Center Moriches Boys Varsity Basketball: RED ALERT
Long Island - Articles
centermorichesWhenever the Center Moriches High School Boys Varsity Basketball team hits the hardwood they do so with one singular goal in mind: try to get better every time. The two time defending Suffolk County Class B champs feature a young and aggressive group of ballers and a wily veteran coach who knows just what buttons to push to maximize his players' raw talents. Head Coach Jonathan Ward-Adams is a man who remains true to his plan. "We try to make the program better by playing a difficult non-league schedule" stated the top Red Devil. "Suffolk County League VII will be tough; our team will only improve if we face the top competition" he knowingly added.

The Red Devils roster is laden with young talent made up of primarily juniors with two sophomores and two seniors. "I expect a lot from the younger guys" said the experienced coach as he spoke proudly of underclassmen Harvey Houpe, Miles Bell, Malik Harris, Tyus Gholson, and the Gonzales brothers Joe and Elijah. "I'm really counting on them to step it up!" he concluded.

Fourth year varsity player and Senior Point Guard Jon Ward-Adams is a tremendous help to his Dad as he provides the on-the-court leadership for this group of neophytes. "We've got a great group of guys; we all work hard" boasted the undisputed team leader. "We will be tough!" he added. Jon's Junior teammate Elijah Gonzales echoed the point guards sentiments by stating "I feel great with this team! I'm hoping for another Class B championship!"

With the aforementioned Non-League schedule that included contests against the likes of Saint Domenic's HS, Lutheran HS, Sachem East, and Bayside HS, Coach Ward-Adams knows what the eventual payoff will be. "We may lose but we always take something away from these games; we will always learn something about ourselves" he concluded. So far so good, as of this writing the coaches philosophy seems to be paying dividends. Although the Red Devils have dropped 3 of 4 Non-League games, they are currently sitting atop League VII alongside Wyandanch HS with identical 4-0 records. Center Moriches Athletic Director Nick DeCillis likes what he has seen thus far: "They're a great group of young men and the coach does a great job. He truly gets the most out of his team" he said. "We've played some really good teams and we hope this leads us to another Suffolk County title" added the prideful A.D. The players also believe that this team is on the right path as well. "I would love to win a state championship!" dreamed Jon Ward-Adams. "We will do whatever it takes; there is no personal glory... it's all about the team!" he added with confidence.

Coach Ward-Adams recognizes that there is a lot of hoop to be played and he is taking nothing for granted. "We'll look to compete as usual, and hopefully make the playoffs. We just want to keep getting better as the season goes on" he said as he deflected the pressure from his youthful followers. "Our team is young and gritty; we're trying to find our way" he surmised. Those words should sound like a warning to the rest of League VII: The C-Mo Red Devils are seriously coming for you and they are looking to get better with every possession!

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True Competitors
Long Island - Articles
truecompetitors1Last night was the place to be for phenomenal girl’s basketball action between the number one North Babylon Bulldogs and number two Sachem East flaming arrows. They battled  for the Suffolk class AA championship. One could not help but feel the energy in the room with over 2,300 fans in attendance at Farmingdale State College.
As tip off came, everyone knew the battle of the titans was underway. In the spotlight  were the two superstars of each team; Bria Hartley of North Babylon and Sachem East’s Kristen Doherty. Everyone wanted to know which captain would ultimately lead their team to victory.
Doherty, a leader who showed great court awareness, was quick to deliver the ball to any open team mates. While leaping for rebounds and sinking in shots of her own she ended up with 24 points and 18 rebounds. As for teammate Caitlin Hopkins, she had a major presence under the boards finishing with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
As each team scored the crowd’s roar filled the room almost blowing the roof off the building.  North Babylon’s Bria Hartley played the game of her life. She shook off defenders with quick moves, acrobatic shoots and some monster blocks on defense.  
Sachem came out to a quick lead but North Babylon would not relent, bring the game within one point by halftime, 30-31.
In the second half, North Babylon found themselves down 51-41 but not out, not by any means. They battled back to equalize Sachem with 47 seconds left in the game at 69 a piece. Down by three, Hartley attempted a three point shot but was quickly swarmed by Sachem’s defense leaving no choice but to pass the ball to her teammate. This night belonged to Sachem East. They survived North Babylon’s constant attack.
Sachem’s well balanced offense and aggressive defense was ultimately  the winning formula for the flaming arrows. Both teams played an unbelievable game. Just looking into each players eyes, one could not see a single girl who stepped on the court with less than one hundred percent of heart .  As the buzzer sounded the Sachem East players leaped into the air and embraced one another. The clock hit zero and the final score board read 72-69.
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Top Ranked Tobias Harris
Long Island - Articles
Tobias_600x300He can face up, he can post, he can drive and he can do everything else. His name is Tobias Harris. The 6-foot-8, 210-pound Half Hollow Hills West High School basketball superstar is considered one of the finest offensive forwards in the country. Harris has an advanced skill level as a hybrid forward. He handles the ball at a high level and can score on the outside and also score inside with his power game. Harris is currently in his senior year and is right in the middle of college recruitment.
"He's as good as advertised," said head coach Bill Mitaritonna. "Tobias has worked extremely hard to be where he is. There is no doubt in my mind that he is going to be one special player in the future and make a name for himself and all the college coaches know it."
Mitaritonna coached Harris in the 2007-2008 season as he led the Colts to the Suffolk AA Championship by averaging 29 points and nine rebounds as a sophomore. Harris then opted to transfer to Lutheran, a private school, as a junior for an opportunity to play in a national schedule. It was this season where Harris accomplished his goal of winning a state title and at the same time improved his game by playing against tougher competition. He averaged 23.5 points and 11.5 rebounds despite missing a dozen games with an ankle injury, and scoring 27 points in the Crusaders victory over Jamesville-DeWitt in the state Federation final. Harris then chose to transfer back to Half Hollow Hills High School for his senior year. The family did not move from Dix Hills while Harris played at Lutheran his junior year, which is a main reason why he came back.
"He missed his family and teammates last season," said Mitaritonna. "The guys on our team are smiling from ear to ear to have him back. He now can play his last high school season in his hometown before he gets recruited."
Harris comes from an outstanding basketball family. His father Torrel Harris played college basketball and his sister Tesia is currently playing college basketball at Delaware.
"She used to beat me one on one," Harris said, with a smile on his face. "But now I can take her pretty easy." His younger brother Tyler is currently playing alongside him at Half Hollow Hills West as well.
Harris was heavily recruited by dozens of major Division I colleges. He concluded many home visits with each of the head coaches and from a pool of seven schools, this phenomenal athlete's hunt ended with a final decision to attend Tennessee.
"He's one of the best offensive forwards I have ever seen," One Big East assistant coach said. "You can tell he put in a lot of work in over the summer, he looks thin, quick and bouncy."
A main reason why Harris has become a top five ranking prospect for 2010 is because of the drastic transformation his body went through in the off-season. He has lost most of the baby fat that characterized his face and upper body just a summer ago. Harris now has more of a chiseled frame that is the result of a daily workout routine Harris began with trainer Britton Kelley.
Harris awoke at 5 o'clock each morning and ran two miles near his home on Long Island. He went to the gym after school with his brother and teammates and did rigorous workouts. Three days a week, Harris also participated in speed training drills, including pulling sleds, with Kelley at the Parisi Speed School in Islip, New York.
"The goal was to get him leaner and stronger, which we did," said Kelley. "The nice thing about it was we got him faster too. Tobias is just a superior athlete, he has great footwork and overall just a top-notch athlete."
The results have definitely shown on the court. Harris participated in a few summer camps, which really turned his game to another level. At the NBA Top 100 Camp, he was the sixth-leading scorer and he also overwhelmed recruiting experts with his dominant play at the Lebron James Skills Camp.
"I feel like I've been playing to the max game right now," Harris said. "I'm just improving and looking to improve my game against the best players. I'm playing well, scoring a lot, rebounding and getting everybody involved." Harris was also invited to the Nike Global Challenge in Oregon where he had the opportunity to represent his country and play for USA. "It was a great opportunity," said Harris. I'm playing with the top 30 players in the country over there, it was a great experience."
There is a lot of pressure for a kid like Tobias Harris. He is a top 5-ranked prospect in the country and feels he needs to work harder to reach his ultimate goal, which is getting to the NBA.
"I still need to prove myself every day on the court," said Harris. "I know I have the skills to play in the NBA, but I need to stay humble, focused and keep working hard on and off the court."
Tobias Harris is an exceptional athlete you could build a team around. He is a team player, has a great work ethic and always seems to rise to the occasion when the game is on the line.
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North Babylon’s Bria Hartley, Basketball is a Metaphor for Life
Long Island - Articles
bria_harley_300x600It's not every day, or decade for that matter, that the head coach of the defending national college champions drives to Long Island to see a high school basketball game. When University of Connecticut coach Geno Auriemma scouts talent, it is usually at AAU showcase tournaments in the spring and summer. But he made a special exception in the case of North Babylon's Bria Hartley, who has committed to UConn, where she will join a vaunted recruiting class.
Auriemma witnessed Hartley score 31 points in North Babylon's victory over Sachem East at the Hoops to Remember Tournament in December. Despite scoring 31 points, Hartley stayed within herself, not trying to do too much, or force the action, not even to impress her future coach.
Auriemma loved the show, "She's just content going with the flow and getting everyone involved," Auriemma told Newsday. "It's typical Bria. That's how she was all summer when I watched her play. Then when the game's on the line, she takes over."
Hartley, the New York State player of the year as a junior, recently surpassed 1,500 points in her stellar high school career. The three-sport star chose UConn over Tennessee and several other top-flight schools. She was rated as the top point guard in the nation by some recruiting services.
Hartley will join what has been called one of the most remarkable recruiting classes in UConn history next season. She is the fifth player to sign with UConn, joining center Stefanie Dolson, Lauren Engeln, Michala Johnson and Samarie Walker, all among the best players in the country. The chances are very good that Hartley will play on at least one national championship team during her stay at UConn, an accomplishment that very few Long Island players have ever experienced.
One who comes to mind is Syosset's Sue Bird, who played high school at Christ the King in Queens before going on to All-American status in college at UConn and a career in the WNBA. An all-around athlete, it was said that Sue Bird would have been the second best soccer player on the UConn campus when she arrived as a freshman.
As well, Hartley is a standout in soccer (lacrosse too) and likely could have played either sport in college. But as her Twitter bio says, "Basketball is a metaphor for life," and so it will be hoops that Hartley will show the college world what a special talent she is.
She is the leader of a young North Babylon squad that features eight players who are freshmen or younger, including two eighth graders who sometimes start. Hartley keeps the other players involved in the flow of the game, but when it comes to crunch time, she takes over. "I want to get more teammates involved more," Hartley said. "I don't want them to always depend on me. In tough games, I'm going to get guarded hard. I want to work them into it and then when I have to score, step up and score."
A talent evaluator had this to say about Hartley's game: "For the point guard position she has great length and pushes the tempo in both transition and half-court situations. She can score it off the dribble, pull-up with ease, and even off a dead sprint ... Out-quicking a defender is not her game; rather, with or without the ball, she'll throw out subtle moves -- a hip there, a raised eyebrow there -- to buy enough real estate to get open or her shot off. Hartley also can buy space with unexaggerated, but nicely executed moves off the dribble, even on the dead run without losing balance or traction. At the other end of the floor, she puts desire and her length to such great use that her listing at 5-7 in a game program could elicit a double take. "
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Army Strong Scholar Athlete of the month
Long Island - Articles
army_sadie_singerSadie Singer's leadership and go-get'-em attitude can be felt both on the court and in the classroom. Sadie has been a starting point guard on the basketball team since the eighth grade. During that time, she has helped The Stony Brook School win four league championships, four Section XI championships, and a Class C regional championship. In the classroom, Sadie maintains a 4.0 GPA while in charge of her school's 'Head Perfect' mentoring program which inspires leadership throughout the student body. In addition, she has been selected to serve on the honor council during her junior and senior year.
According to her coach Keith Singer, "She has consistently provided great leadership for us and has helped our program develop a remarkable work ethic, she sets the tone every time she walks on the court and takes great pride in the success of her team."
A leader on the court, the third year captain has averaged 10.2 points and 5.3 assist per game which has helped Stony Brook to a achieve a #4 New York State Class C ranking, a 12-1 record this season and a 51-1 league record since eighth grade. Recently, Sadie has scored her 990th point, 132 career 3-pointer and has surpassed 500 career assists. Sadie's statistics are amazing considering she has been overcoming an ACL injury, suffered last February. One reason Sadie works so hard is her love for the team.
"I love playing for the team, I play hard but it's a lot of fun. I love the girls on the team, everyone gets along we have such a good chemistry," Sadie says.
Her hard work and dedication extends beyond the school year. In the summer of 2008, Sadie spent two weeks at an orphanage in the Philippines and this past summer Sadie worked at the Helping Hand Rescue Mission in Huntington. Besides being a leader of "Driven," a student run youth group at Stony Brook, Sadie has participated in a variety of events during her time at Stony Brook including Walk for Beauty, World Vision's Thirty-Hour Famine, beach cleanups, and a variety of fundraisers under her belt. According to Sadie, "One of the most important things in my life are the relationships I have with my family, friends, team and the ability to help other people."
Sadie has already been accepted by five different colleges. She plans on studying physical therapy and of course playing basketball. On a personal level, father and coach Keith Singer said, "Beyond basketball, she is simply a great person who is concerned about others and willing to help students and people in a variety of ways. She has been a blessing to our team, our school and our family in every way."
Leadership, commitment to her team and school, even community are characteristics that have made Sadie Singer the US Army Strong Scholar Athlete of the month.
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