Preview: Boys’ Basketball

Matteo Cervone

Junior Matteo Cervone, shown in a February game against North Salem, is one of Haldane's returning starters. (File photos by S. Pearlman)

Beacon Bulldogs

The Beacon High School boys’ basketball team got a second chance to win its season-opener Wednesday (Dec. 1) at Red Hook, but the Bulldogs couldn’t cash in and left with a stinging, 57–55, overtime loss.

Darien Gillins

Darien Gillins, shown here driving against Poughkeepsie in a March game, scored 17 points in Beacon’s opener

Darien Gillins led the Bulldogs with 17 points, Jack Philipbar added 13, Chase Green had 10 and Jason Komisar had seven.

Red Hook led by a basket at the end of the game when Philipbar was fouled with — apparently — no time left on the clock. 

The officials huddled, then said the game was over. But then they talked again and awarded Philipbar two free throws — which he made, sending the game into overtime. 

Red Hook scored with eight seconds left in overtime and a shot by Beacon from midcourt didn’t fall.

“That was one of the most exciting games I’ve ever been a part of,” said Coach Scott Timpano. “We’re not a young team, but we’re still learning how to win.”

The Bulldogs, who were 1–10 last winter and lost in the first round of the state tournament, return four starters: seniors Komisar and Green and juniors Gillins and Philipbar. Senior guard Jamel Blackwell-Sellers also returns, along with junior guard Adrian Bento, senior forward Simi Mann, junior guard Leo Gecaj and junior forward Gavin LaDue. Joining the team are junior forward Joe Battle, junior guard Wilson Ciccone and sophomore Jack Antalek.

“We return a lot of our major players from last season,” Timpano said. “We’re hoping that experience can fuel us to be a better team. We saw flashes of that tonight.”

The Bulldogs, who moved this season from Section I to Section IX, are scheduled to travel to Pine Bush today (Dec. 3) and host Valley Central on Tuesday.

How to Watch

Most Haldane junior varsity and varsity home games are livestreamed at LocalLive (bit.ly/haldane-stream).

Many of Haldane’s opponents also broadcast via the site when they host the Blue Devils.

Many Beacon away games are livestreamed on the NFHS Network. See bit.ly/beacon-stream. A subscription is $10.99 per month or $69.99 annually.

Home games are livestreamed via HUDL through links at
beaconk12.org/athletics.

Haldane Blue Devils

After finishing 10–1 last season but losing to Lakeland on a buzzer-beater in the state tournament, Haldane’s players have their eyes on the sectional title.

The team returns starters Matteo Cervone, Soren Holmbo and Ryan Irwin but will miss the services of three-year starters Dan Santos and Darrin Santos, who graduated in June.

Also returning are senior guard Robert Viggiano (who was injured last season), senior guard Julian Forcello, senior forward Stefano Hammond and senior guard Giancarlo Carone (currently recovering from a football injury). Newcomers include senior forward Tristan Reid and juniors Will Bradley, Ben Boszik, Jesse Hagan, Julian Ambrose and Ryan Eng-Wong.

Coach Joe Virgadamo said the team will lean heavily on the returning starters. 

“Those three will set the tempo,” he said. “We want to run, but we’ll also play a half-court game. They’re all dynamic, and can shoot and defend. They’ll be our floor generals and lead the way. And this team’s selfless play has been great so far.”

Virgadamo said his team has the potential to win the league, which includes Putnam Valley, Croton, North Salem and Pawling.

“We need to be balanced, have five players in double figures,” he said. “We want to win the section — the last time we did that was 2016, so we’re due. If we continue to improve our shooting and our defensive intensity, I believe this team has a lot of potential.”

Haldane was scheduled to open its season on Thursday (Dec. 2) at Alexander Hamilton and visit Washingtonville on Saturday.

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