Opponents may not perceive Justin Scotto as the most imposing figure on the basketball court, but for the West Babylon junior guard, that notion helps turn him into the dynamic force that he is.
“When someone tells me I can’t do something, I try to go out there and prove them wrong every time,” said Scotto, who stands about 5-8 and scored a team-high 16 points in Tuesday night’s 78-60 loss to Half Hollow Hills West. Scotto is averaging 21.3 points per game this season.
After posting 14 points per game as a sophomore, Scotto’s made a significant scoring leap for the Eagles (8-7, 6-6) this season. He said his biggest strides, enabling him to become one of the premier scoring threats in Suffolk County, have come in his mid-range and three-point shooting capabilities.
“We wouldn’t be anywhere without him,” West Babylon coach Tim Lynch said. “He’s really come into his own this year. Every team has tried to stop him and they really haven’t been able to. He’s matured as a player and he can shoot and drive, and really do everything for us.”
Though a number of opponents might initially overlook Scotto, they’ve come to realize that containing him requires great effort.
“As of right now, a lot of teams have been guarding me full court and using box-and-one,” Scotto said. “But I think with the first impression, coaches and players overlook me because of my height,” Scotto said.
“He’s a super tough kid,” Lynch said. “He fights on the court for everything. He’s also one of our best defenders. He’s quick and overcomes his lack of size with toughness.”
Lynch also said that same toughness Scotto exudes spreads throughout the floor for West Babylon.
“He’s taken on a leadership role and that toughness he plays with translates to the rest of the team,” Lynch said.