The Boys Varsity Basketball Team recently concluded a successful 13-7 season reaching the quarter-finals of the county tournament. Competing in conference ABC II, the conference with the second highest ability-based level of play, the team finished second posting a 7-5 record. The members of the team included seniors Rob Amitrano, Kyle Smith and Mike Snee, juniors Matt Demitroff, Brian Diaz, Stu Hicks and Evan Pupelis, sophomores Anthony Amitrano, Gary Tibbs, and Jon Tompkins and freshman Alessandro Troia.
With defense as its foundation the team opened its season with a 59-26 win at Cold Spring Harbor. With the loss of Demitroff for three games, his replacement in the starting lineup, Troia, scored 12 points as he also defended, hustled and rebounded in a 63-59 win at Oyster Bay. The Indians continued their success winning the Mueller Sims Tournament with an exciting 69-63 comeback victory over Port Washington in the final. Hicks led five double figure scorers with 16 points and was named MVP. Pupelis controlled the defensive end and earned All-Tournament honors.
After a loss to Westbury in the Haggerty Tournament at Chaminade HS, the Indians rebounded with a 67-65 last second victory as Hicks scored on an offensive rebound at the buzzer. In Demitroff's second game back in action he scored 12 points with some long range shooting. Smith earned All-Tournament for his scoring and rebounding. The holiday recess concluded with a convincing win at Mineola as R. Amitrano scored 25 points.
As conference play resumed Tibbs had 11 points and 8 rebounds in a home victory over Locust Valley, Demitroff had 18 points in a loss at Roosevelt. Hicks scored 19 in a GNN win as the team's record moved to 3-2, but it was followed by a difficult loss in the last few seconds at North Shore. Losses to Oyster Bay and West Hempstead followed.
The team traveled to LV for a critical game. Trailing by as many as 13 early in the second half, a pressing team including sophomores A. Amitrano, Tompkins and Tibbs reversed LV's momentum as MHS trailed by 8 at half. With the press creating opportunities, second half points from Hicks (12), Troia (10), Pupelis (11) and Demitroff (7) resulted in a stunning turn around and a 66-45 win! The victory initiated a four game win streak to complete conference play and the regular season. Featured in the streak was a balanced attack and consistent offensive play from R. Amitrano, Smith and Hicks. In the first three games of the streak Pupelis had 45 rebounds!
The team's momentum carried into the playoffs as it registered a very impressive 77-42 win at Roosevelt. However, the squad could not overcome number one seeded Southside in the quarter-final game. Although these young men competed to the final buzzer, a 72-47 loss resulted.
Hicks earned All-County as he played strong defense and led the team in scoring with 14 points per game average. All-Conference awards went to R. Amitrano for his backcourt leadership and scoring and to Smith for his scoring (9 ppg) and rebounding (8 rpg).
The season was marked by the play and leadership of Smith and R. Amitrano, the perseverance (and humor) of Snee, the high scoring and defense of Hicks, the shooting and defensive spark of sixth man, Demitroff, the commitment and daily work ethic of Brian, the outstanding defense and rebounding of Pupelis, the all around effective play of Tibbs as first forward off the bench, the improved backcourt leadership and defense of A. Amitrano and Tompkins and the determination, hustle and overall play of Troia.
The team's adherence to its "hard work" motto and never quit attitude pulled it through many games and characterized a highly successful season. With a strong nucleus of returning players the team looks forward to next season. This group of young men is to be commended for its strong performance in the 2008-09 season! Congratulations!