Varsity boys basketball players at their senior recognition ceremony. (Photo courtesy of Roslyn High School Athletics)

Roslyn Basketball Back On Track

Another great basketball season has come to an end.

BY: Joseph Scotchie

On Feb. 27, the Roslyn High School boys basketball squad traveled to the south shore to take on South Shore High School in the Nassau County AA title game.

The Bulldogs came up short, losing a 50-39 contest to the Cyclones. The defeat ended a season which saw Roslyn post a sparkling 18-4 record as the program, under head coach Greg Tull, made giant steps forward.

The road to the title game was dramatic enough. On Feb. 15, the Bulldogs came off a 16-3 regular season record, defeating Great Neck North in a 60-57 home win.

The Bulldogs got off to a solid 37-20 first half lead, only to see Great Neck mount a spirited second half rally. Great Neck outscored Roslyn 22-12 in the final frame to make it a close game, but not enough for the win.

Eight Bulldogs got onto the scoring column, led by Jake Kenyon who knocked down 16 points. Harris Mihalatos added 13 points. The Bulldogs, who usually score any number of three-points goals, played for the high percentage in this playoff game. Still, Mason Goodstadt nailed down two three-pointers and Noah Stichweh had one three-pointer from behind the arch.
There was even more drama in the Bulldogs Feb. 20 triumph over arch-rival Jericho. Playing once again at home, Roslyn saw an inspired Jericho squad on the attack, taking a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. After calling a time out, Roslyn regrouped.

Coach Tull’s strategy worked. The Bulldogs came out smoking, scoring the next 13 points to take the lead. Roslyn used that monument to grab a 23-12 first quarter advantage, one that they never relinquished.

Zach Kuppersmith, who had 14 points overall, scored the Bulldogs first goal. It was Roslyn’s intense full-court pressure that turned the tide. After that bucket, the Bulldogs forced numerous Jericho turnovers, many of which resulted in Roslyn points. In all, Roslyn allowed just 12 points in the first quarter, 9 in the second and 11 in the third.

You need a deep bench to conduct such an aggressive defense. All year, Roslyn has had such a squad. Junior guard Jake Kenyon scored 20 points to lead the Bulldogs, while Kuppersmith added 12 points and Benjy Rubin chipped in with 10. Kenyon, Mason Goodstadt and Danny Levine each knocked down three-pointers to help Roslyn pull away.

In the title match against South Shore, Roslyn jumped out to a 14-10 first quarter lead. However, the South Shore defense took over, holding the Bulldogs to just four points in the second quarter. South Shore went into the locker room with a slim 20-18 lead, one that they expanded in both the third and fourth quarters for the win.

Three Bulldogs scored in double digits. Mason Goodstadt had 13 points, followed by Jake Kenyon with 12 points and Zach Kuppersmith with 10. John Pericolosi had 11 points to lead the well-balanced South Shore attack. The Bulldogs can end this season with their heads held high. “Fantastic,” Tull told the media. “These boys played their tails off from day one. They committed to the offseason program. We were able to have a nice turnaround. The job is just getting started for a lot of these young Bulldogs. Hoisting that Nassau County championship has ultimately been the goal from day one.”

The season is over. When the summer comes, the playgrounds of Roslyn will be full of local youth, all getting for another great season of Roslyn basketball.

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