By MIKE SMITH
After being hit hard last spring by graduation, Bronxville’s basketball team has a new look this year with a host of new players stepping up to the varsity level for the first time. But although the team might take some time to gel, according to head coach Brian Senior, the Broncos certainly have the talent to compete.
“It’s been a steep learning curve for a lot of the players,” Senior said. “We do have six players returning, but behind them, we don’t have a whole lot of game experience.”
Bronxville graduated nine players from last year’s 12-8 squad, but Senior is confident that the returning players will be able to provide a lift to the young squad this season. Chief among the returnees is two-year All-League selection Matt Toal who will run the point for the Broncos and provide a calming veteran presence in the backcourt.
“If I had to return one player, it would be Matt,” Senior said. “He’s a calming influence, he’s very even-keeled and when the ball is in his hands we know he can get it to his teammates.”
Toal will be joined by Jack Reilly and Alston Tarry, who played important minutes off the bench last year and should figure heavily into the Broncos’ offensive plans this season. Senior has also been impressed by a pair of talented newcomers, 6-foot-2 wing Brian DePaul and versatile guard Jerry Frost, who could be difference makers.
“We’re young but we are athletic this year,” Senior said. “As the season goes on, I think we’re going to have to grow into our roles.”
On Nov. 28, the Class B Broncos scrimmaged against a much larger Class A Harrison team, and Senior was impressed with the way his squad played despite not playing with Toal, who was recovering from an injury.
“We were missing some guys, but I was pretty happy with the way that we rebounded and weren’t outmuscled by a bigger team,” he said. “Obviously there are still some things we need to work on, like our press offense and some defensive rotations, but I think that will come.”
The Broncos begin the regular season on Dec. 2, after press time, with a home game against Solomon Schechter, but their real tests will come against league opponents like Sleepy Hollow, Ardsley and Woodlands.
“You always have a sense, and I think it’s going to be a competitive league this year,” Senior said. “But the big thing for us is that we don’t see a huge height discrepancy between the teams, which will allow us to hide some of the things that we don’t do well.”