Contributed by C. Christian Schmid and Greibin Agramonte
The Girls MS Basketball team had a great season that included several notable highlights and firsts. The team worked hard all season and dominated several rivals, showing particular strength and growth with speed, transition basketball and man-man defense. Their final record was 10-6 and this included winning the South Hackensack Memorial tournament, beating Montclair-Kimberley Academy (MKA) for the first time in several years by an all-time-high score of 60-40. Co-captains Lilah Gmyrek ’21 and Karina Pink ’23 led a strong team, each scoring over 100 points on the season. For the first time in several years, each one of the 17 players scored at some point in the season. This is a testament to the depth and unity of the team. Coach James Aitken summed up the season as follows:
We had lots of growth, accomplishments, and of course, fun!
The MS Boys White Team season was marked by great ball movement and support of one another. In true testimony to team play and a deep roster, at least seven players scored in every game, and as many as ten scored in several victories. Jake Breslow ’21 and Jayden Lemond ’22 provided strong leadership in the back court, handling the ball successfully against the press and harassing opposing teams’ guards with their excellent defense. Jack Berg ’21, who led the team in rebounds, combined with Aryaman Gummakonda ’21 and Caleb Dalgetty ’21, to give the team a strong inside presence. Meanwhile Aryan Arora ’21 was the quintessential sixth man, providing an immediate scoring threat, defensive energy, and vocal leadership. Both Aryan and David Miller ’21 made timely three pointers in several games. The boys played a beautiful, unselfish style on offense, and at times a strong pressure defense that caused enormous difficulty for their opponents. Many of the boys have been together on MS Basketball teams for three years, and it was great to watch as their excellent team game was buoyed by their enthusiasm and enjoyment in playing with one another.
The Boys MS Basketball Blue Team may not have gotten as many wins as they had hoped for this season, but they epitomized what a team is and became better basketball players over the course of the season. Offensively, the team emphasized ball movement and moving without the ball. All players worked to create open shots for teammates, and the team’s commitment to movement was evident considering no player on the team averaged more than six points per game. Defensively, the team was able to learn and implement a couple of different zone schemes, which helped us secure our best victory of the season in a game against rival MKA: MKA took an 18-15 lead into the fourth quarter, but could not figure out the switch we made to our 1-3-1 defense. We outscored MKA 9-3 in the quarter en route to a 26-22 victory in our final home game of the season. In the words of Coach Tim Coyne, “Despite the struggles the Bulldogs faced this season, all our players kept their heads up and continued to play hard until the final buzzer. This is a testament to their competitive spirit and desire to improve their game!”
D-E Boys Varsity Basketball earned many notable accomplishments this year. The team’s record was 24-5 overall, with 16-0 and a 1st place ranking within the League. The Bulldogs were the overall winners of the Bergen Holiday Tournament, quarterfinalists in the Bergen County Jamboree, and, most notably, were named Team of the Year by the Bergen County Coaches Association. Individual winners include Tyson Etienne ’19 (1st Team All-League and 1st Team All-County), Jordan McKoy ’19 (1st Team All-League and 2nd team All-County), Judah McIntyre ’19 (1st team All-League and Honorable Mention All-County). Earning 2nd team All-League honors were Co-Captains Isaiah Pean ’17 and Tony DeBellis ’18.
Our Boys JV Basketball Team fought hard through an up-and-down season, finishing with a 7-11 record. However, six of those losses were by single digits and two were by only one point in overtime. The Bulldogs played hard every second of every game and improved throughout the season. The team’s three captains, Brad Shulman ’18, Mike Mok ’18 and Parth Savalia ’19, showed leadership throughout the season; Brad was the leading scorer, with a 13.4 points per game average.
D-E Girls Varsity Basketball started the season off with four great wins, followed by some tough losses, but then rebounding to finish the season with a record of 11-10. The girls worked extremely hard, and their skills improved tremendously. Regan Contrucci ’17, senior guard, Co-Captain and two-time MVP, finished this season leading the team in 3-point field goals, free throws made, highest free through percentage, steals, blocks and assists. Regan, a top League competitor, was awarded 1st Team All-League honors this season. Elena Latinsky-Ortiz ’18, junior forward and our most improved player, finished this season leading the team in average points per game, total points, 2-point field goals, and total rebounds. Elena was awarded 2nd Team All-League this season and has been named co-captain together with Maddy Kachikian ’18 for the upcoming 2017-18 season. Maddy, a junior guard, received the Coaches’ Award and was awarded 2nd Team All-League, largely due to her ability to shut down top opponents, resulting in multiple wins for D-E. Sophomore guard Mya Most ’19 and sophomore forward Ryan Rodgers ’19 contributed to the season with a combined total of 208 points and 195 rebounds. Their hard work landed them starting positions as second year varsity players. Ryan was awarded All-League Honorable Mention. Our reserves, Caroline Yaffa ’20 and Emma Schwartz ’19, stepped up this season to contribute in varsity games. Caroline’s intensity and Emma’s 3-point shots provided much-needed additions. All season the girls pushed themselves to be the best they could be and accomplished the goals they set as a team.
The Winter Track and Field team had a very strong 2016-17 season led by seniors Michael Guerriero ’17, Julia McSpirit Beckett ’17, and Viviana Torres ’17. Over the course of three months, the team successfully set seven new school records including (within the men’s division), the 55m high hurdles, the high jump relay, and shuttle hurdle relay; and, for women, the triple jump, the pentathlon, the high jump relay, and the long jump relay. In addition, the team sent four athletes to the Meet of Champions in Toms River at the end of February, including juniors Naseer Wilson ’18 and Fola Olutiola ’18 in the high jump, Mike Guerriero ’17 in the 55m dash, and junior Lenin “Dom” Fermin ’18 in the 55m high hurdles. Lastly, nearly every athlete on the team broke a personal record throughout the season. The coaches would like to thank the athletes for another great winter season and to wish the seniors good luck in their future endeavors!
To see the list of student athletes who were recognized by their coaches at the D-E Athletic Department’s Winter Teams Sports Banquet, click here.