Salesian Basketball’s Big Season

Matthew Ventura ’22

Varsity Basketball

The varsity basketball squad’s season has been one of complete dominance in every aspect of that word. Their outstanding record of 16-4 has led them to being ranked 7th in the state and going undefeated in league play as well as being a well-rounded team overall. The squad has lived beyond expectations and has shown a promising future as the playoffs approach. I’ve had the opportunity to interview Miressi and in response to a question I asked him about how he feels against their big game against Regis, he states:

“It’s a very important game, it’s great for both schools, there’s a heaping amount of support coming from both sides, and lastly but most importantly it’s senior night. A time to get a chance to honor the seniors: Ash, Bryson, and Steven who’ve been with the program for 4 years now and it’s an extremely good tribute for them to leave with.” 

This game will be especially important to seniors Ash Sankofa, Steven Rice, (student body president) and Bryson Reyes–each of them meaning a lot to this school and to the basketball program as well as other extracurriculars. The varsity team is also going into this game on a high point considering that they’ve won the last 5 games and have been outscoring opponents by a calm 10pts during that high stretch.

In another quote by Miressi responding to the question, “what does this game mean to you personally?” He states, “The only thing I could engage myself in as far as the game goes is how good our team progressed from day 1. We’re playing a strong opponent at the end of the year and I recall how we played at the beginning of the year as long as we’ve gotten better–that’s what makes me happy and makes it happen for me.” 

The Varsity team will go out on Friday with a pumped mentality as they prepare to face off against Regis.

JV Basketball

The JV season has lived up to expectations and has been the definition of growth and progression. The squad started the season on a mediocre note going 6-6 through the first 12 games of the season and were hanging in the balance of a losing season. However, a quote from a strong roleplayer on the team–Cosmo Arzeno, states “we weren’t happy being in the middle of the pack, and as the squad we want to excel and be better than our competition.” The team then started to pick up their gameplay winning 8 of their last 9 games. I was lucky enough to interview Cosmo on the recent performance of the team and he states:

“I think that we’ve shown that we are resilient, and we can persevere through the struggles of the season and come back strong in the end. If you’re gonna ask about the Regis game, I think we will have a solid game, we’ve been on a good streak so far–we’ve won 5 or 6 in a row so far and our team is confident going into that game so we may catch a dub.”

The JV squad has been preparing vigorously for this upcoming game having practice every day for the last week and playing a blowout game against Christo Rey in Brooklyn and winning 107-85 with a major performance by George Villegas (45 pts) and John DiNapoli (22 pts). The team has shown lots of upsides recently and can be seen as a powerful competitor as the playoffs approach. When asked about what this game means to him personally, Cosmo responded–

“I feel like it’s important, I keep all of my teammates on the same page, make sure we’re all in the same headspace cause working together is gonna be important to getting this win considering it means just the same as any other win.” The team is going into this game Friday with the mentality of staying calm, knocking down their shots, and playing good defense to try and suppress Regis’s strong offense.

Freshman Basketball

The freshman basketball squad has been extremely exceptional this season and has lived to beyond the expectations of coaches, fans, and the league in general. The squad has been undefeated through league play to this point in the season against fellow B’ Division competition. However, one more roadblock they must get past is playing against a fierce opponent in the Regis basketball squad–the school’s archrival. I personally was fortunate enough to have a one on one interview with a member of the team, Josh Martinez and he states– “this is a really special team, we’re a great group of talented guys who get it done on the court, and in the classroom and we don’t live up to expectations, we exceed them.” 

Based on the quote the team has done nothing less than that and is expected to go out on Friday and beat Regis with the confidence and swagger the team has adopted as their natural style. In another quote from Josh based on how he thinks Salesian is going to stack up against their fierce rival, he states– “ I feel confident going into the game, we’re putting lots of hard work going in, and because of that I think we’re gonna do just fine considering we are also undefeated in league play so we just have to play the way we have been playing recently as well as be mentally prepared Friday.”

The team has also brought a tremendous amount of attention towards the basketball program here at Salesian not only through their record and stream of success in league play, but at the expense of star freshman Prophet Fields notorious crossover as viewed on social media against Molloy. The amount of praise for this group of young athletes is one that can be looked forward to as they finalize freshman season, move onto JV, and eventually varsity.