NEWTON, MA – The Newton seventh-grade boys’ travel basketball team has won the prestigious 2023 Division 1 New England Championships, held in Foxborough and Stoughton over the weekend.

The team has won the championship twice before, this year playing against a top ranked Franklin team to win with a score of 55-47.

The tournament included more than 150 of the the top-ranking Division 1 town travel teams across Massachusetts and New England, with the win marking the end of the 2022-2023 season for the Newton team, who coach Frank Antonellis said is just “a great group of boys.”

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Playing together since the fourth grade, the team comes from all over Newton, but they have one thing in common: basketball.

“They practice endlessly,” said Antonellis. “They’re always going to the local YMCA, they’re putting in so much time and effort not just to win, but just for the pure love of the game.”

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The win was a whole team effort, but was highlighted by veteran leaders Augie Arietta and Michael Leese, who hit critical free throws that secured the close win, Antonellis said.

“When it comes down to the final moments of close games, they seem to have this calmness about them, and they’re able to deal with the pressure,” Antonellis said. “We’ve seen in the last three years for this state tournament that they’ve come up on top each and every time.”

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