SOMERS, N.Y. – Somers’ boys basketball team graduated four starters including relentless point guard Lucas Fecci and big man in the middle Max Germaine. But head coach Chris DiCintio is still optimistic heading into a new season.
The Tuskers, who posted a 16-5 record but fell to Beacon in the opening round of sectionals last season, will be led by a trio of senior captains in Drew Lasher, Joe Grippo and Dylan Berliner.
“Drew Lasher will be called on to fill Fecci’s shoes,” DiCintio said. “Lasher has the speed and athleticism to fill such a role and his experience for this team will be invaluable.”
Lasher, a guard who also starred on the soccer field, is described by DiCintio as “fast, athletic and a pure workhorse.”
“He has an outstanding ability to get to the rim with the ability to score from the perimeter,” said DiCintio, who enters his eighth season with Somers and 19th overall as a head coach. “He’s also a lockdown defender.”
Grippo, another standout on the soccer pitch, is a “tough, athletic guard with a smooth stroke.”
“He’s a solid rebounder with the ability to score inside,” DiCintio added.
Berliner is a long, lanky 6-foot-1 guard that can score from anywhere on the court and has a quick release with deep range.
“He has an uncanny ability to score in traffic using his length,” DiCintio said. “His quick hands and long arms enable him to deflect and steal numerous opposing passes.”
Joining that trio in the projected starting lineup will be 6-2 junior forward Ben Germaine and sophomore guard Bennett Leitner.
Germaine is a “strong, fundamental forward with a high basketball I.Q.,” DiCintio noted. “His ability to hit the outside shot enables us to use him as a stretch four if needed. He’s a tough rebounder too.”
Leitner, yet another soccer star, is a “fast and tough guard that plays older than he is,” DiCintio said.
“His ability to defend and lead make him one of the leagues best sophomore guards,” the veteran coach said. “On the offensive end, he has the ability to score but looks to set up his older teammates first. He’s a very unselfish player.”
Contributors off the bench include: 6-4 senior forward Kenny McGrane, 6-5 senior forward Nate Townsend, 6-4 junior center Henry Gilroy, junior forward Daniel Loscher and junior guard Robert Repp.
McGrane is a “long, athletic forward that can do damage inside and out,” DiCintio said. The coach described Townsend as having an “excellent fundamental game” with the “ability to knock down shots anywhere on the perimeter.”
Gilroy is a “veteran center with the ability to defend and score around the rim.” Loscher brings toughness with a smooth stroke and an uncanny ability to grab rebounds. Repp is a smart guard that can direct the Tuskers at the point.
DiCintio is confident in his guards but the forwards could make or break whether the Tuskers are successful or not.
“The big test for the team will be our inside game,” he said. “Graduating our all-conference center, Max Germaine, along with power forward Charlie Weissman, leaves some questions marks.”
Somers was scheduled to open the season against defending Section 1 Class A champion Poughkeepsie on Dec. 3.
“If we use our speed and athleticism to press and play fast and (Ben) Germaine and Gilroy can mad the middle, we should have no trouble continuing to compete at the same level our basketball program has become accustomed to,” DiCintio said.