Lakeland Boys Basketball Squad Falls to Panas in Giglio Games

Lakeland’s Jack Kruse tries to block a shot against Walter Panas in the Giglio Games. Credits: Bob Castner/
Lakeland’s J.P. Walsh pulls down a defensive rebound. Credits: Bob Castner/

SHRUB OAK, N.Y.-Lakeland’s boys basketball squad gave a spirited effort against its sister school, Walter Panas, in the 28th Annual Vincent and Terry Giglio Memorial Scholarship Games on Feb. 3. But a key injury and playing against one of the hottest teams in Section 1 did the Hornets in as the host Panthers coming away with a 67-57 victory.

The Panas contest was a nightcap following an all-day, six-game affair involving the varsity, junior varsity and freshmen boys and girls basketball squads in the Lakeland School District.

 “We played outstanding, especially right from the start,” Lakeland coach Steve Fallo said. “We came out aggressive, Joey Vetrano had a great first quarter. We went right inside. Effort-wise, we are extremely proud of the way these kids played tonight. We have had no problems with the effort.”

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Vetrano was on fire at the start, scoring 11 of Lakeland’s 13 points in the opening quarter, which Panas led 14-13.

“We got the ball to him early and often,” Fallo said. “He’s that good a player inside. He was very impressive going to the rim. He finished and that was the game plan early on to go right at Anderson and whoever they put in the post with Joey.”

Unfortunately for Lakeland, Vetrano went out of the game with an injury in the second quarter and didn’t return. Jack Kruse kept Lakeland in the contest by scoring seven of his team-high 14 points in the second quarter.

That included a layup to finish a fast break at the buzzer before the end of the second quarter, cutting Panas’ halftime lead to 29-25.

“I thought we needed the points because it gave us momentum going into the second half—I wished we could’ve kept,” Kruse said. “I thought I could do something to get us re-energized and get going forward.”

Instead, Panas took control of the game in the third quarter, outscoring Lakeland 20-12.

Jared Cohen (9 points), Mike Capozzi (6 points), Chris Foci (6 points), Regan Fallo (5 points) Matt Hodges (4 points) and Gabe Nieves (2 points) all earned their way on the scoreboard for Lakeland.

“This is fun,” Kruse said. “Both of the crowds are here. It’s good for the schools. It’s a fun thing to be a part of. It’s bragging rights, which we don’t have this year but hopefully we will going forward.”

Lakeland lost 71-56 at John Jay-Cross River on Jan. 29, led by Cohen (19 points), Fallo (12 points), Nieves (8 points) and Kruse (8 points).

The Hornets (5-12) lost 81-75 in double overtime to visiting Our Lady of Lourdes on Jan. 31 led by Kruse (23 points), Cohen (16 points) and Foci (13 points).

Yorktown was defeated 56-29 at Scarsdale on Jan. 29, with Marc Spinelli’s nine points pacing the Huskers.

The Huskers fell 76-50 at Horace Greeley on Jan. 31. Spinelli led Yorktown with 21 points and seven rebounds.

“I was able to find many holes in their defense and I was luckily able to hit some shots,” said Spinelli, a senior captain.

Yorktown’s James Lundberg registered 10 points and six rebounds while teammate Mike Broder tallied 10 points against the Quakers.

“Those two played like they have been all year and were able to exploit the defense,” Spinelli said.

Yorktown (6-12) finished the week with a solid defensive effort in a 46-33 loss to visiting Fox Lane on Feb. 2, led by Spinelli (15 points, 5 rebounds).

“This is something we take pride in—our defense—and when we’re doing what we have to do and talking, we can be great,” Spinelli said.

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