Bulldogs cage Lions 59-38
LAKE HUNTINGTON, NY — If you’re going to win a horse race, you’ve gotta have enough horses to cross the finish line.
The home team Sullivan West Bulldogs (2-3, 2-0) squared off against the Lions of Chapel Field (0-2) in a boy’s league game of hoops on Monday, December 17.
Speaking of horses, in this case the numbers of players available to suit up for a game, Sullivan West had five bucketeers waiting in the wings, while the Lions only had a team comprised of a total of six players, leaving them a razor’s thin bench of one to spell the rest of the hard-pressed and rather beleaguered squad.
Although the Lions are a team hampered by losses to injuries and a few other issues, they gave it their best.
Chapel Field’s coach, Brad McDuffie, was on the floor for his first time as helmsman, and in fact took over the team without a single practice session under his new watch.
“We’re a work in progress…we lost some guys, but we’ll get there,” he said of the season.
Goals for the year?
“Development and patience,” replied McDuffie.
The Lions are captained on the floor by seniors Matt Harrison and Jake Spanjer.
Chapel Field is a Christian College Preparation high school, founded by William “Coach” Spanjer Sr. and his wife in 1979.
According to Bulldogs coach, John Meyer, he relies upon his “three top dogs” to score, along with “some young kids who are stepping up” on the way to what they hope is a victorious season.
And then there’s that delicate balancing act between passing off the ball to your teammates, and driving it in for a solo basket.
“Sometimes we play almost too unselfishly…I want them to be a little more aggressive and take the shot,” said Meyer.
And then what he called the flipside.
“It’s good for them to be unselfish…as a team, everybody is involved, and seems to be having a good time. We don’t have any egos, and I’m hoping they want to win as bad as I do,”
So who are the top dogs?
Meyer noted the performance of two outside players (senior Kyle Reimer and sophomore Cody Powell), and junior center Gabe Campanelli, who is sidelined at the moment with an ankle injury.
“When we play better teams, we can’t give away possessions,” he added.
The two ends of the court: defense versus offense.
“We play good defense, but when we play offense we can’t come down and shoot it three seconds into the clock, we have a long ways to go.”
The short version—don’t rush it, take time to set up your shot.
Goals for the season?
“Get better every day, try to play as a team, know when to pitch it, and know when to take it ourselves,” said Meyer.
Never forget the cheerleaders, those squads of young scholar athletes who put it all out there in support of their teams, as they root for the players and whip up the home stand crowds.
During the game the Bulldogs cheerleaders rallied the troops in the famous (or depending on which side of the fence you’re sitting on, notorious) Dawg Pound to ‘hurrah for the home team’, as they enlivened the early evening game with shouts of encouragement and jubilation as the local horses headed to the winner’s circle.
Meet the Sullivan West cheerleading squad, coached by Daniella Fox: Rebecca Dalton, Mikayla Dirie, Kylie Gulley, Camille Licursi, Kelsie Maurizzio, Emilee Mead, Alexis Scheuren, Emily Umbaugh and Anabella Wagner.
Sullivan West’s top guns: Kyle Reimer (20 points including a ‘three’, 5 steals, 2 assists), Ryan Mace (14 points, 15 rebounds), Cody Powell (13 points including a ‘three’, 4 rebounds, 4 assists).
Chapel Field: Jonah McDuffie (14 points including a ‘three’), Josh Harrison (8 points including a ‘three’), Matt Harrison (7 points). Jake Spanjer and Daimon Storch each posted a ‘three’.
Stats from the FTL: SW 7/11 (63%), CF 4/6 (66%).
The Bulldogs are captained by a couple of 17-year old seniors: #24 Kyle Reimer and #33 Eric McBride.
McBride’s goals for the season?
“Get into sectional play and have a little fun in my senior year,” replied the forward.
Reimer’s take on the year?
“We’re doing okay…we need to clean up our defense, we’re playing a little sloppy, but we’ll pick it up,”
“Our goal is to make sectionals and go as far as we can in the playoffs,” added the shooting/point guard.
For the rest of this story and more photos, visit www.riverreporter.com.