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2017-18 HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS PREVIEW December 21, 2017

BASKETBALL

INSIDE

PROSPECTS FOR THE ’17-18 SEASON

25 SCHOOLS

C

CONFERENCE ALIGNMENTS


2017-18 HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS PREVIEW December 21, 2017

BASKETBALL

INSIDE

PROSPECTS FOR THE ’17-18 SEASON

25 SCHOOLS

C

CONFERENCE ALIGNMENTS


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2017-18 HERALD High School Basketball Preview

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2017-18 HERALD High School Basketball Preview

TEAM IndEx Baldwin Bruins ................................ 6 Calhoun Colts (Bellmore-Merrick) ... 8 Carey Seahawks (Franklin Square) . 9 Clarke Rams (Westbury) .............. 10 East Meadow Jets ........................ 12 East Rockaway Rocks................... 14 Elmont Spartans .......................... 16 Freeport Red Devils ...................... 18 Hewlett Bulldogs .......................... 20 Kennedy Cougars (Bellmore-Merrick) ....................... 21 Lawrence Golden Tornadoes ......... 22 Long Beach Marines..................... 26 Lynbrook Owls .............................. 28 MacArthur Generals ..................... 30 Malverne Mules ............................ 32 Mepham Pirates (Bellmore-Merrick) ....................... 33 Oceanside Sailors ........................ 34 Seaford Vikings ............................ 36 Sewanhaka Indians (Floral Park)... 37 South Side Cyclones (Rockville Centre) ......................... 38 Valley Stream Central Eagles ........ 40 Valley Stream North Spartans ...... 42 Valley Stream South Falcons ........ 43 Wantagh Warriors ......................... 44 West Hempstead Rams ................ 46

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Publishers Clifford riChner Stuart riChner Executive Editor SCott Brinton Section Editor tony BelliSSimo Creative Director Editorial Designer Jeffrey a. negrin Production Supervisor Byron Stewart Production Assistant fatima rodrigueS Art Director Craig Cardone Photo Editor ChriStina daly Vice President of Sales rhonda gliCkman Page Editors tony BelliSSimo Jeff BeSSen Contributing Writers tony BelliSSimo andrew mCClure andrew Coen Brian kaCharaBa JoSePh kellard garrett uriBe daVid weingrad On the cOver

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2017-18 HERALD High School Basketball Preview

BaLdwin Bruins feature many new faces By TONy BELLISSIMO

L

osing 11 contributors from last season’s Nassau Class AA semifinal team has Baldwin head coach Darius Burton in unchartered territory with only three returnees and plenty of question marks. “We’ve got a very hardworking group and I know I’ve got to be patient with them,” Burton said. “It’s going to take time to figure out a starting five and what our rotation is going to be. Eleven players are the most we’ve had to replace in any of my 18 years coaching.” The Bruins, who finished 15-6 last winter on the heels of winning county and Long Island championships in 2015-16, will face defending L.I. champ Westbury, Port Washington, Herricks, East Meadow, Hicksville and Plainview twice apiece in Conference AA-II action. Senior Nasim Cylin is Baldwin’s lone returning starter and comes off an AllConference campaign that saw him score 10 points per game and rip down about 8 rebounds. The 6-foot-4 forward had a career-high 30 points in a win over Valley Stream Central. “He’s a very versatile player who can drive past people or post up,” Burton said. “He’s a good passer and probably our best free throw shooter.” Cylin and fellow returnees Rhyjon Blackwell, a junior point guard, and Jordan Jackson, a senior guard, are captains. Blackwell saw some varsity minutes last season and appears ready to handle the full-time workload. Burton likes his ability to shoot, take care of the ball and distribute. Blackwell is backed up by sophomore Jayden McKenzie, who’s as quick as 6 — December 21, 2017

anyone on the roster and can apply defensive pressure and spark the transition game. Sophomore Kamani Jones made great strides during the offseason and could crack the starting lineup or get one of the first calls off the bench. He’s another guard who can score. Junior guard Peter Bateman is new to the program and showing strong defensive skills. Juniors Marcus Jasmin (6-6) and Tre Riggins (6-5) lead the frontcourt. They’re up from JV and have nice scoring touch for big men. Junior Segun Green is also in the forward mix.

Lady Bruins are defending state champs Coming off their first-ever state title in program history, the Lady Bruins figure to be in the conversation again when March rolls around but head coach Tom Catapano isn’t looking too far ahead. “We’re taking it day by day and focusing on the journey,” he said. “Last year’s end result was special. It was a culmination of years of hard work. We enjoyed the offseason and now we’re back with a clean slate.” Baldwin won 19 games in 2016-17, including two over then four-time defending New York State Class AA defending champion Ossining. One came during the regular season and the other was in the state final where the Lady Bruins cruised to victory. They’ve won four straight Nassau crowns and return two of Long Island’s top talents. Senior guard Aziah Hudson is the program’s all-time scoring leader and a three-time All-County selection. She averaged 20 points per game as a junior and is headed to Old Dominion.

“Aziah played a grueling AAU schedule and was all over the country,” Catapano said. “She’s a dynamic player who makes everyone around her better.” Senior guard Jenna Annecchiarico is a two-time All-County choice headed to Eastern Michigan. “She’s the ultimate twoway player who also makes everyone around her better,” Catapano said. “She can knock down perimeter shots and is an excellent free throw shooter and tenacious defender.” Annecchiarico spearheads the defensive pressure along with junior Kaia Harrison, who’ll run the point. Harrison came up big in the state semifinals and finals, Catapano said, and is the most improved player in the pro-

Jenna Annecchiarico

erful scorer, while Samuel is tall, athletic and skillful. Three nationally ranked opponents are part of Baldwin’s rugged non-league schedule.

Schedule

Matt Guilfoyle

BoyS December

19 @ Port Washington 5:00 p.m. 22 Herricks 7:00 p.m.

January 6 9 12 15 17 19 31

@ Hicksville Westbury East Meadow @ Plainview Port Washington @ Herricks Hicksville

12:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m.

February Nasim Cylin gram since the start of last season. “She’s a top defender and has developed into more of an offensive threat,” he added. Senior Sarah Henry is a key returnee to a frontcourt that’s adding senior Donneta Johnson, who missed last season with a knee injury, and senior Destiny Samuel, a talented transfer. Henry is the team’s best rebounder who brings grit. Johnson is a pow-

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

3 @ Westbury 6 @ East Meadow 9 Plainview

4:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m.

GIRLS December 19 Port Washington 22 @ Herricks

7:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

January 6 9 12 15 17 19 31

Hicksville @ Westbury @ East Meadow Plainview @ Port Washington Herricks @ Hicksville

12:00 p.m. 6:15 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

February 3 Westbury 6 East Meadow 9 @ Plainview

12:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m.

Photos by Jeff Wilson

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2017-18 HERALD High School Basketball Preview

CalHoun Colts look to build on success

C

By JOSEPH KELLARD

alhoun has steadily progressed from a one-win team in 2013-14 to 18 victories and a Conference AA-3 championship last season. Head coach Jay Kreutzberger’s three-part recipe for success this season is to run the offense through his most dynamic player, grab more rebounds and deliver defensive pressure. Senior Jalen Rosemond, a 6-foot-6 All-County selection who averaged 14 points per game in 2016-17, can score as well on the perimeter as in the paint. “If opposing teams want to go with a big, then they’re going to struggle to play Jalen on the perimeter because he can shoot from three and drive it,” Kreutzberger said. The read-and-react offensive scheme features three hyper-aggressive wing players who will push the tempo. Leading the trio is junior Thomas Casimano, an AllConference shooting guard with his superior athleticism and speed. “Thomas’ quickness will allow him to do a lot of damage in transition and penetrate against half-court defenses,” Kreutzberger said. Five-10 senior Bobby Stokel is another slashing guard who rebounds and blocks shots like he’s 6-foot-3, and junior sharpshooter Corey Jones can also drive the ball and pressure defenses and offenses, Kreutzberger said. The fifth starter is Kevin Hannon, an All-Conference honoree last year and guard who runs the point on offense and plays a key role in a defensive scheme with multiple looks including man-toman and zone. “We generally put Kevin on the best scoring option of 8 — December 21, 2017

the other team’s backcourt,” Kreutzberger said. Calhoun’s bench includes two first-year varsity juniors, Jake Edwards, a relentless forward, and guard Zac Solomon, who can drive and shoot. Devin Valdez, a senior backup point guard who is energetic and a capable ball handler, and Malek Graham, a sophomore forward who is an outstanding rebounder with good ball skills, are both transfers. Fourth-year varsity seniors Jason Frank, Brandon Rose, Barry Chen and Jake Fielding are helpful backups. The Colts will have to defend their conference title against newcomer Valley Stream Central, as Herricks moved to AA-2, as well as holdovers Great Neck South, Long Beach, MacArthur, Manhasset and Mepham.

side shot is playing faster and more confidently, fellow AllDivision selection Lauren Pitti is an exceptional rebounder who also picks up inside baskets as a forward. Speedy Megan Schiaffo is the likely fifth starter after she came on strong while coming off the bench late last season, hitting big shots down the stretch. The defense plays manto-man coverage with some zone sprinkled in as needed. While Magnuson considers Healy and Schiaffo his best defenders, senior guard Julia Miguel is a vital backup who plays well in the scheme. Julia has an athleticism to her, she’s tenacious and plays good defense,” Magnuson said. “This is her second year on varsity and that in itself helps us out.” Forward Lisa-Ann Orlich, another bench players, is a

Seniors ready to guide Lady Colts After a first-round Nassau Class AA playoff loss to East Meadow last February, Calhoun head coach Pete Magnuson believes with a starting lineup of all seniors, four of whom were award winners last season, the time is ripe to compete for a Conference AA-3 title and play better in the postseason. The Lady Colts will center its motion offense around two All-County selections: right-handed shooter Honora Campbell and her lefty counterpart Katie Healy. Both play forward and guard and averaged 15 points per game. While Campbell is “an outstanding shooter and cerebral player” who can “open things up with her long-range shooting,” Magnuson said, Healy is “strong and athletic and can shoot the ball and get things going with her drive.” While guard Chris Argentieri impresses with her out-

Jalen Rosemond

“We need to play tough defense, rebound and knock down shots,” he said about his team’s plan for success. “That’s a pretty simple formula.”

Schedule BoyS December 19 Mepham 22 V.S. Central

6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

January 4 6 12 15 17 20 27

@ Manhasset G.N. South @ Long Beach MacArthur @ Mepham @ V.S. Central Manhasset

6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m.

February Honora Campbell newcomer from the junior varsity squad who is big, strong and shows nice moves in the paint. Sophomore guard Chloe McGuire and junior forwards Taylor Baumann and Kristin Dobkowski are multiple-sport athletes who compete and show promise as backups. The Colts come off a 12-7 finish and Magnuson is highlighting their first league game on the schedule Dec. 20 against rival Mepham.

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

3 @ G.N. South 6 Long Beach 9 @ MacArthur

6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:15 p.m.

GIRLS December 19 @ Mepham 22 @ V.S. Central

6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

January 4 6 12 15 17 19 27 31

Manhasset @ G.N. South Long Beach @ MacArthur Mepham V.S. Central @ Manhasset G.N. South

6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

February 6 @ Long Beach 9 MacArthur

4:45 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

Photos by Victoria Lodi

HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS


2017-18 HERALD High School Basketball Preview

Carey Seahawks aim for big improvement By ANDREW MccLURE

T

he Carey boys struggled and picked up just a pair of victories in 20162017. The team played a killer non-league slate and things didn’t get any better for the Seahawks when the conference schedule came around. Carey battled with county champion Elmont, Sewanhaka, Garden City and other elite foes in Nassau Conference A-1. The schedule doesn’t get easier for the Seahawks in 2017-2018, but most members of the team have a year of varsity experience under their belt. Carey returns six players who saw significant time last season, and have a multitude of guards who should enable the team to be far more competitive. Expect perimeter shooting to be the strength of the Seahawks. “We’re clearly far better than we were a year ago,” long-time head coach Marty Kelly said. “We’ve upgraded at every position on the court. We’re going to look to push the ball up the floor, run the break and score more off transition, and hopefully shoot the ball like we can. I like what I’m seeing from this bunch.” Senior Jeremy Pulle returns at point guard. Pulle has improved his ballhandling and shot selection. Kelly believes he could have a big season. Freshman Chris Toscano is a big part of the present and future. Toscano is a pure point guard with a solid mid-range game. He’s an excellent distributor and is deadly from the free-throw line. Senior Aidan Murchie is a heady guard who passes well and can shoot from anywhere. Murchie has the versatility to play the point, shooting TO ADVERTISE CALL 516-569-4000

guard, or small forward. Hard-working senior Mike McNamee will play shooting guard. McNamee is solid from the perimeter and provides strong rebounding. Senior A.J. Vincenzi is yet another perimeter threat. Forward T.J. Toscano is bigger and stronger than he was as a junior. He can bury shots from downtown and has an improved inside game. Frank Porcasi, a 6-foot4 senior, and Matt Cosgrove, a 6-5 junior, provide size and scoring ability in the frontcourt. Senior newcomer Calvin Anglon adds depth.

Lady Seahawks get a brand new start Carey has only one way to go on the basketball court, and that is up. The Lady Seahawks will look to bounce back from a difficult season with a new head coach, some new players, and a new outlook. Playing a tough non-conference schedule, and facing the likes of defending Long Island champion Elmont, county semifinalist Sewanhaka, South Side, and Garden City in league play, will mean no easy nights. But, progress will not be measured solely by wins and losses. Head coach Danielle Donahue, a 2010 Floral Park Memorial graduate, and a member of Lady Knights teams that earned trips to the NYS Class A Final Four in back-to-back seasons, is eager to help the Lady Seahawks get back to respectability. “I’m excited to be back coaching in the district I grew up in,” Donahue said. “We’re looking to regroup, rebuild, and be positive. Each day at practice, I ask the girls what they learned and what they’re going to be better at tomorrow.” What Carey doesn’t have

in pure basketball talent, it makes up for in athleticism. Sophomore Kelly-Ann McGrath will run the point for the Lady Seahawks. McGrath is solid on both ends of the floor, handles the ball well, and can bury shots from the perimeter. Senior Alexa Rescigno is about as versatile as it gets. Rescigno, a four-year varsity player, can play both guard positions and small forward. Like McGrath, she’s a hardnosed defender. Senior Lauren Pitz is a quick, scrappy guard who is menacing on defense. Pitz does all of the little things that don’t appear in the box score. Junior Jenna Lim is an energetic guard who can score from the perimeter. Sophomore Mary Grace Spano gives the team another scoring option.

Alexa Resigno

Schedule

BoyS December 18 Garden City 21 Elmont

4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

January 3 5 13 16 18 20 26 30

@ Jericho 7:00 p.m. G.N. North 4:30 p.m. @ New Hyde Park 10:00 a.m. South Side 4:30 p.m. @ Garden City 7:00 p.m. @ Elmont 12:00 p.m. Jericho 4:30 p.m. @ G.N. North 7:00 p.m.

February Aidan Murchie Carey doesn’t have tremendous size in the paint, but has a few forwards who play bigger than their height. Sophomore Arianna Millan is a presence in the frontcourt. Senior Meghan Santina can play guard or forward. Her ability to defend, box out, and grab rebounds has impressed Donahue in camp.

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

7 New Hyde Park 10 @ South Side

4:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m.

18 @ Garden City 21 @ Elmont

7:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

GIRLS December January

3 5 13 16 18 20 26 30

Jericho @ G.N. North New Hyde Park @ South Side Garden City Elmont @ Jericho G.N. North

4:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

February 7 @ New Hyde Park 9 South Side

6:15 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

Photos by Donovan Berthoud

December 21, 2017 — 9


2017-18 HERALD High School Basketball Preview

ClArke Developing chemistry a key for Rams Junior Kyle Kandel, a 6-4, 225-pound center, will remain the sixth-man, bringing size and rebounding off the bench. fter Clarke missed the The seventh to ninth playClass A playoffs and ers may include senior Anthograduated its starting ny LaRosa, who can provide five, head coach Joe Hasbrouck needs his players to jell an offensive spark, junior quickly if they want to earn a Ashiqur Hasany, whose continuous progress could land postseason seed. “We have guys who haven’t him the starting point guard spot down the stretch, and played together before — a transfer, sophomores stepping senior forward Josh Dawson, in and seniors in new roles — who helps boost teammates’ confidence. Hardworking so they have to play together senior Anthony Conte is and get comfortable in their another option off the bench. roles,” Hasbrouck said. Clarke returns to Conference Chris Volo transferred A-IV and Hasbrouck is highfrom Central Islip and will lighting early games against step into the starting center role. While the 6-foot-11 senior Mineola and North Shore to help measure the Rams’ is strong and overpowering potential. down low, he also has a soft touch shot he can hit from the high post. Lady Rams focus on “Chris is pretty versatile defensive end and obviously he’s going to After the Lady Rams went help rebounding on the defen3-15 in Conference A-IV last sive end,” Hasbrouck said. season, fifth-year head coach The starting lineup also Shaun Fean wants to return has four guards who play to cultivating a defense-first across the top in a dribblemindset. and-drive motion offense “I think if we focus on designed to create space and put shooters in the best spots. that, our talent level has increased where offensively Senior guard Samir Pejcithings will come easier for novic, who played limited minutes last year, will assume us,” said the fifth-year coach. Fortunately, his top offena more prominent role as sive player, senior shooting a starter. Two sophomores, guard Sonia Iacoboni, is Michael Paul and Brian equally as good defensively. Sullivan, impressed on the She’ll spearhead the squad’s JV squad last year, grew a man-heavy defense that will few inches and will serve as introduce some zone, while shooting guards as varsity she looks to lead in scoring newcomers. “Michael is a bit again, improving on last more basketball IQ savvy; year’s average of 13 points per whereas Brian is just sheer game. To get there, Iacoboni athletic,” Hasbrouck said. will rely on her outside shot Fifth-starter junior Arton while she works to develop Dalipi is a vocal leader who infuses his team with energy, at slashing and attacking the rim. and as a defender he gener“Sonia is the one we’ll go ates half-court pressure and to when we need a bucket,” deflects passes. The Rams’ will incorporate Fean said. Senior shooting guard and a 1-3-1 scheme in their zone fifth starter Nicole Zappala defense, as well as a heavy is also expected to contribute dose of man coverage. By JOSEPH KELLARD

A

10 — December 21, 2017

heavily again on defense. She is a solid ball handler who can knock down outside shots, and her steady, calming serves as the team’s glue. “Nicole is a captain who is kind of the heart and soul of the team,” Fean said. The Lady Rams’ offensive strength is outside shooting, and they will run a swing system designed to create opportunities off of good cuts. Two backup guards, senior Jessica Baum and junior Haley Singer, are the team’s top outside shooters, but sophomore starting point guard Graceann Murphy will initiate most of the offense. The team looks to use her speed to become a force in transition, and she is expected to generate considerably more points and improve her rebounding. “We’ll see from her the

Kyle Kandel

getic junior guard Spiradoula Lountzis, gritty senior post player Katherine Barahona, and sophomore point guard Toniann Servider.

Schedule

Matt Guilfoyle

BoyS December

19 @ Mineola 21 North Shore

6:45 p.m. 7:00 p.m.

January 3 10 13 16 18 20 31

@ West Hempstead 4:45 p.m. V.S. South 7:00 p.m. @ Friends Academy 12:00 p.m. Island Trees 7:00 p.m. Mineola 7:00 p.m. @ North Shore 10:00 a.m. West Hempstead 7:00 p.m.

February Sonia Iacoboni biggest growth of any of our returners,” the coach said of Murphy. The team’s best rebounders and third and fourth starters are junior power forward Emily Carman, who is crafty at creating good shots for herself, and senior centerforward Kayla Familette, a major post defender who can hit 12- to 14-foot jump shots. Other contributors include multi-position player sophomore Hailey Calabrese, ener-

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

2 @ V.S. South 6:45 p.m. 7 Friends Academy 7:00 p.m. 10 @ Island Trees 12:00 p.m.

GIRLS December 19 Mineola 21 @ North Shore

7:00 p.m. 6:45 p.m.

January 3 10 13 16 18 19 31

West Hempstead 7:00 p.m. @ V.S. South 7:30 p.m. Friends Academy 12:00 p.m. @ Island Trees 6:45 p.m. @ Mineola 6:45 p.m. North Shore 5:00 p.m. @ West Hempstead 6:45 p.m.

February 2 V.S. South 7:00 p.m. 7 @ Friends Academy 6:45 p.m. 9 Island Trees 7:00 p.m.

Photos by Ron Manfredi

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December 21, 2017 — 11


2017-18 HERALD High School Basketball Preview

EaST MEadow Jets leaning on defense and rebounding By JOSEPH KELLARD

T

he Jets head into their 2017-2018 season with a potential starting lineup of players who tallied relatively few minutes during a 3-16 campaign last year. The lone returning starter, 6-foot-4 junior guard-forward Sultan Mizra, looks to remain the primary scorer, having averaged 14.5 points per game last season. “Sultan is very fast, plays with a high motor and gets a lot of fast breaks and mid-range 12- to 14-foot jumpers,” second-year head coach Bobby Kopp said. Guard Mike Halikikas, a capable three-point shooter and defender, and forward Pat Hoffman, a good 6-2 rebounder and opportunity scorer, are senior captains who will see considerably more time. Kopp believes he now has a more athletic squad that will adapt better to his up-tempo motion offense, designed to score in transition and on secondary break opportunities. Junior Harry Nicholsen is a 6-3 point guard who will likely start after he grew a few inches and got stronger since last season. “He’s a dynamic scorer who is big and long for his position, and he does a nice job of getting the ball up the court,” Kopp said. A 6-5 center, senior Jake Buchar is another probable starter that shoots well from outside, blocks shots and runs the floor, but whose time was limited by injuries last year. Junior forwards Jihad Prunty, who at 6--4 is an inside presence, shot blocker and rebounder, and Dean Lanza, a 6-2 varsity newcomer who is adept on the offensive boards, will come off the bench. 12 — December 21, 2017

Kopp cited good team defense and rebounding as the keys to success, and the Jets will play a mostly highpressure man-to-man scheme. “We have to have good help and on-the-ball pressure,” he said. “If one guy doesn’t defend well, then it can break down pretty easily.” East Meadow returns to Conference AA2. While Baldwin and defending county champion Westbury are expected to vie for the conference championship, Kopp believes Port Washington, Plainview, Hicksville and Herricks are the teams the Jets must beat to reach .500 and make the playoffs.

Lady Jets eye continued success The Lady Jets hosted a rare first-round playoff game and defeated Calhoun last February, before falling hard to Baldwin in the Class AA quarterfinals. Head coach Pete Olenik expects his 20172018 squad will have similar success if the top eight players on his 14-deep squad can stay healthy and stay out of foul trouble. Senior shooting guardforward and fifth-year varsity starter Emily Shurina, who has amassed more than 1,300 points to become the program’s all-time leading scorer, averaged 24.5 points per game and earned her third consecutive All-County honor. “She is an all-around fivetool player who can really do it all, and as long as she stays healthy, she’s going to average 20-plus points a game for us,” Olenik said of Shurina, who he calls a “once-in-a-coachingcareer” player. East Meadow’s continuous motion offense gives Shurina the freedom to flow, slash and

get to the basket and the free throw line, where she shoots nearly 90 percent. Senior Hannah Arbuse, an All-Conference guard last year despite missing six games with a wrist injury, will lead the one-three-one zone defense that is expected to press more at half-court rather than quarter-court. “Hannah is really the heart and soul of our team defensively,” Olenik said. Junior point guard Alyssa Yablansky is another capable defender who provides a calming presence on the court. Two other capable defenders are sophomore and All-Conference selection Danielle Hippner, a 6-foot-2 center who skies over others as a rebounder and averaged five blocked shots per game

Emily Shurina

minutes coming off the bench. Flores will also compete for time with freshman backup Rhoda Williams, a guard with strong fundamentals and who plays three guard positions. Olenik expects to vie for second place against Hicksville and Port Washington in Baldwin-dominated Conference AA2.

Matt Guilfoyle

Schedule

BoyS December 20 @ Westbury

6:45 p.m.

January 4 6 9 12 15 17 27 31

Plainview @ Port Washington Herricks @ Baldwin @ Hicksville Westbury @ Plainview Port Washington

6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:45 p.m.

February Sultan Mizra last year, and senior forward Nicole Giblin, who delivers toughness as the fifth starter. But Giblin could be pushed by sophomore forward Stephanie Sparkowski, an athletic soccer goalie with exceptional hands and footwork who has already committed to Michigan. Sparkowski presence also means senior forward Hellen Flores will likely lose some

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

3 @ Herricks 6 Baldwin 9 Hicksville

12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

GIRLS December 19 Westbury

6:30 p.m.

January 4 6 9 12 15 17 27 31

@ Plainview Port Washington @ Herricks Baldwin Hicksville @ Westbury Plainview @ Port Washington

7:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:45 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:45 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:45 p.m.

February 3 Herricks 6 @ Baldwin 9 @ Hicksville

1:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 4:45 p.m.

Photos by Jeff Wilson

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HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

December 21, 2017 — 13


2017-18 HERALD High School Basketball Preview

EaSt Rockaway Rocks need contributions from all By BRIAN KACHARABA

F

or the first time in 28 years, the East Rockaway boys have a new leader with former JV coach Paul Collins taking over from longtime bench boss Joe Lores. Lores won 222 games during his tenure as the varsity head coach and led the Rocks to multiple conference, county and L.I. titles, including the 2009-10 squad that posted a school-record 16-2 mark and went undefeated in conference play. “His legacy in East Rockaway will go on forever,” Collins said of Lores. “I’m not looking to change a lot, just keep the same idea of commitment and dedication for the sport and just have a love of the game.” But Collins, who spent 12 years on the JV bench, may have his work cut out for him. The Rocks ended last season on a 12-game losing streak and finished the campaign 2-17. The slump was just two years removed from an 0-15 showing. “[They have to] realize that we’re starting a new season and every season’s brand new to them,” Collins said. “The experience they gained last year is going to benefit them this year towards a winning mentality.” Collins said he has coached everyone on the roster at some point in his career, making the transition somewhat seamless. Junior guard Chris Levins will be running the offense after averaging 9.1 points a game last season, which included seven doubledigit efforts. “I expect him to grow a lot from his sophomore year,” Collins said. “I’m hoping he grows with a leadership role also.” 14 — December 21, 2017

Collins is also hoping for a big year from 6-foot-5 senior center John Pellitiere, who could emerge as a force down low with his rebounding and scoring ability. “He really brings energy to the game,” Collins said. “He’s always in the mix under the boards and I’ve seen a lot of improvement in him fundamentally.” Seniors Kevin Howard and Shabue “Sky” Mosley and juniors Dylan Henshaw, Stefano Cilluffo and Jarrell Brown are also expected to contribute.

New style for Lady Rocks

The Lady Rocks return four of their five starters from last year, but the departure of 6-foot-1 center Alessia Drevnyak prompted head coach Karin Leary to alter the team’s style of play. With the smaller but quicker roster, Leary is preaching a more defensiveoriented system that can hopefully lead to transition baskets. The lack of height will also allow Leary to interchange most of her players at guard or forward. This year’s team will consist of seven juniors, two seniors and a sophomore “It’s a different type of team this year,” Leary said. “I have a lot of returning players coming back so it’s a veteran team, which is nice. We’re small, but we’re quick and athletic. It’s a different philosophy. The defense is definitely going to have to win games for us.” Leary described senior swingman Rachel O’Hagan as a “tough defender” who enjoys the challenge guarding the opposition’s best offensive player, while junior Emily Chelius is a solid defensive player and rebounder when she takes the floor. Offensively, junior power

forward Brooke DeGiulio and junior shooting guard Juliet McCarthy averaged 11.2 and 10 points, respectively, last season and will again be the top threats. Senior Rachel Graves returns as the point guard and newcomer Catherine McClure round out the starting five. Replacing Dreynak’s production (16.9 ppg) will not be easy, but Leary is optimistic that DeGiulio and McClure, formerly of the junior varsity team, can combine to do the job. “Brooke’s probably going to be that person to step up, but McClure [will be] aggressive underneath the boards,” Leary said. Leary is also looking for strong contributions from junior Kailey Hyland, sophomore guard Hunter Bertuc-

Kevin Howard

Schedule

BoyS December 19 Carle Place 22 @ Oyster Bay

7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m.

January 4 9 13 15 17 20 27 29

Malverne C.S. Harbor @ Seaford Locust Valley @ Carle Place @ Wheatley @ Malverne Oyster Bay

7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 1:45 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 7:15 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m.

February Brooke DeGiulio

1 3 6 8

cio, junior guard Ally Partos and junior forward Megan O’Connor. East Rockaway is the only “C” school in the county, so it will automatically play in the Long Island Championship Game later this winter. Leary still hopes to be competitive with the likes of Seaford, Cold Spring Harbor and Carle Place, but in the meantime, will use the second half of the regular season to get the team “playoff ready.”

GIRLS December

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

Wheatley @ C.S. Harbor Seaford @ Locust Valley

19 @ Carle Place 21 Oyster Bay

7:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

7:15 p.m. 7:00 p.m.

January 4 9 11 15 17 20 25 29 31

@ Malverne @ C.S. Harbor Seaford @ Locust Valley Carle Place Wheatley Malverne @ Oyster Bay @ Wheatley

6:15 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

February 3 C.S. Harbor 6 @ Seaford 8 Locust Valley

12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m.

Photos by Keith O’Reilly

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HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

December 21, 2017 — 15


2017-18 HERALD High School Basketball Preview

Elmont Spartans seek third straight county title

t

By ANDREW MccLURE

he Elmont boys wear the bull’s eye on their backs with pride. The Spartans followed up their Class A state championship two seasons ago with another county title. Elmont, which finished with an overall record of 19-5 in 2016-2017, has also won eight straight conference championships. Mount St. Michaels, Chaminade, Brentwood, Baldwin and Central Islip await the Spartans in non-league play. Garden City, which beat the Spartans once last season, has everyone back and should compete with Elmont for supremacy in Nassau Conference A1, which welcomes back-to-back county runnerup South Side. “So far, things are looking good,” head coach George Holub said. “We have much better team chemistry than we had last year. We get up and down the floor real well. The seniors and those who have been around have grown up being the team that everyone is looking to beat. They’re used to it, and they thrive on it.” Senior Victor Olawoye, who averaged 15.2 points per game, handles the ball well, is the team’s best shooter, and plays shutdown defense. His backcourt partner, sophomore point guard Jevon Santos, is more concerned with piling up assists than he is in scoring. Holub would like to see him look for his own shot more often. Senior Ismael Astasie brings a whirlwind of energy to the court, and has a knack for coming up big in pressure situations. Jaylin Miller scored a career- high 23 points in a win over Chaminade as a junior. Both Astasie and Miller can take it to the basket and finish. 16 — December 21, 2017

David Moore, a 6-foot-5 senior has improved his inside game. He alters opponent’s shots and does a good job on the glass. Senior William Cook is a cerebral player who did some great things last season. Cook’s shooting touch has improved considerably. Senior Conrad Ihaza is another player with high basketball IQ. He handles the ball well and takes it to the rack with authority. Sophomore guard Gus Louis is a big part of the present and future. Louis is a solid defender who should see a lot of time.

Lady Spartans are defending L.I. champions

Defending Long Island champion Elmont had five girls average 9.3 points per game or better in 2016-17 and four of them return. The Lady Spartans, who haven’t lost a league game while posting an overall record of 59-4 over the past three seasons, are once again set to wreak havoc. Among the teams that Elmont will face in its challenging non-league schedule are Copiague, Deer Park, Massapequa, Ward Melville, and St. John the Baptist. Each season over the past four years, the Lady Spartans have demonstrated steady progress. They’ve been a county semifinalist, county finalist, county champion, and state finalist. And, now they’re looking for more. Tom Magno, in his 11th season as head coach at Elmont, has a talented and experienced team. “We put the carrot out there that there is still something to prove,” Magno said. “They’re not satisfied. The target is on their back, and I think they relish in it. They know that they’re the team that people are gunning for.” Kem Nwabadu, who averaged 13.2 points per game

as a junior, is one of the Island’s top frontcourt players. The 6-foot power forward, a threetime All-County honoree, scored 20 points and pulled down 14 rebounds in the victory over Mount Sinai in Long Island title game. Nwabadu will play college ball at Winthrop University. Senior point guard Zhaneia Thybulle, who has committed to play at UNC-Wilmington, runs the show for the Lady Spartans. Thybulle, who has averaged 13 points per game in each of the past two seasons, is outstanding at setting up teammates and defending. She sparks the transition game. Junior Gigi Faison (9.3 ppg) is a consistent performer, and an intelligent

Zhaneia Thybulle

Schedule BoyS December 18 Great Neck North 21 @ Carey

4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

January 3 5 10 16 18 20 26 30

Victor Olawoye player who does everything well. Jada Fernandez scored in double figures 10 times as a junior and is a defensive stalwart. Senior Zarria Franklin is focused on having a big season. Athletic senior Chiamaka Ubani is a high-energy player who will help on the press. Junior forward Alexis Stewart had made steady improvement. Juniors Nataiya Bailey and Shanesha Dyer will contribute off the bench.

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

@ New Hyde Park 4:30 p.m. South Side 4:30 p.m. @ Garden City 6:30 p.m. Jericho 4:30 p.m. @ Great Neck North 6:45 p.m. Carey 12:00 p.m. New Hyde Park 4:30 p.m. @ South Side 6:30 p.m.

February 2 Garden City 10 @ Jericho

4:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m.

GIRLS December 18 @ Great Neck North 6:45 p.m. 21 Carey 4:30 p.m.

January 3 5 10 16 18 20 26 30

New Hyde Park 4:30 p.m. @ South Side 6:30 p.m. Garden City 4:30 p.m. @ Jericho 6:30 p.m. Great Neck North 4:30 p.m. @ Carey 12:00 p.m. @ New Hyde Park 4:30 p.m. South Side 4:30 p.m.

February 2 @ Garden City 9 Jericho

6:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

Photos by John Heckman

HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS


2017-18 HERALD High School Basketball Preview

2017-18

Nassau CouNty BasketBall

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CONFERENCE AA/A-III

• Calhoun • Great Neck South • Long Beach • MacArthur • Manhasset • Mepham • V.S. Central

CONFERENCE A-I

• Carey • Elmont • Garden City • Great Neck North • Jericho • New Hyde Park • South Side

CONFERENCE A-IV

• Clarke • Friends Academy • Island Trees • Mineola • North Shore • V.S. South • West Hempstead

CONFERENCE A-II

• Bellmore-JFK • Glen Cove • Hewlett • Plainedge • Roosevelt • Roslyn • Sewanhaka

CONFERENCE ABC

• Carle Place • Cold Spring Harbor • East Rockaway • Locust Valley • Malverne • Oyster Bay • Seaford • Wheatley

CONFERENCE A-III

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Aziah Hudson, Baldwin High School Photo by Jeff Wilson

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

December 21, 2017 — 17


2017-18 HERALD High School Basketball preview

Freeport Roster overhaul for Red Devils By ANDREW MccLURE

I

t will be a year of rebuilding at Freeport. The Red Devils finished with a respectable overall record of 10-9 in head coach Larry Steimer’s second season, but, once again, lost nearly everyone to graduation. In fact, only one returning player scored in 2016-2017 and that was a mere six total points. As usual, perennial power Uniondale is expected to be the team to beat in Conference AA-I. Massapequa, Syosset, Oceanside, Hempstead, and Farmingdale are always formidable league opponents. The Red Devils will play each of them twice. “We’re going to try to press the floor, get up and down the court, and score in transition,” Steimer said. “It’s been a tough go at it in the early going because everyone is basically new to the team. The league is real tough, and most of the teams have a lot of talent back. We’re going to work hard and try to pick up a playoff spot.” Junior Talique Jackson saw limited time as a sophomore, but should emerge as one of the team’s most consistent scoring threats. Jackson is a slasher who locks down on defense and rebounds well. Senior Julian Williams is a steady shooting guard who handles the ball well and can heat up from the perimeter. Steimer will put the offense in the hands of Terrance Edmond. The sophomore point guard is quick and strong, and sees the court well. He’ll be asked to push the pace, distribute the ball, and take it to the rack. Freeport doesn’t have an abundance of size, but hopes its athleticism will make up for mismatches. Junior Jordan Bumpass is a strong, ath-

18 — December 21, 2017

letic forward who rebounds well and can take the ball to the basket. Senior Jordan Drain has good basketball IQ, and at 6-foot-3 gives the team more size in the paint. Tristan Sabb, a 6-3 sophomore, is a hard-nosed forward with a lot of upside. Steimers likes the way Sabb gets after it on the boards, and expects him to be a big part of the team’s present and future.

Lady Devils return important pieces

The Freeport girls made some noise on the basketball court in 2016-2017. The Lady Devils won nine of their last 10 games, including a statement victory over Massapequa, and finished with an overall record of 15-5. The team’s season ended when it was eliminated by state champion Baldwin in the Class AA playoffs. The Lady Devils must replace point guard Maya Thomas, now playing at the University of the District of Columbia, but some key returnees and newcomers should have Freeport right in the mix with Conference AA-I opponents. Head coach Meredith Jones sees plenty of potential in her team. “While the girls knew what they were up against with Baldwin in the playoffs, they still weren’t satisfied with the way they competed,” Jones said. “That’s what we want. We can’t be satisfied with just being good. We need to be hungry to be great.” Taylor Abraham, a fouryear varsity player, figures to be the team’s go-to player. Abraham, a 6-foot sophomore forward is solid in the frontcourt and had improved her game from the perimeter. She averaged 13.5 points per game and was a double-double machine. Senior forward Ceniya

Nicholas has a nice touch around the basket and is the consummate teammate. Sophomore Tyler Hawkins is athletic, intelligent, and aggressive. Junior Jada Hill is an undersized forward who plays may bigger than her height. Hill brings strong defense and rebounding ability. Senior Bianca Benjamin, an All-Conference recipient, will run the point for the Lady Devils. Benjamin can take her opponent off the dribble, shoot the three, and set up teammates. Senior guard Roseanne Hylton is a heady player with great touch from the perimeter. Junior Deavion Peterson brings a bit of swag to the court. Peterson is tenacious on defense, handles well, and

Talique Jackson

Schedule BoyS December 19 Farmingdale 22 @ Massapequa

6:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m.

January 4 5 9 12 17 19 27 31

Taylor Abraham can knock down threes. Like Peterson, junior Tiona Parker is a solid all-around presence in the backcourt. Junior Leslie Enrique Cruz is a welcome addition to the lineup. She’s strong off the dribble and has good touch from the field.

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

Uniondale @ Oceanside @ Syosset Hempstead @ Farmingdale Massapequa @ Uniondale Oceanside

6:15 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 6:15 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

February 3 Syosset 6 @ Hempstead

12:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

GIRLS December 19 @ Farmingdale 22 Massapequa

4:30 p.m. 6:15 p.m.

January 4 6 9 12 17 19 27 31

@ Uniondale Oceanside Syosset @ Hempstead Farmingdale @ Massapequa Uniondale @ Oceanside

4:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 6:15 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m.

February 3 @ Syosset 6 Hempstead

12:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

Photos by John Heckman

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December 21, 2017 — 19


2017-18 HERALD High School Basketball Preview

Hewlett Bulldogs could prove tough to tame

A

By TONy BELLISSIMO

n ordinary turnout for offseason workouts has the Bulldogs a little behind schedule, head coach Bill Dubin said, but he fully expects them to improve as the season unfolds and be a factor in the Nassau Class A playoffs once again. Hewlett has reached the county semifinals in three of the past four seasons, including an exciting run last February with a first-round overtime victory over Locust Valley and a one-point quarterfinal win at Roosevelt. Coming off a 17-win campaign, the Bulldogs are sure to be tested by a revamped group of Conference A-II rivals. Six of the seven teams made the postseason tournament last season – Hewlett, Glen Cove, Kennedy, Roslyn, Sewanhaka and Roosevelt. Only Plainedge came up short. “We’ve got a really tough schedule,” Dubin said. The Bulldogs return three starters, led by two-time AllCounty selection and reigning Conference Player of the Year Alyjah Hill. “He can score from anywhere and his biggest strength is on the break,” Dubin said. “He’s coming off a great season and hopefully he can continue to play that way.” Hill, also a solid defender, averaged 15 points, nearly 10 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game. Senior Luca Preziosi, an All-Conference choice, was Hewlett’s best player in last year’s playoffs, Dubin said, and he’s not only an outside shooting threat but also a lockdown defender. “Some games he can really catch fire,” Dubin said. Senior Matt Mannino’s athleticism and ability to rebound will make him tough for opposing centers to keep 20 — December 21, 2017

pace with. He’s 6-foot-3 and may give up a few inches, but he runs the floor and can knock down shots from outside the paint. Last year’s youngest member of the varsity, guard Jason Barry, steps into a bigger role as a junior and brings scoring touch. Sophomore Brett Karkus averaged 16 points for the JV squad and is another scoring threat in the backcourt, while sophomore forward Darren Spencer provides height (6-3) and can drive, score and rebound. “We’re going to develop slowly, but we’ll get there,” Dubin said.

Lady Bulldogs full of youth, potential After a two-year stint coaching at the middle school level, Frank Viggiano is back in the varsity game with a young and talented Lady Bulldogs’ roster at his disposal. “We’ve got an interesting group with no seniors, seven juniors and a bunch of young kids,” Viggiano said. “We have a lot of work to do and the journey will be fun. Everyone is going to be battling for playing time and contributing.” Hewlett, which struggled to find consistency last season and managed only one victory, will rely on a potentially deep backcourt led by its lone returning starter, junior point guard Sam Panzarella, to make opponents sweat. Panzarella hardly came off the floor, Viggiano said, and is likely to fill a similar role as the veteran at the position. She’ll be backed up by freshman Mia Perkell, another quality shooter who runs the floor well. “Sam can shoot from the outside and drive to the basket,” he said. “She can average double figures.”

Seventh-grader Riley Weiss could crack the starting five at shooting guard. She’s been impressive in camp and drained seven treys in the team’s opening scrimmage against Valley Stream South. “She’s a zone-buster who can really shoot,” Viggiano said. “She’s no stranger to playing at a high level from AAU ball and she’s not going to be intimidated being on varsity.” Sophomore Katie Korin brings a fiery defensive game and lots of intangibles, while freshman Allessandra Borsellino can knock down outside shots as well as make aggressive moves to the basket. Viggiano said the forward rotation is unsettled, but in a good way. Junior Maria Sapienza has some varsity experience and steps into a bigger role, and juniors Erica Parades and Mia Morgan are

Sam Panzarella

Schedule

Matt Guilfoyle BoyS

December

18 Glen Cove 21 Kennedy

6:45 p.m. 6:45 p.m.

January 5 13 16 18 20 26 30

Roslyn @ Sewanhaka Roosevelt @ Glen Cove @ Kennedy Plainedge @ Roslyn

7:15 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:45 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m. 6:45 p.m.

February Alyjah Hill

also in the mix to earn considerable minutes. The height of freshmen Amanda Sannon and Akayla Mack will come in handy. “We have a clean slate,” Viggiano said. “We’re guarddriven and hopefully going to be an up-tempo, trapping team. We’re not big and we’re young, but we have a lot to be excited about.”

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

5 @ Plainedge 7 Sewanhaka 10 @ Roosevelt

4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 10:00 a.m.

GIRLS December 18 @ Glen Cove 21 @ Kennedy

6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

January 3 5 13 16 18 20 26 30

Plainedge @ Roslyn Sewanhaka @ Roosevelt Glen Cove Kennedy @ Plainedge Roslyn

7:15 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:45 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:45 p.m.

February 7 @ Sewanhaka 9 Roosevelt

6:30 p.m. 7:15 p.m.

Photos by Donovan Berthoud

HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS


2017-18 HERALD High School Basketball Preview

Kennedy Road for Cougars won’t be easy

T

By TONy BELLISSIMO

he Cougars were a pleasant surprise last season in the eyes of longtime head coach Rory Block, who guided them to a dozen wins including an elimination game victory over Great Neck South. “Getting to the playoffs is always a goal,” Block said. “We’re coming off a real nice season and I like what we’ve got this year. We can definitely get back to the playoffs, but we’ll need to beat some quality teams to make it happen. Every game is going to be a battle.” Kennedy, which competed in Conference A-I last winter, is part of a revamped and deep A-II, which features six teams that participated in the Nassau Class A tournament. Hewlett, Sewanhaka and Glen Cove figure to present the toughest obstacles. Leading the Cougars’ hopes are returning starters Steven Carlson and Marco Travaglione. Carlson, a combo guard/forward, averaged 16.2 points per game on the way to earning All-County honors. Travaglione, a junior center, averaged 9.8 points and 7.3 rebounds. “Steven is our best offensive player who’s especially strong in transition but can also score in half-court sets,” Block said of Carlson, who in the fall helped lead the volleyball program to a Long Island championship. “He can elevate and get to the basket, and he creates a lot of space for his teammates.” The 6-foot-2 Travaglione moves well and can do damage in the low post with his work on the glass and ability to knock down high-percentage shots. Senior forward Rich Draude is an aggressive defender and rebounder, TO ADVERTISE CALL 516-569-4000

sophomore forward Brandon Wexler will provide help on the boards and offense in the paint, and senior Andrew Celauro adds depth. Junior Christian Palazzota takes over the point guard role after seeing a small portion of varsity minutes last season. He distributes well and can burn opponents with his outside shot if they sleep on him. Senior Matt Kaufman and sophomore Alex Rosenberg are vying for time at the position as well. Senior guard Ian Kranis is a legitimate perimeter threat, and senior lefty Josh Kaplan will also contribute in the backcourt.

Lady Cougars hungry for playoff spot After falling just one win short of reaching the playoffs in Mallory Palmieri’s debut season as head coach, the Lady Cougars are looking to take a considerable step up with a senior-led starting lineup. “We’re in a competitive conference, but we’ll be disappointed if we don’t make the playoffs,” Palmieri said. “You never know what can happen, but that’s the goal.” Kennedy’s strong performance in its opening scrimmage against Long Beach was a confidence builder, she said. “We moved the ball really well and hit shots,” Palmieri explained. Senior captains Rachel Katz, Rose Mehani and Carly Wills are returning starters, senior Jessie Estrin was the first frontcourt player off the bench, and freshman Cameron Montalbano comes off a dominant season as the middle school level. Katz, a power forward, is extremely active in the paint and was among the team’s top scorers in 2016-17. She earned All-Class honors. “She sees

the court well and has great knowledge of the game,” Palmieri said. “She’s a very good free throw shooter and someone capable of a doubledouble at any time.” Mehani serves as the quarterback of the offense as the point guard. She also has an accurate outside shot to go with a strong handle. “Rose is a leader on and off the court,” Palmieri said. The quickness and nonstop motor of Wills makes her Kennedy’s top defender and key to the transition game. “She’ll lead us in steals,” Palmieri said. Junior Gabby Lewis, a quick

Steven Carlson

out and rebounds well, and can score from inside or outside of the paint. Sewanhaka, Plainedge and Glen Cove will serve as the Lady Cougars’ toughest opponents in a conference that includes Hewlett, Roosevelt and Roslyn.

Schedule BoyS Matt GuilfOyle December

18 Roslyn 21 @ Hewlett

7:00 p.m. 6:45 p.m.

January 3 5 10 16 18 20 26 30

Rachel Katz and scrappy lefty, will provide a defensive spark, and her younger sister, Danielle, a sophomore, is ready to contribute after leading the JV in scoring. Freshman Rachel Nossen is another backcourt scoring threat from the outside. Palmieri is expecting big things from Estrin, who missed about six weeks of action last season after suffering a broken nose. Slated to start at forward, Estrin boxes

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

@ Sewanhaka Roosevelt @ Glen Cove Plainedge @ Roslyn Hewlett Sewanhaka @ Roosevelt

7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

February 2 Glen Cove 10 @ Plainedge

7:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m.

GIRLS December 18 @ Roslyn 21 Hewlett

7:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

January 3 5 10 16 18 20 26 30

Sewanhaka @ Roosevelt Glen Cove @ Plainedge Roslyn @ Hewlett @ Sewanhaka Roosevelt

6:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

February 2 @ Glen Cove 9 @ Plainedge

7:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

Photos by Keith O’Reilly

December 21, 2017 — 21


2017- 18 HERALD High School Basketball Preview

Lawrence Tornadoes excited for fresh start

I

By TONy BELLISSIMO

nexperience and a lack of offense added up to a rough 2016-17 campaign for the Golden Tornadoes, who on the heels of a lengthy playoff streak and 15-win season managed just one victory. “We’re excited for a clean slate,” head coach Lou Robinson said. “We went through a complete rebuild last season after we lost 95 percent of our scoring. “I was proud of the fact we were competitive in 15 games,” he added. “The kids played hard. Now we’ll be going back to up-tempo and full-court presses and everything else. We’ll look to go 10-deep.” Junior point guard Keaton Goldsby was thrown into the fire last season and emerged with All-Conference honors after averaging 15.3 points per game, which was about 35 percent of the team’s production. “He’s the kid other teams will try to stop,” Robinson said. “He’s grown three or four inches and he’ll benefit tremendously from last year’s experience. He likes to attack the basket and is a good shooter.” A healthy supporting cast around Goldsby will go a long way in Lawrence’s chances of making the Class A playoffs. Senior center Kevin Nalisa was injured three games into last season and never returned after undergoing finger surgery. The 6-foot-4 track star fills a lot of the paint with his reach and jumps well. “A lot of things changed when Kevin went down,” Robinson said. “He can score, rebound and block shots.” Senior power forward Hector Retana is a returning starter with rebounding ability and improved shooting range. Senior Isaiah Good22 — December 21, 2017

win, the team’s best pure shooter according to Robinson, hit six treys in last year’s win over Bethpage, and can stretch the defense. The coach is excited about a handful of football standouts contributing to success on the hardwood. Senior swingman Chris Collier, who missed last season with a knee injury, goes hard to the rim and takes pride in defense. Junior forwards Jordan Alexander and Norell Folawiyo are coming off big JV campaigns, senior guard Carlos Duran is back in the fold, and senior Marquis Jeudy plays an important leadership role.

Defense a key for Lady Tornadoes A daunting Conference A-III schedule and little secondary scoring limited the Lady Golden Tornadoes to a pair of victories last season, but additional varsity experience could allow them to be more competitive this winter. “I know we’ll work hard and play tough defense, but I’m still concerned about scoring,” head coach George Klein said. “When you lose 77 percent of your points, it’s difficult. We need everyone to just pick it up a little bit.” Non-league games against Valley Stream South, West Hempstead, Hewlett and Clarke will help Klein’s junior-laden team prepare for the likes of defending A-III champion Lynbrook, Division, Wantagh, Floral Park, Valley Stream North and Bethpage. Olivia Levi is likely to be Lawrence’s only senior starter. The athletic shooting guard will look to step up her offensive game while helping lead the backcourt defense along with junior shooting guard Brooke Kirchner, a part-time starter last season

ready to assume a larger role. “Both have a real good understanding of the game and should benefit from last year’s experience,” Klein said. No doubt the x-factorfor the Lady Golden Tornadoes is junior point guard Mallelys Reyes-Camacho, who moved back to the district after contributing two seasons ago and exploding for 30 points at times. “She can really handle the ball and has great court vision,” Klein said. “Her ability to get to the rim could be huge for us. If she can pick up where she left off two years ago, it’s going to help tremendously.” Junior power forward Marilyn Mundell is 5-foot-7 and plays even bigger than her size suggests, the coach noted. She earned quality minutes last season and did damage on the boards, Klein said, and

Oliva Levi

Schedule

BoyS Matt Guilfoyle December

18 @ Division 21 Lynbrook

6:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

January 5 9 13 16 18 20 30

@ Floral Park Wantagh V.S. North @ Bethpage Division @ Lynbrook Floral Park

4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:45 p.m. 11:45 a.m. 4:30 p.m.

February Kevin Nalisa is also capable of picking up some of the scoring slack. Junior Lisa Deryce (5-10) put in a ton of offseason work in preparation of her varsity debut and has a good chance to crack the starting five. Junior Erica Pagano can get the job done in the paint, while junior Catherine Melgor can give any member of the backcourt a breather.

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

2 @ Wantagh 6 @ V.S. North 10 Bethpage

6:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m.

GIRLS December 11 Lynbrook 18 Division

4:30 p.m. 4:45 p.m.

January 5 9 13 16 18 20 30

Floral Park @ Wantagh @ V.S. North Bethpage @ Division @ Lynbrook @ Floral Park

4:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

February 2 Wantagh 6 V.S. North 10 @ Bethpage

4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

Photos by John Heckman

HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS


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HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

December 21, 2017 — 23


2017-18 HERALD High School Basketball Preview

2017-18

BOYS HEAD

COACHES Darius Burton - Baldwin

Jay KreutzBerger - Calhoun

Marty KeLLy - Carey

PauL CoLLins - East Rockaway

george HoLuB - Elmont

Larry steiMer - Freeport

BiLL DuBin - Hewlett

rory BLoCK - Kennedy

Lou roBinson - Lawrence

sCott Martin - Long Beach

JaMie aDaMs - Lynbrook

eriC ruBin - MacArthur

DarroLL LoPez - Malverne

Pat FaLLon - Mepham

Joe suPPLe - Oceanside

raLPH rossetti - Seaford

Jason aLLen - Sewanhaka

Jerry D’angeLo - South Side

HayWarD aLFreD - V.S. Central

Dan aCHatz - V.S. North

Matt JoHnsen - V.S. South

Joe HarCLeroDe - Wantagh

eD Cosgrove - West Hempstead

24 — December 21, 2017

Joe HasBrouCK - Clarke

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

BoBBy KoPP - East Meadow

HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS


2017-18 HERALD High School Basketball Preview

2017-18

GIRLS HEAD

COACHES Tom CaTapano - Baldwin

pETE maGnUSon - Calhoun

DanIELLE DonoHUE - Carey

KaRIn LEaRY - East Rockaway

Tom maGno - Elmont

mEREDITH JonES - Freeport

FRanK VIGGIano - Hewlett

maLLoRY paLmIERI - Kennedy

GEoRGE KLEIn - Lawrence

KRISTIn CICConE - Long Beach

STEVE LoCICERo - Lynbrook

DaVE RaDTKE - MacArthur

LoREnZo JEnKInS - Malverne

JIm mULVEY - Mepham

JaRED SToLER - Oceanside

BoB VaCHRIS - Seaford

aLEx SoUpIoS - Sewanhaka

Dan FERRICK - South Side

maLYSSa THoRnGREn - VS Central

GEoRGE KaRaHaLIoS - V.S. North

mIKE o’BRIEn - V.S. South

STan BUJaCICH - Wantagh

CHRIS Van KoVICS - West Hempstead

TO ADVERTISE CALL 516-569-4000

SHaUn FEan - Clarke

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

pETE oLEnIK - East Meadow

December 21, 2017 — 25


2017-18 HERALD high School Basketball Preview

Long Beach Marines pursuing a playoff spot tion. “He’s a big, strong and fast kid and if defenders guard him too tight, he’ll blow right by,” Martin said. Sophomore power forward he Marines are hoping Evan Michaels has a lot of to reap the benefits of potential, Martin said, and more depth and expericould grab double digits in ence to make a playoff push in Class AA after back-to-back rebounds after averaging 7 per game last season. Senior difficult seasons resulting in Joe O’Donohue brings an a combined three conference aggressive and physical style victories. to the frontcourt and is also Head coach Scott Martin is looking for matchup advan- an outside shooting threat. Junior Gerard Burns is provtages with a three-forward, ing to be a monster on the two-guard set and has most of last year’s team back in the boards with an explosive first step, and sophomore Aiden fold. Long Beach will again White is a well-balanced forbattle in Conference A/AAward. III with Calhoun, Manhasset, Mepham, MacArthur, Lady Marines bank Great Neck South and Valley on young influence Stream Central. “We look pretty good so far An influx of talented youth and we want to compete for is the theme for the Lady a playoff spot,” Martin said. Marines, who registered four “The core group returning victories in 2016-17 after a understands the philosophy sluggish start. I’m trying to teach and should “We need to get the chembenefit from last year’s expeistry going sooner than we rience.” did last season,” coach KrisJunior point guard tin Ciccone said. “We didn’t Lashawn Hankins is the start playing up to our potenteam’s lone returning award tial until January. I’d like to winner and someone Martin see us get going in December. expects to hardly come off We need to be able to handle the floor. The All-Conference pressure that’s thrown our selection has added height way.” (5-foot-7), is smart with the While Long Beach has ball in his hands, and can hit some top athletes among its an outside jumper or finish in upperclassmen, a bunch of the lane. “He needs to run the young newcomers are playoffense and find any matchup ing the sport year-round and advantages we’ll have,” Marseeing the benefits. Freshtin noted. men Lainie Kassap, Jasmine An injury slowed MatSoriano and Gia Simbari teo Camarda out of the gate could develop into fixtures last season but he came on on the floor as soon as this strong down the stretch and season and represent a bright will try to pick up where he future for the program, Cicleft off. The senior guard is cone said. calm under pressure and has Soriano may find herself nice shooting touch from the among the smallest players on outside. Senior Rich Lilly will the court at any time, but the back up Hankins at the point. coach said she plays “10 times Like Hankins, senior forward bigger than her 5-foot frame.” Tristan Groh will see tons Her vision and elusiveness of court time. He’ll lead the make her difficult to guard. defensive pressure and can She’ll push the tempo and get score off turnovers in transi- the Lady Marines moving in

By TONy BELLISSIMO

T

26 — December 21, 2017

transition. Kassap is a vocal leader despite her age, Ciccone said, and drives strong to the basket as well as drains shots from the outside. “She’s an aggressive player with good size for a young guard who started every game for the JV,” Ciccone said. Simbari is 5-6 and growing, and can dribble and drive. “They might have some freshman jitters, but they’ve been playing since third grade,” Ciccone said. Senior Taylor Haines brings a high basketball IQ, versatility, and starting experience at the varsity level. Most of her points will come from the outside. Senior lefty Meredith Fagan provides depth in the backcourt.

Lashawn Hawkins

Schedule BoyS December 19 MacArthur 22 @ Mepham

5:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

January 4 6 9 12 17 19 27 31

Emily Rivera Junior forward Adrianna Zieba-Rosa also started last season and is solid on the boards and a mid-range shooter. Senior captain Emily Rivera serves as an extension of the coach and has an effort that’s tough to match, while sophomore center Delilah Plunkett (5-10) moves well and can finish in the paint. “We have some nice depth players to give the core group a breather,” Ciccone said.

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

V.S. Central @ Manhasset @ G.N. South Calhoun @ MacArthur Mepham @ V.S. Central Manhasset

5:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m.

February 3 G.N. South 6 @ Calhoun

12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

GIRLS December 19 @ MacArthur 22 Mepham

4:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

January 4 6 9 12 17 19 27 31

@ V.S. Central Manhasset G.N. South @ Calhoun MacArthur @ Mepham V.S. Central @ Manhasset

4:30 p.m. 10:00 a.m. 4:45 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 10:00 a.m. 4:30 p.m.

February 3 @ G.N. South 6 Calhoun

12:00 p.m. 4:45 p.m.

Photos by John Heckman

HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS


PARK AVENUE EXTENDED CARE FACILIT Y

DIABETIC WOUND CARE • HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY BARIATRIC PROGRAM • SKILLED NURSING

PARK AVENUE EXTENDED CARE FACILIT Y

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HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

December 21, 2017 — 27


2017-18 HERALD High School Basketball Preview

LynBrook Surging Owls have more to prove By TONy BELLISSIMO

A

rguably the biggest surprise team in Nassau Class A last season, the Owls of Lynbrook still have something to prove after winning 16 games and reaching the quarterfinal round of the playoffs. “We’re not going to sneak up on anyone this time,” head coach Jamie Adams said. “There’s an expectation now and we’re going to get everyone’s best punch. Last season we had to prove we were a quality team. Now we have to prove it wasn’t a fluke.” On top of improved chemistry, Adams said a team-first attitude and senior leadership helped the Owls enjoy a breakout 2016-17 campaign and reach the playoffs for the first time in four seasons. “The attitude and work ethic has carried over, and we have some guys to take over the leadership role,” he said. Junior point guard Rylan Blondo showed leadership qualities a year ago and has embraced the role of captain. He averaged 15 points per game and earned All-Conference honors. “Rylan is a talented player who continues to improve,” Adams said. “He can score from anywhere and is a great distributor.” Seniors Steve Hendrickson and Jon Baltes are also captains. Hendrickson is a slashing power forward who sets the tone on defense, while Baltes is a solid shooting guard. Both are expected to start after serving as sparks off the bench last season. Junior forward John Donaldson comes off a strong All-Conference campaign that saw him average 11 points per game. “He can score and he’s a sneaky good rebounder at both ends,” Adams noted. A big offseason has junior 28 — December 21, 2017

Brandon Pekale in line for a starting job or considerable minutes off the bench. He’s a lefty with a good handle and decent shooting range. Lynbrook’s depth in the frontcourt starts with 6-foot-5 senior Aldin Cekic, who is being counted on to rebound and impact shots. Senior Justin Sprague and sophomore John Malinka, who’s 6-8, can make an impact as well. “The playoffs are what we’re thinking long term, but we really don’t want to think about anything short term except going 1-0 on game days,” Adams said.

Lady Owls will be tested early A challenging non-league schedule and a road-heavy slate early in the season should help the Lady Owls prepare to defend their Conference A-III title after a 9-3 finish against their closest rivals. “We’ve got a tough start that’ll help us down the road in a difficult conference,” head coach Steve LoCicero said. “I’m interested to see how we’ll handle the early part. It’s the most athletic team we’ve had from top to bottom in my four years and we’re going to pressure everyone and try to win the turnover battle.” Lynbrook, which lost in the opening round of the playoffs to Jericho, will battle the likes of Division, Bethpage, Floral Park and Wantagh for conference supremacy. The Lady Owls lost a major difference-maker in center Kerrin Montgomery, but they return a strong backcourt led by senior Sophia LoCicero, a two-time All-County selection. “She’s basically going to play every position on the floor,” the coach said of his daughter, who needs 74 points to reach 1,000 for her career. “Four years ago she was an

athlete playing basketball, but she’s really developed into a basketball player who’s an athlete.” LoCicero averaged 20.3 points per game last season to rank seventh in Nassau. LoCicero and senior guard Erin Pender serve as captains of a relatively young squad. Pender is a solid all-around player who can score in double figures any given night and run the point when needed. She was Honorable Mention All-County as a junior. Senior Briana Piro emerged as the starting point guard towards the end of last season and thrived in the role. She’s a tenacious defender with excellent court vision and a handle. At forward, junior Sara Bahri came into camp in

Sophia LoCicero

Schedule BOyS December

Matt GuilfOyle 21 @ Lawrence

7:15 p.m.

January 3 6 10 13 16 20 26 30

Floral Park Wantagh @ V.S. North Bethpage @ Division Lawrence @ Floral Park @ Wantagh

7:00 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 7:15 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 7:15 p.m. 11:45 a.m. 5:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

February Rylan Blondo great shape and brings muchneeded height. Junior Kerin Bartels is a quality shooter and tough under the boards, and sophomore Kayleigh Stalter steps up to varsity following a standout JV campaign. She’ll help under the glass and on defense. Juniors Kayla O’Dougherty, Katie Baumann and Collette Santoro, as well as sophomore Kate Foley, give Lynbrook the kind of depth it takes to win close games.

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

2 V.S. North 7 @ Bethpage 10 Division

4:30 p.m. 7:15 p.m. 2:00 p.m.

GIRLS December 11 @ Lawrence

4:30 p.m.

January 3 5 10 13 16 20 26 30

@ Floral Park @ Wantagh V.S. North @ Bethpage Division Lawrence Floral Park Wantagh

4:30 p.m. 6:15 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 11:30 a.m. 6:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 6:15 p.m. 6:15 p.m.

February 2 @ V.S. North 7 Bethpage 9 @ Division

6:30 p.m. 6:15 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

Photos by Keith O’Reilly

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HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

December 21, 2017 — 29


2017-18 HERALD high School Basketball Preview

MacArthur Generals aiming for playoff spot

M

By ANDREW COEN

acArthur struggled  for the bulk of  last  season before finding  its stride late.   The Generals won two of   their last four Conference  A-III games to finish 3-9 in the  league and 6-13 overall. With a  senior-laden team lined up for  this winter, head coach Eric  Rubin hopes last year’s end  of  season momentum gives  the experienced players confidence to create the program’s  first playoff  appearance in  three years.   “We were going up against  a lot of  bigger teams last year  and it was tough to compete  at first,” Rubin said. “Hopefully last year’s late success  carries over.”   Point guard Benny Orlando leads MacArthur’s senior  dominated roster following  three straight years as the  team’s leading scorer. Orlando  tallied 13 points in a 51-50 win  against Mepham late last season that included a clutch tie  breaking three-pointer with  1:08 left.   “He rarely turns the ball  over,” said Rubin of  his backcourt anchor. “It’s important  to have someone who can  handle the ball in tough situations.”   Versatile senior Kyle  Acquavella is back for his  third season starting and can  be slotted at small forward  or guard. Acquavella, who  quarterbacked the MacArthur football team the last  two years, tallied 17 points in  three games for the 2016-17  campaign.   Senior shooting guard  Andrew Sweeney adds another perimeter threat and is  also a strong defensive player.  Rubin is also looking for backcourt production seniors Kyle  Cunningham and Ryan Wall,  who gained extra minutes  30 — December 21, 2017

down the stretch in his junior  season after working hard  in practice. Guard Jack Leogrande will miss his senior  season after suffering an ACL  injury in football this fall.   MacArthur boasts senior  experience in the paint with  center Nick Purcell and  power forward Mike Manfredo. The inside trio provide  scoring threats down low and  will be key in hauling down  important rebounds.   The Generals will compete  for the second straight year in  Class A after dropping down  from AA due to declining  enrollment.   “Making the playoffs is  definitely a goal,” he said.  “We have a lot of  experience.” 

turnovers into baskets.   “They are devastating on the press,”  Radtke said  of  the senior  foursome. “If   we can convert off  the  press we will  be better than  people expect.”   Seniors Amanda Dempsey  and Gabby Andino will also  look to have memorable  senior years after competing  on junior varsity last year.  Juniors Jessica Tulvey, Dorianna Cardon and Marissa  D’Angelo add extra fuel  to MacArthur’s high-energy  system that involves subbing  players every minute to keep  fresh legs. Freshmen Zoey  Lady Generals eye Quinn and Alyssa Accordino  will also take on important  transition offense minutes after starring on the    The Lady Generals graduated the bulk of  their scoring,  Salk Middle School team as  but still bring back plenty of   firepower for their up-tempo  offense.   Head coach Dave Radtke  implemented a fast-paced  style when he took over the  program four years ago and  is excited about the potential  of  how this year’s returning  group can execute on both  ends of  the floor. The Lady  Generals are coming off  a  15-6 season that ended with  a first round playoff  loss to  crosstown rival Island Trees.   “We have some very good  Gabby Volpe athletes,” said Radtke, who  lost about 85 percent of  last  eighth graders last year. year’s offensive production  dished out by Angeline Klein    “We’re going to press and  trap,” Radtke said. “We love  and Shannon Myles. “It  to play up-tempo.” should be a fun season.”   The Generals play in a    The Lady Generals will  challenging Conference A/ march onto the floor with  AA-III and can return the  a strong senior core led by  playoffs with a .500 or betMackenzie Tierney, Angela  ter league record. After four  Cozza, Amanda Peluso and  straight years of  opening  Gabby Volpe. The veteran  round playoff  exits, Radtke  players who have competed  hopes his team is peaking late  on the same AAU team  in the season and positioned  together are ferocious on  for a postseason run.  defense and Radtke hopes    they can translate forced  HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

                   

     

Benny Orlando

“I think we’re going to get  better as the season goes on,”  he said. “If  we can make the  playoffs I think we can make  some noise.”

Schedule

Matt Guilfoyle

BoyS December

19 @ Long Beach

5:00 p.m.

January 4 6 9 12 15 17 27 31

Mepham V.S. Central Manhasset @ G.N. South @ Calhoun Long Beach @ Mepham @ V.S. Central

6:15 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:15 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:45 p.m.

February 3 @ Manhasset 6 G.N. South 9 Calhoun

12:00 p.m. 6:15 p.m. 6:15 p.m.

GIRLS December 19 Long Beach

4:30 p.m.

January 4 6 9 12 15 17 27 31

@ Mepham @ V.S. Central @ Manhasset G.N. South Calhoun @ Long Beach Mepham V.S. Central

6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

February 3 @ Manhasset 6 @ G.N. South 9 @ Calhoun

12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

Photos by Ron Manfredi

HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS


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2017-18 HERALD High School Basketball Preview

Malverne Is the future now for Mules? after averaging nearly seven points a game, highlighted by a 19-point effort against Seaford. Senior Kameron Hall here is plenty of antici- and juniors Donovan Ishmael and Jovani Duran provide pation and excitement depth at forward. for the upcoming boys’ Ishmael was also on last season in Malverne with the year’s JV and is beginning to return of two high-scoring round into a complete player. seniors and the addition of “He’s a strong rebounder,” some potential future stars said Aksionoff. “He’s learnthat led the JV to an undeing how to play man-to-man feated season. defense a little bit better and The Mules were much improved in 2016-17 after pro- could be a valuable player for us.” ducing just two victories the Locust Valley and Cold previous season. The team Spring Harbor are again finished 8-12 following an 0-4 expected to be the conference start (including 7-7 against frontrunners. “We should be Conference ABC foes) and competitive,” said Aksionoff. scared second-seeded Carle Place during the Nassau Class “We should do well.” B semifinal by outscoring the Frogs 33-24 in the second half Lake, Jean set to lead Lady Mules before falling by six. Then-junior Mike James Malverne’s heraldhad 19 points in that game ed “three amigos” from last and the swingman returns season are down to just two, following a season in which but the performances of the he produced a 12.5 scoring pair that will return could average. He will be a part of determine how far the Lady a strong 1-2 offensive punch Mules go this winter. will fellow senior Mahkia The team’s second-leading Effs, who paced the Mules scorer from last season, with a 14.9 scoring average in Keyeria Dawson, was the 2016-17 that also saw him drill lone graduate from the squad 27 3-pointers. that went 7-13, leaving Alexis “He and Mahkia will be Lake and Diana Jean to the strength of our scoring,” pick up the slack and fill the said assistant coach Walter leadership void. Lake, who Aksionoff. “Both of these scored 20 points in a 56-35 loss guys were top-notch players to Oyster Bay in the Nassau last year, so we expect them to Class B semifinal, paced the have another good year.” team with a 14.5 scoring averRunning the point will age and Jean sat third at 9.8. be freshman Michael WarHead coach Lorenzo Jenren, who as an undaunted kins has known both Lake eighth grader scored six and Jean since they were points against Carle Place little and has tried to make after being called up from them understand the bigger the junior varsity squad. He roles they have on the team will be battling a hand injury this season by working them to start the season, but will harder than ever. “I don’t see see plenty of minutes when any low-post player in the healthy. “He’s that good,” said conference that could stop Aksionoff. “He’s a lefty, he’s [Alexis],” said Jenkins. “It’s smart [and has] good balljust me pushing her to be the handling.” best shape she could be to Junior swingman Johnny play an entire game at a high “D.J.” Gaston, is also back level. In practice, I just see a By BRIAN KACHARABA

T

32 — December 21, 2017

different Diana. I think she’s going to be real big this year.” Junior Nia Moore, who Jenkins described as the team’s “defensive go-to” player and eighthgrader Princia Ulysse are also back, but Jenkins was left scrambling to find other players after nine members from last year’s JV decided to forgo basketball for winter track, leaving just five returnees. Three roster spots will be filled by transfers. Sophomores Tamaira Smalls and Timani Jones come from Freeport and Far Rockaway, respectively, and Jenkins is hoping that 6-foot senior

Diana Jean

“I just want to go out and be competitive and play hard every day and bring Malverne pride back to the basketball program,” Jenkins added.

Matt Guilfoyle Schedule

BoyS December 19 @ Seaford 22 Carle Place

6:45 p.m. 7:00 p.m.

January 4 6 9 12 15 17 19 27

@ East Rockaway 7:00 p.m. @ C.S. Harbor 12:00 p.m. Locust Valley 7:00 p.m. Oyster Bay 7:00 p.m. Wheatley 12:00 p.m. Seaford 7:00 p.m. @ Carle Place 7:15 p.m. East Rockaway 12:00 p.m.

February Mike James Lauren Shand can emerge as a strong defensive presence after playing in South Carolina. Ulysse, who joined the team as a seventh grader, showed some flashes of her offensive potential with two six-point performances last season. “She is definitely one of the bright spots at the point guard position,” Jenkins said. “Right now, she has the better skill set from the guard position than a lot of the other girls.

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

1 3 6 8

C.S. Harbor @ Locust Valley @ Oyster Bay @ Wheatley

7:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m.

GIRLS December 19 Seaford 22 @ Carle Place

6:15 p.m. 7:15 p.m.

January 4 6 9 12 15 17 19 25 31

East Rockaway 6:15 p.m. C.S. Harbor 12:00 p.m. @ Locust Valley 6:30 p.m. @ Oyster Bay 7:00 p.m. @ Wheatley 10:00 a.m. @ Seaford 6:45 p.m. Carle Place 6:15 p.m. @ East Rockaway 7:00 p.m. @ C.S. Harbor 7:00 p.m.

February 3 Locust Valley 6 Oyster Bay 8 Wheatley

12:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 6:15 p.m.

Photos by Sue Grieco

HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS


2017-18 HERALD high School Basketball preview

MephaM Pirates seek another playoff berth By DAVID WEINGRAD

a

n 11-9 record in Conference AA/A-III was enough to qualify Mepham’s boys for their second consecutive playoff berth, a streak that head coach Pat Fallon hopes will continue this season. “Our conference is pretty competitive, but I think we’ve got a chance if we play well to qualify for the playoffs,” he said. “That would be a nice highlight for us.” The team lost three seniors to graduation, but will see the return of two-time AllConference player Nah’jel Sands for his senior season. “We’re looking for him to play a pretty major role this year,” said Fallon. “He’s very good going to the basket, solid defender, just all-around good court presence.” Fallon said the team is still trying to forge an identity after a large roster turnover, but that an abundance of depth, athleticism and size – the team boasts eight players who are six-feet or taller – gives him a lot of hope for the season. Their other returning starter, 6’4” junior Aidan Florscher, is another player Fallon expects to excel at the post position. “He runs well,” the coach said. “He had a good sophomore year so we’re hoping he shows continued improvement.” Returning seniors Michael Proios and James Hadcliffe are solid athletes who will also have an impact at the post positions, and Fallon said junior forward Zach D’Ambra is another player who will likely get considerable minutes. Fallon said his staff is also keeping an eye on junior guard Corey Lichtman as a potential breakout candidate. “He’s a kid who can shoot it TO ADVERTISE CALL 516-569-4000

and he also gets to the basket pretty well,” he said. With a few players transitioning directly from football season late last month following the school’s first county championship berth in more than two decades – including Sands and Proiois – Fallon said he hopes the athleticism that led to their success on the football field will translate to the basketball court. “We’re a team that’s going to play good defense,” he said. “We’re going to have to value the ball. And I think depth should hopefully be something that helps us.”

Health holds key for Lady Pirates Health will be the determining factor for the Lady Pirates as they look to build off a successful 15-4 season in Conference AA/A-III, which culminated in a hard-fought road loss to Sewanhaka in the Class A quarterfinals. Two of the team’s top scorers will be returning from torn ACLs that occurred earlier this year, including senior Maryann Bagonis, an All-Conference and AA/A-III Player of the Year in 2016-17 who averaged a team high 13 points a game. “We’re looking to get her healthy and not rush her,” said head coach Jim Mulvey, adding that he’s eyeing a Dec. 19 return date for the team’s first conference game. “She’s definitely considered the top player in our county.” Also on the mend is one of the team’s top bigs, senior Julia Anderson, whose recovery is much further along and is expected to be ready for the team’s first game on Dec. 2 against Herricks. “She’s our best girl inside,” Mulvey said. “Definitely an inside threat.” But it’s created opportunities for other players to step up, and Mulvey said there

are plenty who showed great promise last year to do just that. One of those girls is sophomore Arianna McClean, who Mulvey said is a top defensive force. The team’s identity will be formed by its defense, said Mulvey. He pointed to senior guard Kara Castaldo as the one who sets the tone with her defensive prowess.

“That’s what our motto is,” said Mulvey. “Play defense like Kara Castaldo. Play hard like Kara Castaldo does.” Another gritty defender is senior Kelsey Vandewater,

Nah’Jel Sands

conference back,” Mulvey said, “I think it makes us that much better.”

Schedule

BoyS December 19 @ Calhoun 22 Long Beach

6:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

January 4 9 12 15 17 19 27

@ MacArthur V.S. Central @ Manhasset G.N. South Calhoun @ Long Beach MacArthur

6:15 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m.

February MaryAnn Bagonis

who took home the team’s Coaches Award a year ago. She has the potential, Mulvey said, to perform at an AllCounty level. Filling in for Bagonis at the point at the season’s outset will be senior Julia Linekin, a hardworking defender who then will slide to the “sixth man” role when the team is at full health. “And then when we get the best player in the

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

2 @ V.S. Central 6 Manhasset 9 @ G.N. South

6:45 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

GIRLS December 19 Calhoun 22 @ Long Beach

6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

January 4 9 12 15 17 19 27

MacArthur @ V.S. Central Manhasset @ G.N. South @ Calhoun Long Beach @ MacArthur

6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m.

February 3 V.S. Central 6 @ Manhasset 9 G.N. South

12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

Photos by Jeff Wilson

December 21, 2017 — 33


2017-18 HERALD High School Basketball Preview

OCeanSide Sailors start with positive attitude

C

By GARRETT URIBE

hange is the order of the day at Oceanside. Tasked with correcting the bearings of a team that went 1-11 in Conference AA-I, 4-15 overall last season, new Sailors head coach Joe Supple has tackled the project in a two-pronged manner, intensifying the Sailors’ offseason training while working to resuscitate a flagging esprit de corps, on the theory that change begins with an attitude. “I’ve tried to make these kids believe in themselves, to realize how good they are, regardless of their record the past few years,” said Supple – last year’s Lady Sailors varsity basketball skipper, whose current boys’ team returns to AA-I. “I also challenged them to outwork me. If they can do that, and believe in each other, we have the talent to turn it around and be a multiround playoff team.” Topping the Sailors’ list of young talent is sophomore center Jake Tavroff, a 6-foot-8 second-year starter. “Jake is a difference-maker,” Supple said. “He’s not just a back-tothe-basket, old school center; he can stretch the floor and handle the ball.” At point guard, senior Ryan Powers will start, with junior Jake Lazzaro at the ready as a seasoned backup. “Ryan’s a very crafty point guard who should be one of the county’s assist leaders,” Supple said. “Jake Lazzaro brings energy off the bench.” Senior Kyle Cohen, a returning starter at guard, is Oceanside’s primary outside threat. “Kyle can score,” Supple said. “He’ll run the floor and challenge defenses early in the shot clock.” As Oceanside’s frontcourt assumes its final 34 — December 21, 2017

shape, junior Brian Pod and senior Tommy Villella have emerged as likely first-string forwards. “Brian’s our highenergy guy,” Supple said. “He’s worked hard to become a knock-down three-point shooter. Tommy’s probably our best athlete. He’s a versatile wing who attacks different areas of the floor.” Utility seniors Mike Klein and Chris Murphy figure to be at the fore of the 11-man bench. “The talent’s there to believe that we can win every single game,” Supple said. “There can’t be many teams who’ve outworked us. I expect to be playing late into February.”

Lots of potential for Lady Sailors First-year head coach Jared Stoler inherits a Lady Sailors unit with lots of potential and perhaps a lot left to prove. Paced by then-freshman phenom Jamie Behar, whose 15.6 points a game led to AllConference honors for the shifty point guard, Oceanside went 5-7 last season in Conference AA-I, 7-12 overall, and finished with a first-round loss in the AA playoffs to Hicksville. With Behar back to resume control of Oceanside’s capable offense, Stoler has seen fit to turn his team’s focus toward the other end of the court. “We’re making it a point to take pride in our defense,” Stoler said, adding: “We shouldn’t have any problem scoring.” In this regard, Behar promises to remain the Lady Sailors’ top performer. “Jamie’s an incredible talent, a great playmaker,” Stoler said. “And she’s really improved her defense.” Oceanside’s secondary offensive weapon has been

forward Gina Contorno, who last year had 7.5 points per contest, and this winter becomes a secondyear starting sophomore. “Gina has a knack for getting to the basket,” Stoler said. “She’s a natural scorer.” Seniors Kasey Flavin and Jordynn Palumbo also reprise starting roles, likely in the Lady Sailors’ frontcourt but with interchangeability at guard. “Kasey’s a tenacious defender and a leader on the court,” Stoler said. “Jordynn Palumbo is an excellent ball-handler. She’s got good instincts and can score.” It is still a question who will be the Lady Sailors’ fifth starter – but what is known is that her name will be Katie. Junior Katie Morgan and senior Katie Coffey offer dif-

Jamie Behar

long as we take care of business, we should be one of the better teams in the conference.”

Schedule Matt Guilfoyle BoyS

December

21 @ Syosset

7:00 p.m.

January 3 5 9 12 15 19 27 31

Hempstead Freeport @ Farmingdale Massapequa @ Uniondale Syosset @ Hempstead @ Freeport

6:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

February Ryan Powers fering advantages, said Stoler – but whatever the decision, each is sure to see ample floor-time. “Katie Coffey is a big presence down low,” Stoler said. “She’s a very good defender. Katie Morgan is lightning quick and a good shooter.” “I have high hopes for us,” Stoler concluded. “We’ll continue to work on strengthening team defense, and making sure we’re a cohesive unit. As

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

2 Farmingdale 6 @ Massapequa 9 Uniondale

4:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

GIRLS December 21 Syosset

6:30 p.m.

January 4 6 9 12 19 27 29 31

@ Hempstead @ Freeport Farmingdale @ Massapequa @ Syosset Hempstead Uniondale @ Freeport

6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m.

February 3 @ Farmingdale 6 Massapequa 9 @ Uniondale

12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

Photos by Jeff Wilson

HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS


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HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

December 21, 2017 — 35


2017-18 HERALD High School Basketball Preview

Seaford Late start a challenge for Vikings

a

By ANDREW COEN

rebuilding season for Seaford after graduating all returning players was made further difficult with a delayed start to preseason practices for a second straight year. A Long Island Class IV title run by Seaford’s football team occupied a large chunk of the Vikings’ young varsity basketball roster through Thanksgiving weekend. Seaford football also reached the 2016 Long Island finals and longtime basketball head coach Ralph Rossetti said a later start contributed to a rare losing season for the Vikings. “It’s a frustrating situation,” said Rossetti, who emphasized he is happy for the success his players achieved on the gridiron, but wishes the championship was decided earlier so he could have begun preparation earlier for the season with a new team. “It’s like a whole new team this season.” With no returning starters or contributing bench players back, Rossetti said playing time is very much up for grabs among the 15-man roster. He said standing out early on in practices and a Dec. 4 scrimmage were Luke Farrant, Joe Angelastro, Ommar Watson, Ryan Butler and Luke DiCapua, who were all a part of the Seaford football championship journey. Angelastro is expected to lead the offense at point guard. “They have played hard and should make a decent starting five,” said Rossetti of his planned starting lineup before the season tipped off. “Everyone on the team is working hard for playing time.” The Vikings went 6-13 last year including 4-10 in Conference ABC, but ended the year 36 — December 21, 2017

on a positive note. A 57-52 win against East Rockaway to close the regular season marked the 350th career win for Rossetti in his 35th year as head coach. The high school coaching legend, who led Seaford to a county title in 1998, is focusing on his team improving throughout the winter after the late practice start and positioning the players to play their best basketball in pivotal league games. “I’ll do the best I can under tough circumstances,” he said. “I hope we can get the most out of the kids and see what happens.”

Lady Vikings off 19-win season The Seaford girls enter the 2017-18 season full of promise with four starters back off a 19-3 campaign. The Lady Vikings ran off 19 of 20 wins last year after a season-opening loss before falling to Elmont in the Class A semifinals. With plenty of experience returning, head coach Bob Vachris hopes his team can be in position for another run at a county title this February. “The outlook is very positive,” said Vachris, whose starting lineup is comprised entirely of seniors. “They are working hard.” Seaford’s veteran lineup features the last season of high school basketball for twin sisters Jenna and Julia Siler. The duo brings a strong outside to inside presence to the offense with Julia Siler leading the backcourt at point guard and forward Jenna Siler creating havoc or teams in the paint with her 5-10 height. “Julia is the best point guard in the county, but she is so unselfish that the statistics don’t show it,” said Vachris of his standout floor leader. “Jenna can do everything and

with teams keeping an eye on her it makes everyone better.” Jenna Siler is joined in the frontcourt by center Jaclyn Grzelasczyk and forward Madison O’Hagan, who all averaged more than 10 points per game as juniors. Sophomore forwards Jamie McSorley and Katelyn Winter give the Lady Vikings added depth in the paint after spending their freshman seasons on varsity. Senior guard Lilly Kolodinsky creates a prolific backcourt with Julia Siler. Both are exceptional passers and threats from the perimeter that can also drive to the basket to keep opposing defenses honest. The senor-laden Lady Vikings have plenty of depth

Luke Ferrant

Schedule BoyS December 19 Malverne 21 @ C.S. Harbor

6:45 p.m. 7:00 p.m.

January 4 5 9 13 15 17 19 27

Jenna Siler that should allow Vachris to give his starters needed breathers in close games. Varsity newcomers expected to contribute off the bench include juniors Vanya Ruano and Gina Toscano and CC Costello along with sophomore Brooke Gallo. Seaford will face tough competition with all opponents in Conference ABC returning off playoff seasons. Vachris hopes the grueling schedule will prepare the Lady Vikings for a drive to championship glory.

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

@ Locust Valley Oyster Bay @ Wheatley East Rockaway Carle Place @ Malverne C.S. Harbor Locust Valley

6:15 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 1:45 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 1:45 p.m.

February 1 3 6 8

@ Oyster Bay Wheatley @ East Rockaway @ Carle Place

GIRLS December

19 @ Malverne 22 C.S. Harbor

7:00 p.m. 1:45 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 7:15 p.m.

6:15 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

January 4 6 9 11 15 17 19 27 31

Locust Valley 6:30 p.m. @ Oyster Bay 12:30 p.m. Wheatley 6:30 p.m. @ East Rockaway 7:00 p.m. @ Carle Place 12:00 p.m. Malverne 6:45 p.m. @ C.S. Harbor 7:00 p.m. @ Locust Valley 12:00 p.m. Oyster Bay 6:30 p.m.

February 1 3 6 8

Oyster Bay @ Wheatley East Rockaway Carle Place

6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

Photos by John Heckman

HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS


2017-18 HERALD high School Basketball Preview

Sewanhaka Seniors will lead promising Indians up. Brice attacks the rim and knocks down timely shots. Jazier Whitely missed a lot of time with injuries as a junior. Whitely has an unconventionsenior-laden unit will al game that causes matchup lead a Sewanhaka proproblems. gram which has had Senior Ricardo Jean is back-to-back seasons of 14 wins. The Indians went 9-3 in a true post player who can league play in 2016-17, includ- score inside and protect the rim on the defensive end. ing wins over Garden City and an Elmont team that went Senior Eric Anthony’s ability to play multiple positions on to win its second straight gives the Indians versatility. county title. Sewanhaka won eight of its last nine games Lady Indians off before falling in the playoffs. 19-win campaign The Indians moved to Conference A-II where they The Sewanhaka girls had will compete in a league that a year to remember in 2016includes six teams that quali2017. The Lady Indians won fied for the playoffs last winter. their first 11 games on the Head coach Jay Allen has way to a 19-3 season, had their a guard-heavy team looking leading scorer named league for big things. “We have a lot MVP, and earned a trip to of guys back, and we’re more the Class A Final Four where versatile than we’ve been in they lost a tight one to North the past,” Allen said. “We’re Shore. different in the sense of perWhile the team lost Destisonnel. We’ll almost always ny Hurt and her 18 points per have five guys on the floor game to graduation, everyone who can push the ball up the else returns. The Lady Indicourt. Our versatility should ans will play a challenging give us matchup advantages.” non-league schedule before Senior Kamaal Chin opening play in Conference returns at point guard. Chin, A-II, where they figure to be a three-year varsity perform- the team to beat. er, is the guy who makes the Head coach Alex Soupios team go. He’s a good distribu- and his team are not satisfied tor who can attack the basket. with being runner ups. “The Senior Jayden Boyd is a fiery goal is to at least get back to competitor who only knows where we were last year,” one speed. Boyd has improved Soupios said. “It’ll be harder his perimeter game. this year. We’re going to chalAllen expects senior lenge ourselves early with Rahim Akinwunmi to fill tough non-league games. I it up on the offensive end, believe we can win a county and play stingy defense. championship with this Akinwunmi is solid from the bunch.” perimeter or in the paint, and Junior Flo Hunte, a threeis tough on the glass. Junior year captain, will run the Adam Rodriguez is a good show. The fleet-footed Hunte shooter and an even better is a pass-first point guard who defender. Junior Joseph Hicks can score from the perimeter can play both the point and or by taking her defender off the two. Hicks has a good pull the dribble. up jumper and the ability to Junior captain Carly Boliget to the basket. var (13.3 ppg), an All-County Senior Giovanni Brice has honoree, will likely emerge athleticism, plays bigger than as the team’s go-to scorer. his height, and can light it Bolivar goes to the rack with

By ANDREW MccLURE

a

TO ADVERTISE CALL 516-569-4000

authority and plays shutdown defense. Ashley Cattle has terrific basketball IQ and is the consummate team player. The junior captain is terrific on the boards and has improved her offensive game. Senior captain Kate Weinschreider is the team’s most versatile player. Weinschreider can play anywhere on the floor and is a beast on the boards. Senior Cherish Francis scored a career-high 18 points in the semifinal loss. Francis sees the floor well, is an excellent distributor, and plays solid defense. Sophomore Mia Weinschreider rebounds well

Kate Weinschreider

Schedule BoyS

December Matt GuilfOyle 18 Roosevelt 21 @ Glen Cove

6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

January 3 8 10 13 18 20 26 30

Kennedy @ Plainedge @ Roslyn Hewlett @ Roosevelt Glen Cove @ Kennedy Plainedge

7:00 p.m. 4:45 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

February Rahim Akinwunmi and has a good mid-range game. Soupios is high on a pair of sophomores. Nia Lariosa brings athleticism and scoring ability off the bench. Samirah Akinwunmi is a guard with a slew of potential. Juniors Marianna Bevilacqua, Paola Aquino and Jessica Williams, and senior Akyra Ingram will all contribute.

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

2 Roslyn 7 @ Hewlett

6:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

GIRLS December 18 @ Roosevelt 21 Glen Cove

6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

January 3 5 10 13 18 20 26 30

@ Kennedy Plainedge Roslyn @ Hewlett Roosevelt @ Glen Cove Kennedy @ Plainedge

6:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m.

February 2 @ Roslyn 7 Hewlett

6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

Photos by Keith O’Reilly

December 21, 2017 — 37


2017-18 HERALD high School Basketball Preview

South Side New territory for rebuilding Cyclones By TONy BELLISSIMO

S

outh Side came within a bounce and/or a break or two away from winning either or both of the past two Nassau Class A championships, but ultimately it was forced to settle for runner-up status to Elmont. The Cyclones, who lost the 2015-16 title game in double OT, return no starters from last year’s team which won 17 games but was beaten at the buzzer by the Spartans, 58-56. “It’s been a long time since we didn’t have any starters back,” head coach Jerry D’Angelo said. “It’s new territory for us. We don’t have the same level of experience, but I like our quickness and work ethic. We need to develop some depth because of the style we want to play.” D’Angelo said he’ll use three scrimmages and four non-league games to “experiment and figure out what we’re going to be and how our rotation is going to look.” Opponents prior to the conference slate tipping off include Syosset, Valley Stream North, Scarsdale and Xavier. South Side was bumped to Conference A-I and will face Elmont, Garden City, Jericho, Great Neck North, Carey and New Hyde Park twice apiece. “I think from 1 through 7, we’re in the most complete conference,” D’Angelo said. “Game-in and game-out, it’s going to be tough. We’re going to have to scrap to get into the playoffs.” Despite the inexperience, the Cyclones are likely to feature a starting lineup of all seniors. Ryan O’Shea has made the greatest improvement since last March, according to D’Angelo, and brings not only a solid skill set but also a physical game. The 6-foot-3 forward can shoot 38 — December 21, 2017

the rock and handle it. Guard Matt Trencheny averaged about a quarter of action per game last season and brings good shooting range and grit. Point guard James Kesicier played the most minutes of any returnee and will be a key contributor after missing the first few weeks. Gavin Bigelow can ignite the offense, while Will Speechley brings quickness and defensive energy. Junior forward Peter Pellegrini, up from JV, has come a long way, D’Angelo said, and can bang the boards.

Lady Cyclones seek balanced attack Balanced scoring and defensive pressure is the planned themes for the Lady Cyclones, who went 11-1 to win the Conference A-II crown last season before falling to Plainedge in the opening round of the Class A playoffs. “It was a very good season that ended with a very bad shooting night,” said head coach Dan Ferrick, who has a 32-6 record at the helm. “When you lose a top scorer like we did, you have to learn how to be more balanced. I expect the offense to be much more spread out.” Leading South Side’s playoff hopes are senior thirdyear varsity players Jenna Lopez and Gianna Mauro. Both are captains. Lopez, a versatile guard, comes off an All-County campaign (7.5 points per game) and at 5-foot8, can be a matchup nightmare, Ferrick noted. She can hit shots from the perimeter, drive to the rim, and distribute crisp passes. Mauro, an Honorable Mention All-County forward, is a strong rebounder with scoring ability. “She plays an important role at both ends,” Ferrick said.

It’s junior All-Conference selection Kelsey Barrett who brings all the intangibles to the lineup. She’s 5-8 and not only boasts an improved offensive game, she’ll get the toughest defensive frontcourt assignment. Foot issues have limited Kendall Kelly the past two seasons, but Ferrick believes she’s 100 percent and ready to carry a strong camp into game action. “She’s been shooting lights-out in practice and we’re excited to have her healthy,” he said. Sophomore guard Katie McMahon is a tenacious defender who can slash to the basket and jumps well. Also in the mix to start in the backcourt is junior Erin McElwain, who is quick with and without the ball and saw considerable minutes last season. Sydney Rathjen is a talent-

Ryan O’Shea

Schedule BoyS

December Matt GuiLfoyLe

18 @ New Hyde Park

4:30 p.m.

January 3 5 10 12 16 18 26 30

Garden City @ Elmont Jericho @ G.N. North @ Carey New Hyde Park @ Garden City Elmont

6:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 4:45 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

February 2 @ Jericho 7 G.N. North 10 Carey

Jenna Lopez ed freshman center who can run the floor and be a serious presence in the paint, while seniors Ailis DeTommaso and Olivia Waterson add depth in the frontcourt. “I believe we’re a playoff team,” Ferrick said. “We hope to get back and surprise some people and have as much fun as possible along the way.”

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

7:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 2:00 p.m.

GIRLS December 18 New Hyde Park

6:30 p.m.

January 3 5 9 13 16 18 26 30

@ Garden City 6:30 p.m. Elmont 6:30 p.m. @ Jericho 6:30 p.m. G.N. North 12:00 p.m. Carey 7:00 p.m. @ New Hyde Park 4:30 p.m. Garden City 6:45 p.m. @ Elmont 4:30 p.m.

February 2 Jericho 7 @ G.N. North 9 @ Carey

6:30 p.m. 6:45 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

Photos by Victoria Lodi

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HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

December 21, 2017 — 39


2017-18 HERALD High School Basketball Preview

V.S. Central Eagles hope for quick turnaround

a

By DAVID WEINGRAD

n almost complete roster overhaul a year ago led to a season of growing pains for Valley Stream Central, as a team of mostly underclassmen endured a 2-16 overall record in Conference AA-2. But if you talk to head coach Hayward Alfred, their record did not reflect the way his team competed. In total, 10 seniors were lost to graduation. “The guys who came in who were sophomores and juniors last year were transitioning,” said Alfred, who’s led the varsity squad for 15 years. “They gained a year of experience and we competed, and that’s a testament to the kids’ work ethic and commitment to the program.” With an undersized squad, he said he expects his team to play a run and gun, high energy style of basketball, with the goal of making opponents adjust to them defensively. “We’re going to move the ball and play an exciting brand of basketball,” Alfred said. The team now boasts a veteran roster of seven seniors, several of whom Alfred said he expects to make major contributions this season. Among them is forward Ryan Germosen, a highly touted shooter and defender, said Alfred, who will be one of them team’s leaders. Other top seniors include guard Daren Sisco, a physical defender who plays well in transition; Dion Delvalle, an athletic forward who rebounds well and controls the paint; Emmanuel St. Fleur, who excels with his midrange game; and Malcom Carter, who Alfred said does “a good job in the high post and makes very good decisions.” Two juniors who Alfred 40 — December 21, 2017

expects to make a significant impact are Ahuuna Okoko, a “floor general” who keys the team’s fast break, and Armani O’Brady, a physical guard and capable scorer. With an extra year of experience under their belt, Alfred said there’s no reason his team can’t compete for a conference championship. They’ll battle Calhoun, Mepham, Great Neck South, Manhasset, Long Beach and MacArthur twice apiece. “We’re going to need maximum effort and maximum buy-in,” he said. “Every night from every player on the roster. We’re going to have to outwork teams and we’re going to have to play tough.”

Lady Eagles excited for bright future

A roster turnover combined with injuries plagued the Lady Eagles’ 2016-17 campaign, resulting in just two victories in Conference AA-2, but opened the door for valuable growth for several of the team’s underclassmen, a prospect that excites head coach Malyssa Thorngren as she readies for this season. A core of sophomores gives Thorngren the opportunity to mold a team that will remain mostly in tact for the next three seasons. “I like that we were so young so that we can develop, and we can grow and build our program.” Among them is 6’0” forward Janay Leganeur, who played out of position at the point a year ago because of injury woes. “We’re going to look to get her back under the basket a little more this year,” Thorngren said, “and back in her natural position.” Thorngren also expressed excitement for the development of sophomore guard Kayta Thomas, who she said has put in the work to become

a more consistent player. “She’s definitely someone I’m excited to see what they could do this year.” But the team will rely heavily this season on its veteran players, including senior point guard Chyna Clarke, who missed most of last season with a knee injury. “We’re really going to look to her for floor leadership,” Thorngren said. “When things start to go crazy, she can get us back on track.” One of the X-factors is junior Kaitlin Gabbidon, who Thorngren said is “one of those kids that you wish had a team full of them. Anything you ask her to do, she’ll do it as hard as she can.” The Lady Eagles will play in Conference A/AA-3 this season, facing the likes of Mepham, Calhoun and MacArthur, and Thorn-

Janay Legagneur

Schedule

BoyS December 19 @ G.N. South 22 @ Calhoun

6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

January 4 6 9 16 17 20 27 31

@ Long Beach @ MacArthur @ Mepham Manhasset G.N. South Calhoun Long Beach MacArthur

5:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:45 p.m. 6:45 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:45 p.m.

February Ryan Germosen gren hopes the new competition will give her squad the fresh start they need. “What I’m looking for is just to get better every game,” she said. “As young as we are, we’re going to have ups and downs, and I’m looking for consistency and just to build upon each day.”

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

2 Mepham 9 @ Manhasset

6:45 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

GIRLS December 19 G.N. South 22 Calhoun

6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

January 4 6 9 16 17 19 27 31

Long Beach MacArthur Mepham @ Manhasset @ G.N. South @ Calhoun @ Long Beach @ MacArthur

4:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 10:00 a.m. 6:30 p.m.

February 3 @ Mepham 9 Manhasset

12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

Photos by Donovan Berthoud

HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS


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December 21, 2017 — 41


2017-18 HERALD High School Basketball Preview

V.S. NortH Spartans hope for deeper playoff run By BRIAN KACHARABA

L

ast season seemed all too familiar for the Valley Stream North boys. Just like the 2015-16 campaign, the Spartans lost just four times during a dominant regular season that again resulted in a Conference A-III championship before having their county title dreams dashed by Elmont. With a combined 35 wins over those two seasons, the bar remains extremely high for the Spartans as they continue their pursuit of that elusive county championship. “We want to get back that county championship,” said head coach Dan Achatz. “Hopefully, we’ll take it one step further if we get to Hofstra. We’d like to get past the semifinals.” This season, the Spartans will have to do without three of their top four scorers from last year in graduates Noah Shy, John Alimo and Omar Baxter. But the other member of that core group, senior point guard Tariq AbdulRahim, returns for his third season as a varsity starter. Abdul-Rahim averaged just over 12 points a game last season after producing 215 points as a sophomore. Achatz praised his basketball acumen, knowledge of the offensive and defensive schemes and ability to make his teammates better. “We’re looking for him to really step up this year,” said Achatz. “He’s just a general on the floor. He’s going to help the new guys understand the presses, the defensive schemes, getting everybody in the correct positions offensively. He’s basically another coach.” Achatz is also looking for big things from senior center Shamari Griffith, who tried to 42 — December 21, 2017

add another dimension to his already strong game by working on his jump shot during the off-season. “He’s super-athletic,” Achatz said. “We’re trying to get him more on the outside so he becomes more versatile. Defensively, he’s a big body, protects the paint and gets up and down the floor for us. Sophomore C.J. Parris will take over for Shy as shooting guard and is strong on both ends of the floor. His improved maturity prompted Achatz to name him one of the tri-captains. Tristan Ferreira, Christoph Falconer, Serge Thrasybule and returning transfer Jalen Ezechiels also expect to see time in the rotation.

Lady Spartans eye bounce-back season North’s girls’ team has been in a state of flux in recent years. The Lady Spartans have won just eight games over the last three campaigns, including two in 2016-17, and will once again start over with a new coach. The latest to take over the helm is former JV head coach George Karahalios, who will become the girls’ third bench boss in as many seasons. He will be looking to improve a team that averaged just 27 points of offense and 44 points allowed. “I’m seeing a lot more intensity defensively from the team,” he said of the team’s first week of practice. “Their camaraderie skills improved [and] their understanding of the game and team is really growing as well. They’re going to work hard every single day.” Karahalios also said he has also seen improvements in the team’s jump shooting, defensive aggression and rebounding. The Lady Spartans are led

by senior point guard Jacqueline Winslow. She showed flashes of being a dangerous offensive threat and a prolific shooter with her 12-point effort against Plainedge on Jan. 12, which came on the strength of four 3-pointers. “She has great intensity driving to the hoop and her jump shot has been hitting as of late,” said Karahalios. “Hopefully she can maintain that for the rest of the season.” Defensively, Karahalios is looking to put together a strong man-to-man defensive system which relies heavily on shifting and creating fast breaks. For that to happen, he needs to get big seasons from junior center Katie Hawkins and senior power forward Cassi Saracino, who Karahalios called the “backbone” of the defense. Karahalios understands it will take time for the team

Shamari Griffith

Schedule

BoyS December

Matt Guilfoyle 18 @ Wantagh

6:30 p.m.

January 3 5 10 13 16 18 26 30

Bethpage @ Division Lynbrook @ Lawrence @ Floral Park Wantagh @ Bethpage Division

6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 7:15 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:45 p.m.

February Jacqueline Winslow to grow as he tries to instill a more simplistic offensive system and making sure that each player knows their roles. But he remains optimistic about possibly playing deep into February. “The ultimate goal will be to squeak into the playoffs, but we go to start winning games first,” he said. “We need good team offense and defense.”

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

2 @ Lynbrook 6 Lawrence 10 Floral Park

GIRLS December 18 Wantagh

4:30 p.m. 7:00 p.m. 12:00 p.m.

6:30 p.m.

January 3 5 10 13 16 18 26 30

@ Bethpage Division @ Lynbrook Lawrence Floral Park @ Wantagh Bethpage @ Division

4:30 p.m. 6:45 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 6:15 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

February 2 Lynbrook 7 @ Lawrence 9 @ Floral Park

6:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

Photos by John Heckman

HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS


2017-18 HERALD high School Basketball Preview

V.S. South Revamped Falcons relying on quickness By garrett uriBe

A

fter following up back-to-back Nassau County titles – and a 2014-15 Long Island Class A crown – with early playoff exits the past two seasons, Valley Stream South has clicked refresh, returning for its sophomore Conference A4 campaign with a full slate of first-year starters. Falcons head coach Matt Johnsen – whose club finished 6-6 in A4 last season, 12-9 overall, and fell to Elmont in the first round of the Class A playoffs – believes an expanded offseason regimen, combined with a tactical style shift, should go a long way toward offsetting scant experience. “It’s the first time I’ve had no returning starters,” Johnsen said. “But we opened the gym a bunch this preseason; I think it’ll pay off. We’re smaller than last year too, but we’re faster and more athletic, so we’ve adjusted our game to suit that. We’ll be more of a three-point threat.” Amended Johnsen: “There will be growing pains, though.” Pivotal to South’s new outside approach will be point guard Aaron Davis, a junior transfer from Lawrence Woodmere Academy. “Aaron’s a great passer, and he creates his own shot,” Johnsen said. “He’s probably the first true point guard I’ve coached.” Senior shooting guard Matthew Benavides provides a kind of veteran presence on the perimeter, serving as South’s sixth man last season. “Matthew can knock down a shot,” Johnsen said. “He’s good defensively too, but he’s just deadly from outside.” Inside, the Falcons boast big senior center Brandan Gosley, who at 6-foot-8 goes TO ADVERTISE CALL 516-569-4000

a long way singlehandedly toward offsetting South’s diminished team size. “Brandan’s a load in the middle of the zone,” Johnsen said. “He’s a great rim-protector.” Hoping to propagate mojo from last year’s 17-2 JV squad are Falcons forwards Corey Powell and Elijah Johnson, both juniors. “Corey was probably the best JV player last year,” Johnsen said. “And Elijah’s exciting because he plays above the rim.” Seniors David Manikas and Matthew Doncell, with junior Michael Hicks, give South a second line of shooters off the bench, and will log significant minutes, Johnsen said.

Lady Falcons in position to improve The cause of Lady Falcons head coach Mike O’Brien’s high spirits isn’t obscure. All five starters – including junior All-County power forward Chibugo Obichere, senior All-Conference guard Kelyse Land, and freshman All-Conference point guard Hailey Roberts – have returned for the Lady Falcons, who also enjoy a reserve corps that has doubled in depth from last season. Beginning its second year in Conference A4, and second under O’Brien, South could hardly be better-positioned to improve upon last season’s 6-6 showing in A4 (9-10 overall), and has set its sights on exceeding last year’s firstround loss in the Class A tournament. “I was excited coming back this year,” O’Brien said. “Our core veterans are smarter, more experienced. There will be less teaching, more scrimmaging, and I can just sort of turn them loose.” Obichere, who averaged 15 points a game last season, to go with 14 rebounds, should

remain South’s offensive focal point. “Chibugo’s probably the most athletic girl in the conference,” O’Brien said of the state track champion. “Everything goes through her.” A five-year varsity player for South, and now a fouryear starter, Land (7 points per game) forms a formidable backcourt with Roberts (4 points, 4.5 assists), who as a second-year starting freshman is tracing a similar career trajectory. “Kelyse is our purest shooter,” O’Brien said. “Hailey may be our smartest player, and she does a little bit of everything.” O’Brien stated South has sought to firm up and diversify its defense – a task placed largely in the hands of senior forward Caitlyn Lopeck and junior center De Anna Martin. “Caitlyn is Miss

“We’ll be as ready as we possibly can be,” O’Brien said. “If we play defense, we know we can beat any team.”

Matt Benavides

Schedule BoyS

Matt Guilfoyle December 19 Island Trees 21 @ Mineola

6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

January 3 5 10 16 18 20 26 30

@ North Shore 6:30 p.m. West Hempstead 6:30 p.m. @ Clarke 7:00 p.m. Friends Academy 6:30 p.m. @ Island Trees 4:30 p.m. Mineola 12:00 p.m. North Shore 6:30 p.m. @ West Hempstead 4:30 p.m.

February Chibugo Obichere Versatility,” O’Brien said. “She can guard your point guard or your center, which helps us mix it up. De Anna’s a great defender and she can get us rebounds.” To toughen his squad ahead of league play, O’Brien made a point of frontloading South’s schedule, booking challenging non-league matchups against East Rockaway, Roslyn, Roosevelt and others.

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

2 Clarke 6:45 p.m. 10 @ Friends Academy 1:00 p.m.

GIRLS December 19 @ Island Trees 21 Mineola

6:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

January 3 5 10 16 18 20 26 30

North Shore 7:30 p.m. @ West Hempstead 6:30 p.m. Clarke 7:30 p.m. @ Friends Academy 6:30 p.m. Island Trees 6:30 p.m. @ Mineola 12:00 p.m. @ North Shore 6:30 p.m. West Hempstead 7:30 p.m.

February 2 @ Clarke 5 Friends Academy

7:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

Photos by Sue Grieco

December 21, 2017 — 43


2017-18 HERALD high School Basketball Preview

Wantagh

Chemistry key for new-look Warriors The Warriors first playoff appearance since 2012-13 ended with a Nassau Class A outer-bracket loss to Valley Stream North. In hopes for antagh will have a a return to the playoffs and different look this a longer postseason journey, winter with new Wantagh fostered chemistry head coach Joe Harclerode taking over a team that gradu- in a summer league that ated all of last year’s starters. Harclerode expects to pay dividends this winter. With Harclerode arrives at no star player, Harclerode is Wantagh after serving five years as an assistant coach at hoping for a commitment to team basketball that propels Sayville and prior to led the the Warriors back to the postClarke’s hoops program for season. two decades. The Warriors “There is going to be a lot went 10-10 last season and of evenness in the scoring,” ended a three-year playoff he said. ”They all have to drought, but bring only one guard well and play together returnee who played signifias a team.” cant minutes. “They are very excited about duplicating last year’s Lady Warriors boast playoff appearance,” said talent and experience Harclerode, a former college With all starters basketball player at Hofstra. returning, Wantagh is fueled “They are very much up for to reclaim a conference the challenge.” championship that narrowly Senior point guard Chris missed the last two years. Hogan is back to run the A heartbreaking 38-37 loss offense after a big fall on the to Roosevelt in the regularfootball field at receiver. The season finale cost the Lady 5-foot-10 Hogan scored 11 points last year in a 48-46 loss Warriors first place in Conference A-II and a chance to to Jericho. “He’s a very good athlete,” host a Nassau Class A firstround playoff game. Head Harclerode said of Hogan. coach Stan Bujacich said “He’s going to be key to leadthere is strong desire to gain ing our offense.” one of the top seeds by winHogan is complemented ning its league in order to in the backcourt by senior play before the home fans in guards Matt Reich and Finn a postseason setting for the Duignan. Sophompore Nick first time since the 2015-16 Teresky, who was injured during football season, is also team reaches the county expected to be integral part of finals. “Our goal is definitely the Warrior’s perimeter game along with junior guard Jake to win the conference get a home playoff game,” said Salomon. Bujacich, who fell at LynWantagh has size up front brook in Class A first round led by 6-5 sophomore Brangames the last two years. “We don Goldberg and 6-4 junior have a lot of girls back.” Andrew Chatham. Junior Junior guard Caitlin forward Kyle Graham also Albanese returns after an should be a force in the paint All-County sophomore camon both sides of the ball. paign where she shined on “He is extremely active,” both ends of the floor. The said Harclerode of the 6-1 co-captain has a work ethic Graham. “He is a very tenathat Bujacich says sets a great cious defender.”

By ANDREW COEN

W

44 — December 21, 2017

example for the rest of the team. “She is basketball 24/7,” said Bujacich of Albanese, who is getting recruited to play at the collegiate level. “She’s intense.” Albanese captains the Lady Warriors with senior point guard Julianna Kissane, a third-year starter who earned honorable mention All-County honors last season. Like Albanese, Kissane leaves everything on the floor. “She busts it every play,” said Bujacich of his senior leader. “She never takes a play off.” Junior guard Megan Lucey provides an additional weapon in the backcourt after emerging as a starter last winter. Returning junior forwards Angela Labenberg and Hannah Dougherty give the Warriors experience in the paint.

Chris Hogan

Ali Vaccaro. Bujacich is also excited about the potential of freshman newcomers Emily Van O’Linda and Morgan Flaherty.

Schedule

BoyS Matt Guilfoyle December

18 V.S. North 21 @ Bethpage

6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

January 3 6 9 13 18 20 26 30

Division @ Lynbrook @ Lawrence Floral Park @ V.S. North Bethpage @ Division Lynbrook

6:45 p.m. 1:00 p.m. 4:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

February Caitlin Albanese “We have high basketball IQ kids,” Bujacich said. “That really helps.” Sophomore forward Julia Wilkinson is expected to be key force around the basket after recovering from a softball injury in the offseason. Wantagh’s deep bench also includes returning varsity players Mary Kate Delgais, Brianna Derham, Kelly Podell, Jenna Kaufmann and

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

2 Lawrence 7 @ Floral Park

6:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

GIRLS December 18 @ V.S. North 21 Bethpage

6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

January 3 5 10 13 18 20 26 30

@ Division Lynbrook Lawrence @ Floral Park V.S. North @ Bethpage Division @ Lynbrook

6:30 p.m. 6:15 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 12:00 p.m. 6:15 p.m. 11:30 a.m. 6:15 p.m. 6:15 p.m.

February 2 @ Lawrence 7 Floral Park

4:30 p.m. 6:15 p.m.

Photos by Sue Grieco

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Lic# H206773000 December 21, 2017 — 45


2017-18 HERALD High school Basketball preview

West Hempstead Rams have some holes to fill By ANDREW MccLURE

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est Hempstead was about as up and down as a team could be in 2016-17. The Rams dropped seven of their first eight games, went on a streak that saw them win four of five, and then dropped their final two regular-season contests before losing to Cold Spring Harbor in the opening round of the Nassau Class A playoffs. With just a pair of starters back and a roster composed of players with limited experience, the Rams have a lot of uncertainties as they prepare for Conference A-IV play. West Hempstead will battle with Valley Stream South, North Shore, Island Trees, Mineola, Friends Academy, and Clarke in what figures to be a wideopen league. “We need to put in the time to get things polished,” head coach Ed Cosgrove said. “We have a lot of holes to fill. We’re still learning. If we shoot the ball well from the perimeter, I think we’re athletic enough to do some damage. We’ll try to play an up-tempo style and push the ball up the floor. If we get contributions from the majority of the guys, I think we’ll be ok.” The Rams will be led by a pair of All-Conference recipients. Senior John Granholm is a player who just kept on getting better a year ago. Granholm is a pass-first point guard, but he saw his scoring figures increase as the season went along. Chris Jean-Louis, a 6-foot-3 forward, is one of the conference’s top athletes. Jean-Louis has extraordinary leaping ability, gets to the basket well, and is improving his perimeter ability. West Hempstead has 46 — December 21, 2017

depth at guard, but very little varsity experience. Senior Timothy Williams is a firstyear player who is aggressive on the offensive end of the floor. Williams, senior Peter Schulze, and juniors Michael Parnell and Rafael Santiago are all fighting for time. The frontcourt is a work in progress. Senior Mark Pooran, and juniors Kobe McMillan and Andrew Garcia are all in the mix for time in the paint.

Lady Rams return significant pieces The West Hempstead girls had a bounce back season after enduring a winless league campaign in 2015-16. Despite losing their point guard to a season-ending injury, the Lady Rams picked up six victories and were competitive in most games. The Lady Rams return the nucleus of the team including their top scorers from a season ago. Nassau Class A finalist North Shore figures to once again be the team everyone is chasing in league play. “We had some girls make the effort to play over the summer, and I was impressed by the way they played,” Van Kovics said. “We have a little more experience, and our decision-making is better. Hopefully, the result is a more competitive team. If we can rebound well, take care of the ball, and stay out of foul trouble, I think we’ll be more competitive.” Ja’nya Flash, and AllConference recipient, returns as the team’s go-to player. The hard-working junior averaged 12 points per game. Flash, who is one of three players at 6-feet or taller on the roster, is strong around the basket, and does a nice job at the line. Sophomore Jenna Eivazi emerged as the team’s most

valuable player a year ago. Eivazi stepped in to run the point when Haley Duran went down with an injury. Eivazi, who is the team’s top threat from the perimeter, led the team in scoring at 15 per game. The return of Duran is big for West Hempstead. The lefthanded sophomore dishes the ball well, can score off the dribble, and has the prototypical point guard mentality. Sophomore Kelly LaRosa will also be a threat from the perimeter. Corrina Plair-Johnson may have the most upside. The 6-foot sophomore runs the floor well and should be a big help on the boards. Sophomore Kristina Patterson is West Hempstead’s other

John Granholm

Schedule

Matt Guilfoyle

BoyS December

18 @ North Shore

6:30 p.m.

January 3 5 10 13 16 18 30 31

Clarke 4:45 p.m. @ V.S. South 6:30 p.m. Friends Academy 4:30 p.m. @ Island Trees 12:00 p.m. Mineola 4:30 p.m. North Shore 4:30 p.m. V.S. South 4:30 p.m. @ Clarke 7:00 p.m.

February Jenna Eivazi big. Van Kovics will look for opportunities to play his three frontcourt players at the same time. Junior Attellah Innis rebounds, defends, and gets up and down the floor. Van Kovics hopes to get some physical play from sophomore Kate Shanley.

HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

2 @ Friends Academy 6:15 p.m. 7 Island Trees 6:30 p.m. 9 @ Mineola 7:00 p.m.

GIRLS December 18 North Shore

6:30 p.m.

January 3 5 10 13 16 18 30 31

@ Clarke 7:00 p.m. V.S. South 6:30 p.m. @ Friends Academy 6:15 p.m. Island Trees 12:00 p.m. Mineola 6:30 p.m. @ North Shore 6:30 p.m. @ V.S. South 7:30 p.m. Clarke 6:45 p.m.

February 2 Friends Academy 7 @ Island Trees 9 @ Mineola

6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 5:00 p.m.

Photos by Sue Grieco

HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS


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HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

December 21, 2017 — 47


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HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL PREVIEW

HERALD COMMUNITY NEWSPAPERS

Basketball central12 21 2017  
Basketball central12 21 2017  
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