After picking up a half-dozen Defensive Player of the Week awards last season, North Kingstown product Garrett Bucklin has moved to the setter position this year but is still receiving accolades. The former Skipper, who is now in the midst of his senior year at Rivier, picked up Great Northeast Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors after helping the Raiders to a 3-0 sweep at the JWU Wildcat Invitational in Providence.
Bucklin was a star setter on North Kingstown's 2014 state championship team. He flashed his versatility at Rivier, playing all over the court until settling last season in the defensive libero position, where he promptly won the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year award.
Now back at setter, Bucklin is averaging 8.94 assists per set for the Raiders.
In the Wildcat Invitational opener versus Baruch Jan. 27, Rivier took care of business in straight sets as Bucklin took center stage with eight digs and a match-high 33 assists.
He went one better in the nightcap against Mount St. Vincent with 34 helpers as the Raiders once again disposed of its opposition in the minimum number of sets,
The next day was an entirely different story as Hunter provided a much stiffer challenge, pushing Rivier to a fifth set before succumbing in the deciding frame 15-9, with Bucklin’s season-high 43 assists and eight blocks leading the way.
In more recent action, the Raiders took on the top two teams in the country last week, falling to top-ranked Springfield in straight sets Jan. 31 before meeting the same fate against No. 2 Stevens did the same on Saturday.
Prior to the setback to the Ducks, Rivier managed to comprehensively defeat Lehman in straight sets, out-pointing the Lightning 75-38 on the way to victory.
To underscore the Raiders’ dominance, one can only look at Bucklin’s 28 assists--seven more than what the entire Lehman lineup could muster.
Brochu making an impact
North Kingstown graduate Thor Brochu had to wait his turn before making his way onto the court for the Salve Regina men's basketball team, picking up his first minutes in a 67-52 defeat to the Coast Guard Academy on New Year’s Eve.
He made the most of his opportunity with the first six points of his collegiate career in the dying embers of the Seahawks’ meeting with the Bears.
Brochu has since seen his playing time increase significantly, culminating with his first starts against Wentworth Jan. 20 and Western New England seven days later.
In the latter contest, the ex-Skipper hauled down a personal-best six rebounds in a 71-67 triumph for Salve, with the Seahawks reserves outscoring their opponents’ bench 39-21.
The Salve five is heading down the home stretch of the regular season, with a quartet of games remaining for a Seahawk team that has won three of its last four.
Brochu and his teammates hit the road Saturday to take on the University of New England, who had 15 players score at least one point in their 89-78 victory over Salve on Jan. 6.