Boys basketball shoots for greatness as Counties near


Kyle Wong

Senior Marc Daly looks to move the ball around junior Matthew Schmitz during a scrimmage on Jan. 10.

Zack Siegel, Staff Writer

With the winter sports season coming to an end, it’s time to look back at the success of this season’s boys varsity basketball team and where they may go by the end of their season.

So far, the team has a record of 8-4.  In all four losses, the Vikings were only down 6 points or less.  This season, they have beaten West Hempstead, Massapequa, Roslyn, Great Neck South, Archbishop Molloy, Plainview JFK, and Westbury.

The team also made it to the championship game of the Fritz Mueller-Arnie Sims Invitational Basketball Tournament.  Unfortunately though, the team lost to Malverne.  With many great players on the team and their quality work ethic, the Viking’s basketball team could go as far as they want to this season.

“Our goal for the season is to be the best possible team that we can be. The only way that we can do that is by working hard every day in practice and at games. An interesting thing about this season so far that is different from other years is that this team has truly become a family,” said senior Ben Spier, who currently has the most amount of points on the team.

In their game on Saturday, Jan. 12, the Vikings went on the road to beat Westbury.  This is Port Washington’s third straight Conference AA game win. 

At halftime, Port was losing 36-23, but the team made a comeback to make it a one point game by the end of the third period.  Eventually, Port pulled ahead to win the game.  Seniors John Bellini, Marc Daly, and Spier all had great games, scoring 22 points each. This was a career high for Bellini and just a week before.

Bellini, Daly, and Spier do great things on the court; everyone agrees that they are some of the star players on the team.  These three players have a great chemistry on the court, so they never fail to impress.

“The key players on the team this year are all seniors. Their names are Marc Daly, Ben Spier and Jonny Bellini. The team also has a bunch of other great players who contribute every game and make the team better as well. The Vikings have a big game coming up on Friday, Jan. 18 against Baldwin, who has a very good team. Earlier this season, the Port Vikings lost to Baldwin by five. They had a great win on Saturday against Westbury. I think that they are right on track to make the playoffs,” said freshman Andy Feinstein, a member of the Junior Varsity team.  

However, every team must face some set-backs.  For instance, this year, one of the important senior players, Joe Melkonian, has struggled with an injury this season.  He unfortunately missed seven games because of a pulled muscle around his hip.

Likewise, senior Harris Sonnenklar was out earlier this season with a bone bruise on his knee, and Spier missed one game because he had twisted his ankle.

Melkonian emphasizes the fact that even when good players were hurt, the team stepped up when they had to and proved that every one of them contributed something important to the team.

As a result of these injuries, as well as hoping to look into the future of the basketball program of Schreiber, sophomore Christian Schwirzbin was pulled up from the Junior Varsity team to play on varsity.  Schwirzbin is a lefty guard who has a good shot and is very strong at the rim. After scoring about 20 points per game in his first few JV games, he was pulled up to varsity and looked to provide a supporting role for the varsity team.

Ever since then, he has been a solid option off the bench and has sometimes played in crucial, fourth quarter, minutes when he’s needed. He will most likely develop into one of the varsity team’s top options in the years to come,” said freshman Max Garmisa, a guard on the JV team. 

The Vikings’ goal for this season is definitely to win the County Championship. The team is on track to achieve this goal, as long as the players keep stepping up and playing well.

Though the team took a difficult loss to Hicksville early in the season, they look to recover despite the psychological toll it put on the team.  After a series of wins following the loss, the team now feels more confident in the season.  Each player is working to turn their dreams into realities as the winter progresses. Everyday, the boys work hard at practice and try to get closer to their ultimate goal: a County Championship.

Bellini has set one goal for this season, which is to be the primary defender for the Vikings. He feels that every game, he should be challenging each and every player on the opposing team. He plans on reaching his goals by working extremely hard both during and outside of practice. Bellini feels that if he brings high intensity to every practice and game, he can help improve himself and his teammates.  Defense, Bellini feels, is one aspect of the game that you can always control, so even if you are not playing well on offense you can make it up with your defense. 

His second goal is to bring home a County Championship to Schreiber. Bellini wants this not only for the glory, but to push himself to the best version possible. 

“If we can get everyone on the team pushing themselves every day in practice to be the best they can possibly be, we’re going to be successful and make it to that County Championship,” said Bellini.

There seems to be a common theme when it comes to how the team views their season so far.  All the players are happy with the direction that the team is headed in, but they feel like they can also step it up by working harder to improve in both practices and games.

The Schreiber boys basketball team will definitely not disappoint any Port Vikings fans this season. They have great players who play well together and work hard to push each other on and off the court.  Now is the time that the team goes into overdrive as it is their final few shots to make the playoffs.

“Whether it’s at practice or a game, everyday we are trying to get better. As a team, I feel that we still have so much room for improvement. We will continue to go our hardest, so that we can eventually reach our full potential,” said senior Louis Blakeman.