Mats Hoops Jump Into New Season

Mollie Swan

After losing seven seniors, the men’s basketball team is strategizing to overcome the challenges that this season  will bring. With two of last year’s starters playing in college, this year’s team is young and more inexperienced.

Overall, the team lacks height and will work to compensate this setback by running a fast paced offense. The team has threats that can score on a fast break or in a half court offense.

Key returners include Brian Henson ‘11, Ross Anderson ‘12, Anthony Piganelli ‘11, Kazz Tamura ‘11, and Jack Pietrykowski ‘12. However, three of the team’s starters were absent for the start of the season because of football, but have returned since the football season ended last Friday. Henson tore both his MCL and PCL during football and will begin physical therapy in 2-3 weeks if he does not need surgery.  Assuming it is a quick recovery, Henson hopes to return for the start of league.

The team will depend on new players Kiran Shastri ‘13, Conor Volpe ‘11, and Derek Lin ‘13 to start the season strongly. Currently, the team has four underclassmen, but when the starters return from football, some will return to JV.

“Last year’s jerseys no longer follow league regulation due to excessive black striping on the shorts. So, with our new jerseys this year, and Jack Pietrykowski, we could arguably be the best looking team in the DFAL,” said Matt Ward ‘11.

This year the team hopes to win league, continue to the NCS finals, and compete in the state tournament. After solid performances in scrimmages against Thurgood Marshall and Antioch, these goals seem within reach.

The team played their first home game against John F. Kennedy of Fremont last Saturday. Although they lost 54-52, they worked hard throughout the game. “It was close the whole game, but we made costly mistakes that put them ahead. We missed lay ups, which we can’t do against good teams,” said Henson.

On Dec. 9, the team beat Antioch in the Granada Holiday Invitational. This was their first game with all their players and they worked together to clinch their first official win. However, they fell to Freedom and Enterprise Redding in their next two games of the tournament.

The team plays Drake at home on Friday.