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Geary McLeod might be the best player in the Eastern Connecticut Conference not being recruited to play in college.
The 5-foot-11 point guard for the Waterford High School boys' basketball team, McLeod was the Lancers' Most Valuable Player in a Doc Hurley Classic victory in December, finishing with 18 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals in a 69-66 win over Bloomfield. He scored 38 last week in Waterford's win over Windham that clinched the ECC Medium Division title, hitting 13 field goals, two from 3-point range, and 10 free throws. And the last game the Lancers played he had a triple-double: 10 points, 10 assists and 11 steals against Plainfield.
He wants to major in computer engineering or computer science.
"No colleges or schools," Waterford coach Greg Gwudz was saying after the Lancers' come-from-behind win over Windham, after which the student section rushed the court.
"I don't understand what this kid needs to do. He's a pure point. He just had 38 points in our biggest game of the season and he's been like this all year. He makes the ball very hard to pressure. He couldn't be guarded tonight."
McLeod moved to Waterford last year from Meriden, where he played at Maloney High School. He slowly became friends with his classmates at Waterford; the players in this year's senior class have memories that date back to the town's preteen league.
"I became friends with them first. You can't just jump on the court and play," McLeod said.
Now McLeod's one of the guys.
The Lancers are 18-1 overall, the No. 2 seed in the upcoming ECC tournament, receiving a bye into the quarterfinal round next Saturday at St. Bernard High School.
"It's been a process for us," Waterford senior Cory Murallo said. "Developing team charisma, trusting each other in transition, team first. We've been playing together a while now. Senior year, we had big goals coming into the season."
"It's just one goal down," McLeod said of the division title. "We still have the ECC tournament, states. (Trailing at halftime against Windham), we just sat there and said, 'We've got to trust each other.' It's not just on me. It's on Mike (Martin). It's on Cory. … Nobody expects us to do this, we're the underdog every game. But we like it. Definitely, it's a lot more exciting."
McLeod's hoping to get to test his skills at the next level, too.
"I don't know. Somewhere," he said. "The deadline's coming up. I'll play for whatever school recruits me. I'm not going to picky-choosy or anything like that."
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