The Island Trees Boys Varsity Basketball Team finished its regular season with a 6-6 record, recovering from a 2-4 start. By winning their last three games, the boys were able to finish the regular season winning four out of their last six. In those last three games, they scored over 65 points, once scoring in the 80s against Garden City and once scoring in the 70s against Lawrence. In their last regular season game, which was their "Senior Night" called "Spotlight Night," the coaches couldn't have been prouder of the players, not only for winning the game, but because of the way they handled themselves. In a game with a lot of contact, the boys were able to keep their heads and finish, when in the beginning of the season, they weren't able to do that. What an exciting game it was.
The turn-around for the boys began with their play from their point guards. Led by A.J. Mattia, John Howard, John Thearle, Dan Schulz, Andrew Willoughby, and Anthony Wrightington, the boys were able to cut down on their turnovers and create a big shot differential, something the coaches knew they would need with their style of play. This gave players like Dan Bartlett and Dylan Caragher a chance to get up a lot of 3-point shots and hit a lot of them. Both Dan and Dylan had multiple games of at least 3 threes. That shot differential, a stat which shows how many more shots we took than our opponents, was also created by the outstanding offensive rebounding of Matt Passatempo, Anthony Ciaramitaro, James Vesely, Ryan Tolan and Tommy Hart. As our captains, Ryan and Tommy continued to offer even more through their outstanding leadership. Coach Tom Baierlein said, "Watching these two players grow into the men that they've become has been an absolute joy." Another joy for the coaching staff has been the never-ending dedication by three of our juniors, Pat Reilly, Sean Ahluwalia, and Adi Laho. As they continued to work hard, they pushed their teammates to become better along with pushing themselves as they compete for playing time.
The pride of the coaching staff did not stop with the Bulldog captains. The coaching staff could not have been happier to be a part of the growth this team and program went through this year. The seniors will be missed as we begin to prepare for next year's season.