Rockets end with MAC title, want to keep the ball rolling


The Rockets in a huddle getting ready to go out against the Kent Roosevelt Riders (Rockets won with a score of 55-47)

Mallory Rice

Freshmen Charles Ivory, Jack Batten and Jackson Gula, Juniors Brevyn Nobles, Bryan Nobles, Colby Benjamin and Micah Schuster and Seniors Sam Abbuhl and Airyaman Singh smiling before the National Anthem at the game versus the Ravens

Nick Marcini’s 12th year as Boys Basketball Head Varsity Coach has not only been successful, but “It’s been fun in the gym every day,” he said.

“It’s been a special year so far. We have such great kids that work extremely hard.”

When speaking about the team personally, Marcini described them as: “Very quiet and laid back, sometimes too much! But a great group of guys.”

Last year, the boys fell short of winning the MAC title by three losses. This year, though, Marcini said, “We put ourselves in a great position [at] this point. We control our own destiny with [two] league games remaining. Now we just have to finish strong.”
After our boy’s senior night, Feb. 11, they were able to win the tough battle over Woodridge Bulldogs (54-39) which clinched Marcini’s fourth MAC title win.


The Class of 2021 graduated players that had a lot of varsity minutes. But younger classes stepped up to the challenge and played their roles. 

Marcini coaching the huddle with the last year Basketball team

“Last year’s class was a great class and had a lot of success the past few years,” Marcini said. “We had to have guys step in and fill those roles that graduating Zamar [Harris], Colin [Boldin], Chris [Golson], Tyler [Hall], Donovan [Washington-Perdue], Alec [Edgington], Mason [Kamlowsky] and Deven [Grabill] left open.”

But again, our young talent has stepped up big time and has played well to complement our seniors. Brevyn [Nobles], Colby [Benjamin], Micah [Schuster] and Bryan [Nobles] have done a great job.”

As the tournament approaches, “We are hoping to get a Top 10 seed and hopefully host one or two Sectional games and get back to District play this year,” Marcini said.

This team, whose motto is “WORK HARD, PLAY HARDER!” has earned the 10th seed and will be hosting the Salem Quakers for the first bracket game Feb. 22.


Marcini has not only coached the success of multiple PTC/MAC wins, but will be graduating senior Devin Reese, the seventh player in Streetsboro history to score 1,000 points in his high school career.

Senior Devin Reese scored his 1,000 points at home versus Gilmour Academy Lancers. That was the boys 16th game and Reese has been continuing to add up his points.
Reese pulling up for a three in the fourth quarter against Ravenna Ravens (Rockets won the game with a score of 57-40)

“It’s been great coaching Devin the last four years,” Marcini said. “He’s a four-year starter, will be a four time All League guy, hopefully Player of the Year this year, and now a 1,000-point scorer. He has multiple other school records. There is a lot to like about that!”

Reese celebrating his 1,000 points with friends and teammates

Reese has been playing basketball since sixth grade.  Reese’s highlight of his career is “scoring 1,000 points,” he said.
Reese gets his motivation for basketball from his teammates and loses. “Losing motivates me to push harder at practice and the next game,” he said.

For Reese, being coached by Marcini “has been good. [There were] Many ups and downs my freshman year though.”

Reese was a starter and a key player his sophomore year when the team also won the MAC, but he said, “Senior year is the best year I had through high school.” 

But for Reese, he doesn’t want to settle at hitting 1,000 points and winning the MAC title. After talking about what was going through his head when cutting down the nets on senior night, Reese said, “I was thinking about winning sectionals and cutting down the nets again.”

Also graduating will be Bryce Vecchio, who moved from Frisco, Texas sophomore year and has been a starter ever since. Reese and Vecchio are a dynamic duo.

Senior Bryce Vecchio setting up for play against the Coventry Comets (Rockets won with a score of 55-44)

“I have been playing basketball ever since I was in the first grade. I remember attending my first basketball camp at Crestwood in elementary school,” Vecchio said.

In Texas “there was a lot more competition,” he said, “not saying that when I came to Ohio everything got easy.” Vecchio said, “In my class in Texas there were over 800 kids. I came here on the first day of practice and I was confused as to where all the kids were.”

Playing for Marcini “has been awesome.” Vecchio said, “I couldn’t have asked for a better coach.”

Vecchio’s favorite achievement in basketball is “Making my mom happy. I have never seen her smile as much as when I am playing on the basketball court.” 

“It feels great to come here my first year and come out with a championship, but to win it a second time my senior year is a feeling I can’t explain,” he said but “now we have to keep rolling.”

According to MaxPreps, after playing 22 games, Reese currently averages 19.1 points per game and 6.9 rebounds per game. 

Vecchio currently averages 15.3 points per game and 7.4 rebounds per game.

“It’s going to be tough graduating two guys of Bryce’s and Devin’s caliber, but we have a lot of young talent coming up to carry us into the years that follow,” Marcini said.

Senior Sam Abbuhl playing defense against the Gilmour Academy Lancers (Rockets fell short with a score of 33-44)

“The seniors have been great,” Marcini said, “Obviously, Devin and Bryce have been great in all facets of the game their whole careers. Sammy [Abbuhl] has really stepped up this year. He really sets the tone every day with how hard he works.”

Abbuhl has lettered three years on varsity and said that the experience with Marcini has been “great. He’s a great coach.”

“My senior year has been going good,” he said, “My relationship with the team is good, we are all friends and get along.”

Abbuhl said, “It feels great winning the MAC but I still think we could have gone undefeated.” When he was cutting the net down he said he “didn’t have much going through my head at the time” and that he “was just glad we won.”

Marcini also recognized senior Gabe Gill. “Gabe really leads by example, and also brings it every day,” he said. “It was great to see him have the success he had vs. Coventry last [February 4].”

Senior Gabe Gill taking up the ball to start a play against the Ravens

Gill has been playing basketball for six years now. “Senior year has been the best year of basketball. I’ve had so much fun and wouldn’t want to be with any other team,” said Gill.

“We all get along great, joke around and have fun. It’s always a great time with these guys on the team,” he said.

Gill said that being coached by Marcini “has been awesome and lots of fun” and “that when it’s game time, he does a great job and helps us get the job done.”

Another senior Marcini mentioned was Airyaman Singh. “Big A has been consistent at spacing the floor for us and knocking down outside shots.”

“I’ve been playing basketball since first grade and have been part of the program since the beginning,” Singh said. “Playing for Marcini is great, he expects nothing but the best out of every player.”

Senior Airyaman Singh waving to the camera at the home game against the Ravens

“Senior year has been good, we’ve met the expectations we’ve set so far but there’s still a long way to go to get to our final goal,” said Singh. 

The team is “like brothers, we mess around and have fun with one another but we always got each other’s backs,” he said.

Although the graduating class includes several key players, Marcini said he is excited to continue coaching the younger classes. 

He said he likes “all our guys coming up. The cupboard is definitely not bare.”