NEWBURYPORT — It’s not often that brothers, four years apart, get to share varsity time together, but Newburyport basketball senior forward Jake Baribeault and his brother, Dan, a freshman guard, are doing just that in the state tournament.
“There’s been times when we check into the game at the same time and it’s like, ‘Wow, we’re both going in,’” says Jake. “And our parents, they love it when they see us both at the free-throw line together. It’s a fun experience, I think.”
Tonight will be singular challenge for the brothers as the sixth-seeded Clippers (14-7) will be traveling to third-seeded Whittier Tech (19-2) in the second round of the Division 3 North tournament.
“They’re very well coached, they’ve got a lot of savvy basketball players,” Clippers’ coach Tom L’Italien says of the Wildcats. “They don’t need a lot of time to prepare. We certainly could use the extra day’s preparation. They’re going to come out and do their thing. We’re going to come out and do our thing to a certain extent. But we have a few adjustments to make to prepare for a good basketball team.”
“It’s going to be a good game,” echoes Jake. “Whittier is really good. We can’t get away with the mistakes that we made on Monday.”
Jake had11 points against Lynnfield recently and Dan dropped 14 on Georgetown a little over a week ago. Each has an individual style that suits their opposite positions, according to L’Italien.
“He’s got a high basketball IQ,” L’Italien says of Jake, who has been playing basketball since the fourth grade. “He plays excellent interior defense. He makes good decisions with the ball for us. He’s been nice a presence in practice. He’s helped bring along (junior) Dillon Guthro. He’s done a nice job teaching him little things about the position.”