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Wreckers Drop Season Opener to Central

Matt Hawes ’10
Staff Writer

 On Dec. 16, the basketball team was overmatched as they dropped their opener to the Central Hilltoppers 38-83.

The team came into the game having only two players that  had significant Varsity playing experience from last years 13-10 team. Despite the Hilltoppers big lead, the squad, led by captain Brendan Rankowitz ’10 never gave in. Even in the final minutes of the game and down by 40, the team showed their resilience when forward Jake Felman ’11 took a charge.

“It’s tough to have a young team. We have to continue to work hard and let the coaches teach us,” Rankowitz said.

Early on, Staples stayed close with Central and were only down by eight at the end of the first quarter.

But Central’s strong defense pressured the young team into making many uncharacteristic mistakes. From the opening tip, both teams played sloppy and committed turnovers. 

“We have to work on being composed and we can’t get rattled under the pressure,” Luke Yeager ‘11 said. “We have to play stronger.”

The unit was overmatched by the athletic ability and size of Central. The players down low could not control the boards and Central made them pay the price. Central’s Jerome Perkins ’10 scored most of his 24 points off of second chance opportunities and Staples turnovers.

With the game out of reach, Parkins intercepted an inaccurate pass and threw down a rim-rocking dunk that riled up the Staples crowd.

The one bright spot for the team was the play of returning varsity point-guard Frank Bergonzi ’11. The quick guard scored 15 points and played tough defense on the Hilltoppers’ best players. Early in the game, Bergonzi kept the team in it by taking the ball strong to the rim and scoring high off the glass.

The game went downhill quickly for the team and by the end of the first half they were down 20-48.

“Central is a tough team. We came out with intensity but we couldn’t sustain it,” Rankowitz said.

 The team was hurt by the fact that their starting forward Gabe Seidman ’11 was playing through a broken finger, although he scored six points for the team. He promises to be a big time contributor for the team down the road. The team’s starting center Adam Levinson ’12 also played well in his first varsity game. He fought hard inside and he will continue to improve all season.

Despite the tough loss, Coach Colin Devine looks to have his team ready to go against Fairfield Warde next week. The team will have trouble with Warde if they don’t get their rebounding assignments squared away.

“We have to make things right and get back on pace,” Devine said. “Central came ready to play and now we have to work twice as hard.”

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