DENVILLE, NJ- The Morris Knolls boys Basketball team finished up their pre-season scrimmages with a solid performance against Fairlawn as they look to head into their first game against Morris Hills on the right foot.
“I was pleased, but it definitely gives us things to work on,” said Golden Eagles head coach Ken Ferrare. “I like how were coming along, I feel like we’re getting better and moving in the right direction. It’s tough when you’re down three kids to start the season.”
Ferrare, having lost two of his starters plus his 6th man, doesn’t bode well for the season; but the younger players stepping-up has been a positive in the early going.
“Man to man we were a little bit weak on our defense, but I thought our energy was good,” said Ferrare. “I think some of the young guys are really stepping up; big thing is we have early injuries. Starting center Hunter Kaldy, he’s getting an MRI, and then we have Nick Vittorio out, who is our point guard with a back/shoulder issue, and then Cole who is our 6th man. Considering all that we had a real rough first scrimmage vs Chatham.”
The Chatham scrimmage is one thing, but the division the Golden Eagles are in won’t do them any favors, as it seems like each team is better than the next, which makes it hard for Ferrare to give an estimation on how him team will perform.
“I don’t know because I didn’t think we would have three injures already,” said Ferrare. “I think that Randolph’s really good, Roxbury’s very good, and West Morris isn’t easy. Our league is very good, and there are no easy games. We’re really worried about Morris Hills on Friday. It’s a rivalry every year, and closely contested games. Then the schedule goes to Randolph and High Point, so we start three games right away.”
Luckily for Ferrare, he has a lot of depth across his lineup, which includes several starters from last year’s varsity squad.
“All five starters have to really contribute, and then we’ve got to get some role-play from the bench,” said Ferrare. “We’ve got experience from Michael Chapman, Luke Urbanik, and Jake Voelkner, who all started varsity last year. I like the balance were getting from Bryce Mott and Chris Bailing; they have size and they’re rebounding and holding down the fort. Plus they’re young, Bryce is a sophomore, and Chris is a junior, so it’s a nice tandem.”
It also doesn’t hurt that the team and Ferrare are on the same page early when it comes to the system the coach wants to implement.
“It’s kind of how it’s been over the years,” said Ferrare. “Mixing in a lot of different defenses, and running, swinging, that’s kind of how I like to coach, and that’s how they like to play.”