The Middletown HS (Middletown, N.Y.) basketball team turned the corner in 2011, winning the Section 9 championship against Kingston HS and advancing all the way to the New York State Regional Championship game, where they lost to eventual state champion and national powerhouse Mount Vernon HS. The Middies sent several players to the collegiate Division I level, including All-State selection Kendrick Ray (Quinnipiac University). Leading the way for the Middies in 2012 will be senior captain and guard Gamaliel Phillips; his backcourt mate Aaron Ray (Kendrick's younger brother); Hashan French, who played all of last season as a freshman; and frontcourt stalwarts 6'7" Junior Shandy Casimir and 6'5" Senior Brian Paccione. Despite graduating five seniors who were part of their core rotation, Middletown will have a target on its back this season, and with good reason. They possess the individual talent and teamwork that defines championship teams.
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