and put the ball in the hoop more on offense because they like to run fast.”

In looking toward the upcoming game, the senior captain couldn’t help but reflect on the season and his team’s improvement. He said a lot of it had to do with his teammates performing off the court as well as on the court.

“We’re playing as a team and more people got the grades and [are] working hard,” Lodge said.

One of the biggest games of the season for South Boston came on Feb. 1 against Snowden which had been trailing the Knights in the standings. South Boston was able to come out of the contest with a win, clinching the the division title for the first time in Silvia’s tenure with the team.

“The kids were pretty excited but I think a little relieved as well. We knew going in to the game how difficult Snowden can be,” Silva said. “No matter what that league is, anytime you win a league that’s an accomplishment so that would be the highlight of our season thus far.”

When a team has shown improvement like that of South Boston, one usually points to the man in the coaching chair. And while the Knights are gaining more recognition from the city, the coach’s biggest fan might just be his father, Marshfield football coach Lou Silva.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am [with] what he’s done in such a short amount of time,” the senior Silva said. “He loves the game, he loves those kids, he loves teaching there. I’m just extremely proud.”

The success has also caught the attention of former South Boston coach Bill Loughnane. The current BC High coach gave credit to the realignment of the league to give more teams the opportunity to compete in the city tournament.

“I think it gives teams a chance that are down a little to build up and get kids involved in their programs,” Loughnane said. “In the city, it’s about getting the numbers and getting the kids [to have] a good feeling about their school and wanting to play for their school.”

Just like the Knights have played as if they’re representing their school and league thus far in the season, they will look to continue to play with pride in the city tournament.

“We need to show that we belong there. We need to represent our league with pride and competitive spirit and we need to show that we belong,” Silva said.

Zolan Kanno-Youngs covers Boston Public school athletics. He can be reached at kannoyoungs.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @KannoYoungs.

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