The 2008-09 basketball season for the Glen Cove Junior Varsity, coached by Bill Melillo, was an extremely successful one. This past season the JV posted a 16-2 win-loss record, one of the best in recent years. The team was made up of five sophomores and seven freshmen. It was an extremely balanced team, which saw four players averaging between 9 and 14 points-per-game. The team averaged 53 points per-game while holding the opposition to 43 points per game. The strength of this team was defense, holding 6 teams to under 40 points.
Offensively, the team was led by sophomore center Owen Valance with a team high of 14.2 p-p-g, followed by Taheem Vasquez at 10.6 p-p-g, Alex Hamm and Austin Bresky just under 10 ppg each. Bresky was the team's point guard and led the fast-breaking Covers all season while leading the team in steals and assists. Hitting three game winning shots within the last 10 seconds was Taheem Vasquez's forte, as he was the team's go to player in the clutch situations. Bresky led the team in three-point field goals with 19 followed by Vasquez at 16 and Milo Duchnowski with 6. Freshman John Fiorino was the fifth starter and contributed with some outstanding defense as well as clutch rebounding. The team was rounded out by some clutch play from freshmen Giofranco Aguilar, Eric Pajuelo, Brendan Ayala, Mauro Carignano, Yadieh Letelleir and Dennis Ramadan. At many times during the season they came in to put some great defensive stops on the opposition. Duchnowski started the season off on the injured list but became an important role player as he came off the bench to hit some very clutch long-range shots. Hamm was the most active player on the team, filling many roles as best defender, great rebounder, and lead man on the fast break.
The team started the season off with a huge win over cross-town rival North Shore in the North Shore tournament only to lose to Roslyn in the finals after losing Hamm to an injury in the first quarter. This put the team at 1-1 only to see them run off 11 straight wins before losing to Seaford in conference 48-46. This would be the team's only conference loss. Revenge of Seaford came on the last day of the season as Glen Cove came away with a tremendous defensive effort once again and beat Seaford 57-33.
The boys JV came away with an 11-1 conference record, followed by Wantagh with three losses (two to Glen Cove).
Things are looking bright for Glen Cove's future in basketball once again as five of these players are joining seven returning varsity players who recently finished second in their division at 7-5 this past season.
The future of Glen Cove girls basketball was on display Feb. 10. In what was a completely dominating performance by a group of hard working and dedicated young ladies, Glen Cove beat a Friend's Academy team 41-28. In their previous two meetings Friend's Academy overmatched Glen Cove.
"This game was our championship," said Coach Rotolo. "This game measured our total progress for the year. In the beginning of the year we played a non-league game against Friend's and scored two points in the second half. Our girls were extremely pumped up for this game. It was our season finale at home in front of a packed house against a team that easily handled us twice before. Right from the tip Glen Cove suffocated Friends with its now famous thriller style trap defense."
Eighth-grader Marcella Applewhaite paced the Big Red by dropping 20 points. This was her signature on an unbelievable season. Applewhaite hit her stride down the final stretch of the season. Over her last three games Marcella averaged 20 points.
"It's absolutely amazing", Coach Rotolo stated. "An eighth-grader scoring over 20 points in a JV level basketball game. She is a special athlete. The Glen Cove Girls JV basketball team is an exceptional bunch of special athletes."
The coach went on to say that Applewhaite is an amazing story that should inspire many young basketball players coming up through the ranks. After starting the season as an off guard, she was called on to take the reins at point guard. Coach Rotolo said he knew that she was mentally prepared to take on the toughest position on the court.
"I am completely speechless," Coach Rotolo expressed. "There are no words to describe my emotions about that game and the season as a whole. As an educator there is no better feeling than witnessing the transformation of my student athletes. These girls really made a mark for themselves. The girls at Glen Cove not only made history, they stamped monster footprints on their court and rejuvenated a program. The future of the program looks bright now that these girls have gained experience on the JV level. Welcome to new and improved Glen Cove Girls JV basketball."