So it’s been a while since you’ve heard from me, I know. The fall has been busy, and I had an opportunity to cover the Yankees’ run to the World Series. But now that the basketball season is nearly in full swing, it’s time we start delving into it. And soon.
For me, last weekend was the final weekend of fall sports coverage, so I will turn my attention full-time to basketball beginning today. I’ve made a few phone calls, and sent out a few e-mails, and they have already given me an idea of what to watch for.
Obviously, there’s a lot to discuss. I will preview the separate classes and issue my predictions for the season next week, when our preview will run in the paper. First, here are a few items you may find interesting:
• There are 10 new coaches in Section 1 this year. They are:
— Kerry Sullivan, Clarkstown North
— Jennifer Chiera, Clarkstown South
— Ben Martucci, Croton-Harmon (from Hen Hud)
— Tyrone Searight, Haldane
— Michael Blanco, Hastings
— Ken Sherman, Hen Hud
— Kevin Metcalf, North Rockland
— Eric Buzzetto, North Salem
— Rodney Headley, Peekskill
— Tim Pitrulle, Pelham (from Maria Regina)
• You know the four defending champs (Mount Vernon, Magnus, Nanuet and Haldane). The best players on these teams return, making them very strong candidates to repeat as Section 1 champs, with the possible exception of Magnus. Lakeland is probably the favorite in Class A.
• At the moment, there are four seniors in the area who have committed to play for Division I programs: Tori Jarosz, Lakeland (Vanderbilt); Taylor Palmer, Mount Vernon (West Virginia); Danielle Fiacco, North Salem (Lafayette); Alexandra Osborn-Jones, Rye Country Day (Yale).
• Because of heavy losses to graduation and low numbers, Tuckahoe will not field a varsity program this season.
• There are three impact transfers who will we hear a lot about this season: Laura Krey (Briarcliff), Saniya Chong (Ossining) and Veronica Roman (White Plains). Krey sat out her sophomore season after transferring from Ursuline, where she played off the bench as a freshman. She is an excellent athlete. Roman joins White Plains from Rye Country Day, where she was the second leading scorer the last two seasons behind Osborn-Jones. She will join her sister, Sophia, who started last season as a freshman.
The one you may not know is Chong, a 5-foot-9 freshman combo guard who has the ability to change the balance of power in the section. She is originally from the Bronx, but moved south. She returned here for high school.
Dan Ricci said Chong can shoot and handle the ball, which should allow her to get open shots for Alex Venuto and Hayley Awerdick. They had to create their own shots last year. Ricci also called Chong “the best freshman I’ve ever had,” and that includes all the past standouts, like Whitney MacDonald, the former Journal News player of the year.
• Here are the league alignments:
If you see anything amiss, please let me know. I’m headed over to Nanuet today and will check back with some thoughts from the defending Class B state Federation champs.