Boys basketball shoots its way to second place

Junior+Marc+Daly+looks+for+a+pass+during+a+home+game+against+Great+Neck+South+on+December+12.+The+Vikings+went+on+to+lose+the+game+54-44

Yefei Yao

Junior Marc Daly looks for a pass during a home game against Great Neck South on December 12. The Vikings went on to lose the game 54-44

Zach Gitlin, Staff Writer

At the beginning of the winter season, the boys basketball team entered the gym with excitement.  They were hopeful that this year could bring another successful season and lead with a playoff berth, and maybe even a deep postseason run.  The boys are hoping to capture multiple wins, and have had large but reachable goals since tryouts concluded. The team will be lead by Head Coach Dooley, and Assistant Coach Sutz, and are hoping to improve everyday on and off the court. 

“The teams goals are to improve everyday in practice and let that translate into the games.  As a team, we feel that we can go far into the playoffs and be a big threat going forward,” said sophomore Volkan Levent, one of the team’s only underclassmen. 

Hopefully, through their spirited practices, the team will be able to reach their aspirations and it will be exciting to watch the team down the stretch.  The team will continue to receive tremendous support from their fellow classmates, as home games often lead to a completely packed Schreiber gym.  The support can often lift the team up, so it will be important for students to continue to show their support throughout the final few games as the Vikings enter their stretch run into the playoffs.  With the crowd chanting, it can become extremely hard for the other teams to communicate and which serves as a huge advantage to the Vikings.  A strong crowd can serve as a sixth man for the team, and students are much encouraged to show their support the rest of the way.

Chemistry has always been essential for every sports team in order to achieve maximum success on the court.  While a team will not begin the season as a family, spending time together on and off the court will lead to chemistry on the court.  For the Vikings, the chemistry was not fully present at the very start of the season, as expected, but they will continue to grow throughout the year.

 “Coming into the season, out chemistry was not as close as it is now because we didn’t really know each other well off the court.  As the season goes on however, the chemistry on and off the court continues to improve tremendously,” said Levent. 

The chemistry that the Vikings have built on and off the court will serve as a catalyst for success down the line as they enter the playoff push.  If the team is able to grow as a family, they will be able to accomplish great things on the court. Many times, performance on the court is only half of the equation to a championship team, with chemistry playing a massive role.  This applies especially in a game as vocal as basketball.  It is noticed in elite level colleges and in the NBA how important communication and chemistry on the court can be, and the Vikings will try to replicate this throughout this playoff stretch, especially in practice.

As of Jan. 10, the team sits at 6-5, trailing only Baldwin, who is perfect in conference play, in the Nassau County AA-II Conference.  The Vikings have only lost one game in the conference, and will hope to continue their hot streak against other AA-II teams.  With only seven games remaining, each matchup will be vital.  Luckily for the Vikings, four of the seven will be at home, giving them an unprecedented home court advantage.  The team will square off against Herricks, Westbury, Hicksville, and Plainview JFK in the Schreiber gym, and will travel to Baldwin, East Meadow, and Herricks for the away bouts.  The game against Baldwin has certainly been circled in the Vikings calendar, as it will be an utmost important game versus the team they currently sit behind in conference play. 

The team will lean heavily on senior Connor Shanahan, who is currently averaging 12.4 points a game, along with twenty of his own three pointers.  They will also be leaning on senior Garrett Ressa, averaging just over nine points a game to be dependable down the stretch, along with fellow senior Daniel Dash, who has been a force on the boards since his sophomore year.

As the team enters the playoff stretch, the players understand the new levels focus that will be asked of them on the court in practices as well as in their upcoming matchups.  Players including Levent understand their own skill sets, and know they can contribute to the Vikings’ success as they push for the playoffs.  With an understanding of their own skill sets, the players know what they can bring to the court and how important each individual can be. 

“As we go into the playoff run, I feel I can contribute in many ways because I’m a quick shifty guard which could open up our big men, and I can shoot the ball which opens up other teammates,” said Levent. 

Every single skill from each player will have to come out throughout the final stretch and into the playoffs in order for the squad to be successful. With strong chemistry on and off the court the Vikings are a confident group that can reach its full potential throughout the last few games and into the playoffs.

As the squad enters the final stretch run of the season, each player knows he will have to contribute greatly.  However, the Vikings have great confidence in their aspirations to complete a successful season topped off with a playoff and county championship.  If they are able to reach their full potential, this team has great possibility to do great things for Schreiber. Through strong practice and great team chemistry, the Vikings will be able to put together a memorable run. The final games will be crucial for the team down the stretch, and the gym will be packed for every home game the rest of the way.