Dec. 14, 2021
By Vanessa Guevara
The boys’ basketball team will begin its competitive season on Dec. 17 with a home game against Dwight Englewood High School.
Head Coach McGuire said his goals for the season are for the team to have a winning record and compete for a league title, qualify for counties and host a home playoff game.
“I believe we will have a winning season and be able to accomplish our goals,” McGuire said. “Nothing will be like last season because of the Covid complications that we faced. We are just happy to be on [a regular] schedule this year,” McGuire said.
McGuire said last season, which ended in a 6-9 record, was challenging.
“The most challenging [aspects of the sport] are not letting mistakes get into your head and pushing yourself when you are tired in crunch time.”
“We were just happy to get a full season in. Fifteen games was the limit,” McGuire said. “We lost back-to-back games to Rutherford. [The team was] not playing well at all. That was without question a low point. In the season finale at Secaucus, [senior] Johnny Lembo hit a 3-pointer as time expired in overtime to win the game. It was definitely the highlight of last year,” McGuire said.
This season’s team is led by senior captains Vinnie Auteri, John Lembo and Anthony Maldonado.
Maldonado, who has been on the varsity team since his sophomore year, said he fell in love with basketball back in preschool when he first started shooting basketballs.
“The most challenging [aspects of the sport] are not letting mistakes get into your head and pushing yourself when you are tired in crunch time,” Maldonado said.
Maldonado said he and his teammates will be putting in 100% of their effort every time they are on the court because every game has meaning.
In total, the team will be playing 20 regular-season games this year. Maldonado said his expectations for this season are to win the league title and play a state game at home.
“Our team is looking to win many more games than last and be above .500. This year brings in so much more excitement due to being allowed to have tournaments and play a lot more games,” said Maldonado.