By MIKE SMITH
On Dec. 15, the Harrison basketball team picked up yet another victory on this young season, beating a game Tuckahoe squad 77-36 at the Harry Jefferson Showcase at White Plains High School.
So far this season, the Huskies have stayed unbeaten despite being without the services of a couple key players. Once those players are back in the fold, head coach Gary Chiarella believes Harrison could be primed for big things.
Matt Stein won game MVP honors on Sunday, pacing the Huskies with 22 points. Senior Coby Lefkowitz chimed in with 17 points and 13 rebounds of his own as Harrison easily outclassed the Tigers. The win put the Huskies at 3-0 on the season, no small feat considering injuries have sidelined a number of players, including Zac Evans, Joe Nannariello and Kyle Davidoff to this point.
“It’s really been great, the kids have been awesome stepping up,” Chiarella said. “We’ve kind of been decimated by injuries, but the kids coming off the bench have done great, especially keeping up the scoring.”
Harrison has surpassed the 70-point mark in two of its three games this season, failing to hit that number only in a physical defensive struggle against Rye on Dec. 11. Those types of games, Chiarella said, are common place against Harrison’s rival.
“It’s tough to say why it goes like that,” he said. “Maybe the guys get a little tight, but we haven’t had trouble scoring in the other games this year.”
Harrison has relied on the likes of Lefkowitz, Stein and Nick Esposito to this point, while also picking up contributions from newcomers like junior transfer Justin Stagg. When the Huskies get healthy, depth should be a major strength for a squad that will certainly need those numbers to weather a brutal league schedule.
“We’re going to catch some teams where we are going to need to be 10 deep,” Chiarella said. “A lot of these teams, like Fox Lane, Pearl River are big, physical teams and we’re going to need to be able to run and gun.”
And while speed–and depth–might be the name of the game for the Huskies this year, the Huskies coach is hoping to see his relatively undersized team be willing to mix it up underneath the basket as well.
“We need to find a way to keep the other team off the glass, especially on the offensive end,” Chiarella said. “We’re never a tall team, so we kind of need that muscle we have had in previous years.”
Harrison’s boys and girls squads will host their annual basketball tournament, kicking-off on Dec. 19. The boys will take on Peekskill in the first round on Thursday, while the girls will take on Alexander Hamilton on Dec. 20. All consolation and championship games will be played on Dec. 21.