RCS hoops teams aim for rebound season
By John Bernhardt
If they can harness a healthy dose of intensity and emotion and build good team chemistry, Roxbury girls’ basketball coach Lisa Faraci feels her team can be a factor in the Delaware League this season.
“It all comes down to our mindset and our ability to work well together,” noted Faraci. “If we work hard and recognize the positives we bring to the court, we can compete with a lot of teams in this league.” Faraci is looking for her team to share the load offensively. “We have the potential to be well-rounded offensively,” she said.
Senior Cristina Chiarappa will handle the point guard duties. A defensive pest, Chiarappa is working hard to provide a scoring boost. The senior point guard has worked diligently on improving her inside penetration and outside shot.
Another senior, Kennedy Faraci returns for her fourth season as a guard. Faraci uses a steady hand advancing the ball against defensive pressure, sees the court well, and likes to distribute the ball to open teammates. Good anticipation skills make her a solid defender.
Bailey O’Donnell provides added senior experience at guard. A tough defender, O’Donnell distributes the ball well in the frontcourt.
Kendal and Samantha Sprague provide solid senior experience around the basket. At center, Kendal Sprague is a team leader who brings energy to the court. Sprague is working at improving her inside quickness and finishing stronger around the hoop. The Rockets’ center hits the boards well. Solid and tough on the boards, Samantha Sprague is the strong forward and back-up center.
Junior Lisa Boyke moves up from the junior varsity at the forward slot. Great anticipation skills make her a potential defensive stopper. She also handles the ball well. After missing her sophomore hardwood season with a soccer injury, the injury bug has bitten Elizabeth Davis again. Davis suffered a broken toe during the preseason and is unsure of the timing of her return.
Sophomore Allyce McIntosh returns for her second season. McIntosh, who plays at either guard or forward, loves the game and plays a lot in the off-season. “We need Allyce to make up some of our scoring slack,” observed Coach Faraci. “She has a good outside shot and shows great offensive promise.”
Another sophomore, Shannon Sprague, has moved up from the junior varsity and is working at point guard. Sprague sees the floor well and is a solid ball handler. “Shannon is improving quickly and is going to be a big help once she gains confidence and realizes how good she can be,” said Faraci.
Faraci believes the Delaware League will be fairly strong this winter with several teams in the title chase. As always, Faraci expects South Kortright and Davenport to be strong. The Roxbury coach expects several teams, including her Rockets, to make some noise as the season progresses.
RCS boys’ outlook
With the graduation of Kyle Ciaravino, the Roxbury boys’ basketball team lost a go-to offensive scoring machine. Ciaravino finished last season at the top of the Oneonta Daily Star’s area boys’ scoring charts. A big part of Roxbury’s challenge this winter will be generating points to fill the scoring void caused by Ciaravino’s exit.
“We need to find a way to consistently score the basketball,” explained Roxbury coach Tom Faraci. One strategy Faraci believes could be effective is to use gritty defensive play to create scoring opportunities. “We’ve been playing pretty well on defense. When you kick up your defense, sometimes your offense can feed off of that. That’s one way to get it done,” Faraci continued.
Faraci likes the athleticism of his team. Decent quickness, decent size, and decent floor balance are all positives. The Roxbury coach is looking for his guys to reach a level where they become more comfortable on the court and play hard from end to end from start to finish. That level of intensity would find the Rockets competing every night.
Five seniors return to give Roxbury front-line experience. Back at point guard is Spencer Hinkley, a speedy, gritty, defensive menace. Hinkley has a sweet outside shooting touch and is fearless running the offense.
Hinkley will get some help at the point from senior Nick Hamil. Smart and calculating, Hamil is a good passer who sees the court well. With a nice outside shooting touch, Faraci expects some added offense from Hamil, especially when he plays the two guard.
Two seniors provide inside/outside scoring potential. At six feet, one inch Derek Cowan can play guard or forward, has a decent outside shot, rebounds well and has added inside post moves to his repertoire. Cowan has big-game potential, scoring 15-plus points in several games last season.
Rugged around the basket with good baseline penetration and the ability to hit the outside shoot Dakota Caronia is the Roxbury strong forward. Caronia is a tough rebounder and solid defender.
At six feet, two inches, Eric Shultis is the Rockets’ center. Shultis gets off his feet well and is active on the boards at both ends of the court. “When Eric is playing well, he’s everywhere,” said Faraci.
The final senior, Brandon Beauvois, is playing varsity basketball for the first time and is providing depth and defensive energy.
Three inside threats move up from last year’s junior varsity. Juniors Patrick Hanrahan and Sam Nash stretch past six-feet tall and present inside scoring potential. Both are solid, can bang around in the lane, and pull rebounds off the glass.
Sophomore Will Rendler has similar skills and adds outside shooting potential and a strong baseline drive.
At six feet, one inch, sophomore Matt Faraci will play at the shooting guard slot. Faraci handles the ball well and is a promising long-range sharpshooter.
Another sophomore, Chris Clark is working out at point guard and should become the future playmaker.
Faraci sees a competitive Delaware League. South Kortright is a perennial Mountain Division favorite but will need to fend off a challenge from Gilboa this year. “Gilboa will give some people fits,” added Faraci. Faraci expects Davenport to be the team to beat in the Upper Division with both Hunter-Tannersville and Margaretville in the thick of the chase.