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FL boys hoops: Vikings’ Aubertine maturing into his role


Quincy Aubertine’s Cape Vincent neighbors are used to the sound by now.

The rhythm of the bouncing basketball in the Aubertine garage late at night, pronouncing whether the precocious Thousand Islands teenager is either working on his game by himself or playing pick-up with friends.

It’s Aubertine’s attention to detail, as well as his work ethic and love of the game, which has already propelled him into the upper echelon of the Frontier League as just a freshman. The almost-15-year-old (in February) has his eyes already set on playing Division I college basketball.

“Syracuse or Florida,’’ he said, pressed to pick his favorite teams. “I just love the way Florida plays and coach (Billy) Donovan coaches. And Syracuse has been so good for so long and wins so many games. I’ve watched them since I was really little.’’

While Aubertine still has a ways to go in his progression from prospect to legitimate college recruit, Thousand Islands coach Scott LaLonde has no doubt Aubertine his potential to make the grade.

“Quincy is one of those kids that never stops working on his game, never settles for being just good,’’ LaLonde said. “He wants to be the best at whatever he does.’’

Aubertine has already proved his worth on the court through two seasons on the Vikings’ varsity. After starting on the junior varsity as a seventh-grader, Aubertine was promoted to the varsity early in the season and averaged 10.5 points per game in 16 outings.

He had a breakout season as an eighth-grader last season, averaging 22.4 ppg and opening a lot of eyes around the lead with his mature game.

But Aubertine was not satisfied. Primarily known as an outside shooter, he was determined to expand his game and become a more productive all-around performer.

This season, Aubertine has proved to be the total package. His scoring is down just a tad to 20 ppg. But most of his other stats are better, making him one tough player to defend.

He’s shooting nearly 6 percent higher on 2-pointers (51 percent) than last year, he’s more than doubled his rebounding average to 9.5 per game, he’s drastically cut his turnovers down while averaging 2.6 assists per game.

“I think I’m a matchup problem for most defenses,’’ Aubertine said. “I can shoot over smaller defenders, and take bigger guys to the basket because I’m quicker. I knew I’d have to become more of an all-around player if I want to get to the next level.’’

Aubertine ultimately has sacrificed most of his summers and a good part of his school year to become a better player. He’s attended numerous all-star camps, looking to prove himself against better players from all over the country.

Last summer, he joined the Syracuse Selects, an elite AAU squad that travels in tournaments. Aubertine estimates he played around 100 games in the spring and summer.

“I thought I was pretty good,’’ he said. “But we went to Pittsburgh to play in a tournament and wow. Some of those kids were a step up. It was a great experience.’’

LaLonde emphasized to his star the need to “play both ends of the court, learn how to get his teammates involved more and become a more well-rounded player. This year, he’s done all of those things.’’

Aubertine has worked on his mid-range game extensively, has become better at putting the ball on the floor and finishing strong to the basket, and making the extra pass to an open teammate.

“He’s always been a scorer,’’ said LaLonde, who first noticed Aubertine’s talent in the third grade and had him as a manager in the sixth grade. “But now if you play him just to shoot, he can hurt you in a lot of different ways.’’

Aubertine began the season rather slowly, averaging just 14.5 ppg over the first six games. However, many of those games were blowouts where he didn’t play the entire game.

In the last eight games, however, Aubertine has really flourished. Beginning with a 32-point effort in a win over “D’’ Division leader Lyme, Aubertine is averaging 24 ppg over that span. He’s also hit 33 versus Sackets Harbor, 29 in a win over LaFargeville, 27 at South Lewis, 23 to beat help beat Sandy Creek and 20 in a Tuesday loss to Class A Indian River.

“We’ve had some other guys step up, so I didn’t have to score as much early in the season,’’ Aubertine said. “But I know some games I have to be a little more selfish and look for my shot more.’’

LaLonde said Aubertine is one of the most coachable kids he’s ever had. “And there is entirely no ego involved with Quincy,’’ he said. “He’s just a great kid who lives and dies basketball, and is determined to be great.’’

He also spends significant time in the weight room, looking to improve his strength and flexibility. Aubertine estimates he’s put on 15 pounds since last year, which allows him to hold his own against bigger and stronger defenders.

With 873 career points, Aubertine is a lock to eventually pass Ben Augliano (1,187) as the school’s all-time leading scorer. But the only thing he’s currently looking ahead to is a huge Friday night home “C’’ Division showdown with first-place Beaver River.

“They beat us early in the season, so now it’s our turn at home,’’ he said.

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