Baymen Coach Kenya Vanterpool has great hopes for his team. Talking to him on Friday, Jan. 31, a few hours before the game against the Carle Place Frogs, he said, "We'll be in the playoffs. We are putting things together and we're going to come through. We took some time off for the midterms, but we've been practicing since then and picking it up with four days of practice.
"I think we can do it. Of the teams in the conference, there are ones we can beat and ones that can beat us. It all depends on whose up the day of the game," he said.
The Baymen were obviously the ones up for last weekend's games. On Friday, they won the game against Carle Place 56 to 49. Carle Place took the first quarter at 15-9; Oyster Bay came in strong with 13 to 6 to make the score 22-21 at the end of the half. The Frogs took back the edge with 13-10 but the Baymen jumped in and ended with 24-15 to complete the score at 56-49. The team racked up five three-pointers in the game: Ronnie Ranaldo 3, George Gowe 1, Capozzo 1.
Saturday, Feb. 1 the Baymen faced Mineola and won with 57-48. John Panagot made 16 points and 10 rebounds for the team. Six three-pointers were scored by Capozzo 2; Ranaldo 2; Gowe 1, Bjerkholdt 1.
Coach Vanterpool said he is finding it easier now that he has only one team to foster. At the beginning of the season, he took over for the second Varsity game, when Coach Robinson had his accident. "Coach was in good shape. Every day we expected him to get back. His death was a big shock to us," he said.
The JV coaching has been taken over by Bill Madsen of Suffolk.
His former team, the JVs are doing well. "They knew our system. They will be coming up next year; it will be a young team. With so many seniors this year, next year's team will be made up of tenth and 11th graders and possibly some from ninth. We are losing eight seniors and with 11 guys on the team, that leaves only three returning varsity players."
Mr. Vanterpool is a social worker in the Westbury School District. He finds his expertise is a special advantage for coaching. He is a people person. "That's what the coach needs," he said, "to be able to handle the different personalities, to shift people around to make it work. You run the plays; look them up in the books and watch films to know the game, but to get to know the people you need a lot more than that," he said.
As we went to press on Monday, Feb. 3, the team still had to play Bellmore JFK at home; and Friends Academy at home.
During the last Friends Academy game Danny Kane suffered an injury to his hand. He said, "I tried to dunk the ball and the kids took my legs out and I flipped over and landed on my hand. They called a foul. I thought it was just sprained and took two foul shots and played the rest of the game and we won by a point." He had to sit out the next few games. But he said, "We are fighting and we're going to do better," he said before the game against Floral Park.
At the Floral Park game 10th grader Fabian Santibanez had great hopes for the team and it turns out a good assessment since they won that game. He said, "They're doing good, playing hard and I think they're going to pull it off. They are a good team and I think they can make it far into the season too."