Sunday, December 21, 2014

Uno en Uno With: Mike Nardone, Yorktown Basketball

The emergence of Mason Dyslin as one of the area's top low-post scoring threats, coupled with the 3-point shooting of dual threat point guard Nick DeGennaro has pumped new life into a program that starved for offense too often last season.

Yorktown's streak of offensive ineptitude is over. They are no longer hampered by debilitating droughts and spurts of 0-fors that tarnish the four quarter focus.

Since the second half of last season, the Huskers have bounced out of a multi-season basketball fetal position.

No longer marred by inconsistency issues on the offensive end, the Huskers have broke open the 2014-15 campaign with a dependable inside-outside game.

Dyslin's 35-point eruption during a wild 87-83 OT loss against Peekskill has evoked a new monster in the 6-foot-7 behemoth, who's beginning to show his size with refined, back-to-the-bucket moves.

 The same kid who dropped 33 points on Dobbs Ferry as a spindly sophomore, averaging 19.6 PPG that week, has resurfaced. At the same time, DeGennaro has spearheaded the Huskers from beyond the arc.

He busted out for 25 points in a bounce back win against John Jay-East Fishkill, depositing six 3-pointers, and has led the Huskers in scoring in three out of the five games thus far.

While these exploits have been promising, the Huskers will still make its money defensively. After surrendering a whopping 87 points in the aforementioned Peeksill loss, the Huskers have made a constant effort to lock up at all times. At the helm of this clamp down effort have been a pair of veteran seniors in Nick Delbene and Mike Nardone.

Since the summer, when Yorktown made heightened chest-to-chest defensive pressure and rebounding its top priorities, Delbene and Nardone have been the catalysts. They've shouldered the responsibility of marking up the opponent's top scorers.

The amplified pressure helped score a 43-34 win over cross-town blood rival Lakeland on Tuesday. Delbene handled the chore of guarding Lakeland's hot-handed senior guard, Mike Morelli.

That trend will continue as Yorktown embarks on the tougher part of its schedule.

First-year head coach Kevin Downes' system preaches accountability and pressure across the court, with role players such as Glen O'Loughlin, Jesse Bambach, Ryan Hill, and Trevor Bocian supplying quality minutes. The goal is to fracture ball movement, force teams out of their comfort zone, and play a physical brand of basketball that hasn't been witnessed in Yorktown since Keith Thomas was swallowing rebounds and knifing through double teams en route to the County Center.

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