The Massapequa High School basketball squads, always a powerhouse in Conference AA-I play, are heading into the regular season stretch run with winning records.
The girls' varsity squad, which in recent years has won conference and county titles, is now 7-4 in conference play and 9-6 overall. The Lady Chiefs are coming off a 5-3 record for play in the month of January.
After being paced in recent years by such stars as Suzi Fregosi, the Lady Chiefs are sporting a new look. Yet, the team continues its high scoring ways, averaging over 50 points a game.
Jess DeNicola and Casey Bartels are the new stars fueling the Lady Chiefs' offense. In a Jan. 30 57-54 win over Calhoun, DeNicola had 19 points, followed by Bartels who chipped in with 12 points. In a 52-40 win over Uniondale, DeNicola and Bartels also paced the scoring attack, both scoring in double digits. Jackie Tierney had double digit scoring games in both the loss to Syosset and the win over Farmingdale. In the Lady Chiefs most recent triumph, a convincing 54-41 win over Elmont, DeNicola had 16 points, while Nikki Daly led the way with 17 points.
Meanwhile, the boys' varsity squad is off to a sterling start, with a 13-5 record overall and a 10-3 mark in conference play. The Chiefs are currently tied with Port Washington for the top spot in Conference AA-II play.
Rob Von Bargen, the 6'6" athlete who led the football team to numerous victories last fall as the Chiefs starting quarterback, also stars for the basketball squad. In the 80-52 win over Island Trees, Von Bargen scored 16 points.
The scoring punch of Sean Canning and James Moran has supplied the Chiefs' offense with a stream of points. In the 52-46 win over Great Neck South, Canning poured in 18 points, while Moran added 13 points. Patrick Meehan has also scored in double digits in several games, 12 points in the 69-46 win over East Meadow. Sean's brother, Michael Canning, had 14 points in that same game.
The Jan. 30 win over Great Neck South kicked off a four game winning streak for the Chiefs.
On Feb. 2, the Chiefs had a big win over Hicksville, prevailing by a 62-38 score. Canning had a season high 27 points in the win, while Moran added 14 points. In this win, Canning's scoring touch was especially effective as he drilled home nine three-pointers, including six in the first half as the Chiefs pulled away to a 35-14 advantage. Moran also had 10 rebounds in the win.
In the Feb. 4 56-47 road game triumph over East Meadow, Moran led the way with 13 points, followed by Canning with 11 and Von Bargen with 10 points. Von Bargen also pulled down 12 rebounds in the win.
The Chiefs Feb. 6 win over Carey was closer. Massapequa outscored Carey 19-15 in the final frame to break open a tie score and bring home a 57-53 win. Michael Canning was the star of this game, scoring eight of his 14 points in the final quarter. Patrick Greaney led the well-balanced scoring attack with 15 points, while Sean Canning added 10 points. On defense, Patrick Meehan had 14 rebounds, while Von Bargen chipped in the 12 boards.
With their offenses in gear and their defenses being particularly stingy, both squads look forward to a successful postseason.