For St. Mary’s High School seniors Devin Thompson and Nick Gagliolo, the memories of winning a state basketball championship at the TD Garden will last a lifetime.
“It was really crazy – a few days later it’s really starting to hit me,” said Thompson, who lit up the parquet floor for 25 points in the Spartans’ 70-64 victory over Cathedral. “It was so much fun playing in front of that crowd and we had so many kids at every game. There’s so much school spirit here.”
Thompson enrolled at St. Mary’s in the seventh grade. He worked his way up the basketball ladder to become one of the varsity team’s leading scorers. As an outside shooting threat, Thompson ranks with 2,000-point scorer Thad Broughton, who played on the last St. Mary’s state title team.
“I love my team – I couldn’t have asked for a better team to win a championship with,” said Thompson. “I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world.”
Thompson was asked what it was like to score 25 points on the same court where the Boston Celtics play.
“It unreal. Think of how many players have played there – Paul Pierce, Larry Bird, Robert Parish. Just to be on the same court is an honor and it’s something I’ll never forget.”
Thompson said coach Kevin Moran made his years in the basketball program “a tremendous experience.”
“I loved my four years here. Coach Moran was a great coach. He taught me a lot about basketball and a lot about life in general. He’s definitely prepared me for my basketball career as I move in to college and for my life as an adult.”
Gagliolo, who enjoyed a spectacular career in the St. Mary’s program, said he’s still basking in the joy of playing at the Garden and winning a state championship.
“It’s unbelievable – words couldn’t describe how I felt after the game,” said Gagliolo.
The Keene State College-bound player called his four years in the program “an up and down journey.”
“There were a lot of ups and downs through every season but overall it’s been a fun experience for me. It’s great to go out with winning a championship. I wouldn’t want to have it end any other way.”
Gagliolo credited coach Moran for his exceptional leadership, encouragement and support.
“Coach Moran is an unbelievable guy. I’ve known him all my life. He knows how to coach and knows how to win.”
Gaglio said having junior guard Randolf Thurman (14 points) at the controls of the St. Mary’s offense was crucial to the team’s success.
“We didn’t have him for the last game versus Cathedral and that hurt us a lot,” said Gagliolo. “Having Randolf bringing up the ball takes a lot off of our shoulders.”
The other seniors on the St. Mary’s team are Brendan Moran, Ryan McVann, J.J. Cavanagh, Mike Sonia, and Jonathan Capano.