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Starpoint High School basketball preview 2012-13

Starpoint girls hoops team makes early statement

Talk about making a statement. The Starpoint girls varsity basketball team certainly knows how to get off on the right foot as it rolled off three consecutive wins to open the season.

The hot start included taking the championship of the Roy-Hart Tournament that was played Nov.30 and Dec.1.

“It was really a great way (to start) because I think the girls have really bought into my philosophy of defense first,” coach Megan Rumschik said prior to Monday’s win over Kenmore East.

“That very first game against Eden, holding them to, I think it was 10 points at halftime. Holding a varsity team to that is a huge accomplishment, especially that first game.”

The Spartans also held Tonawanda to 10 in the first half of the title game.

In her third season with the program, Rumschik, who played at Williamsville-East and Ithaca, has now taken over the varsity team. Rumschik feels the combination of a strong defense and being able to offensively run and gun will only lead to many successes down the road.

“I’ve pounded it into their head right from day one,” she said, “that the most conditioned teams are the best teams. The ones that work the most on defense are the ones that are going to win in the end.”

Led by senior tri-captains Liz Wilson, MacKenzie Britton and Erika Longwell, the Spartans have also received strong play early on from sophomore Jenna Faulkner and freshman Erica Bradley.

Faulkner was named to the all-tournament squad at Roy-Hart, while Bradley took home MVP honors.

With Faulkner at point guard and the 5-foot-11 Bradley at center, the two have a solid chemistry together that is the result of playing together all summer.

“They’re chemistry is contagious,” Rumschik said.”Everybody is picking up on it and it’s also nice to know that these girls have a future together, not just for this one season. They have the next couple seasons too.”

The Spartans roster also includes Emily Bradley, Eileen Giambattista, Allison Koithan, Hattie Lasal, Mikenna Pelloth, Amber Printup, Anna Reinert, Kaitlin Schreader and Rachel Zimmermann.

Obviously pleased by the strong start, Rumschik said her team can’t let the success go to their heads and allow complacency to creep in.

Making sure that her girls are physically ready for the grind of a long season, Rumschik has increassed the intensity in practice by calling out game situations with players having to respond in kind.

“I like her technique. The way she does drills,” Erika Longwell said.”She pushes us beyond what we’ve ever practiced (like before). And that helps us focus and helps us be in game situations. I think it’s super important for games. We know what’s going to happen and we know we’re going to do and it just becomes second nature.”

Scaffidi looks for Starpoint boys to measure up with effort

As the saying goes, it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the fight in the dog.

The Starpoint boys basketball team may not be the biggest team across the board in ECIC Division II, but coach Ben Scaffidi feels there isn’t a scale that can measure the effort his players give everyday.

“We’ve got four seniors and they’re all excited to be here,” Scaffidi said. “And they’ve all played meaningful minutes. We have a small squad but we have a pretty close-knit group.”

“There’s only nine guys on the roster they’ll be able to play this year with the varsity,” he added.

Scaffidi said that having small numbers means his athletes will have to rely on each other even more and that the close bond they already have should help them improve and gut out tough games.

After serving on the junior varsity coaching staff last year, Scaffidi now takes over as the varsity coach.

Scaffidi, who is also a math teacher at Starpoint High School, feels that the combination of guys getting to know him last year, as well as in class, has helped them develop a bond.

“There’s a couple guys who are up from the JV and I was an assistant of varsity last year and it’s also helpful that I’m a teacher in the high school,” he said. “I think it made for a good transition early in the year, especially getting used to practices and what’s expected of them and what they expect of me.

“It’s good that they already knew a little bit about me, just being in the classroom with me as students that I’ve had or by just talking with me on the bench or in practice.”

Leading the way for the Spartans will be senior co-captains Andrew Rankie, a third year varsity player, and Nick Insalaco, who begins his second year.

“We’re playing together more as a team than we did last year,” Andrew Rankie said.”We seem to be getting better fundamentally than we were last year.”

The rest of the projected starting five will see junior Julian Mott in his third season at point guard, while Joe Nye and Stan Speaker, both in year two of varsity, round out the top five.

Sophomore Ian Emerick, in his second year of varsity, will be Scaffidi’s first player off the bench. Juniors Alex O’Donnell, Sam Terrazzino and Logan Sieferth complete the team.

The Spartans will be without the services sophomore Alex Lubner, who sustained a season-ending broken leg.

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