GREAT NECK NORTH BLAZERS
Last season: 2-6
Coach: Kevin Graham
KEY PLAYERS: Brad Benilevi, 5-10, G, Sr.; Noah Berkowitz, 6-0, G, Sr.; Luke Cronin, 6-6, C, Jr.; Tristin Harrison, 6-2, F, Sr.; Jared Ohebshalom, 6-1, G, Sr.
ABOUT THE BLAZERS: Great Neck North has reasons for optimism starting with Cronin, who averaged five points, 11 rebounds and two blocks as a sophomore, then played high-level AAU competition with the New York Rens this past summer. Cronin is being recruited by Miami, Northwestern, Manhattan and Tulane. Graham has four athletic seniors to start alongside him — Berkowitz, who can hit the three; Benilevi, who provides perimeter defense; and Ohebshalom and Harrison, who bring points and defense on the wing and are also good in transition.
GREAT NECK SOUTH REBELS
Last season: 2-6
Coach: Stephen Liebertz
KEY PLAYERS: Nick Cibelli, 5-9; G, Sr.; Joe Fernandes, 6-1, G, Sr.; John Roggendorf, 6-3, F, Fr.; Jesse Roggendorf, 5-7, G, Fr.; Justin Semmel, 5-9, G, Sr.; Jesse Tricario, 6-3, C, So.; Trevor Yee, 5-10, F, Sr.
ABOUT THE REBELS: After not coaching last winter, Liebertz has returned for his 39th year and is hopeful of making a run at a playoff berth. Fernandes, who averaged 10 points last season, is the lone returning starter. The Rebels have eight seniors, but may end up depending on three younger players, the Roggendorf twins and Tricario, to develop. John Roggendorf is starting as a freshman and the other two are the top reserves.
Last season: 2-6
Coach: Wally Bachman
KEY PLAYERS: Luke Citron, 5-8, G, Sr.; Ronen Ellis, 6-3, F, Sr.; Ryan Kim, 6-0, G, Sr.; Isaac Varghese, 6-0, G, Jr.; Nicholas Wang, 5-8, G, Sr.
ABOUT THE JAYHAWKS: Jericho has moved up from A-II. Bachman says to watch out for Varghese, that he’s one of the better juniors around and should become an all-county player this season. The coach also sees Kim, who’s a captain, becoming an all-county player after averaging eight points in the pandemic-shortened season earlier this year. Bachman says he has no doubt that the Jayhawks will be a playoff contender.
LONG BEACH MARINES
Last season: 0-6
Coach: Scott Martin
KEY PLAYERS: Blake Bernstein 5-11, G, So.; Jeff Conway, 5-11, F, Jr.; Mike Main, 5-10, G, So.; Nathaniel Mesa, 5-9, G, Sr.; Bret Michaels, 6-3, G/F, Sr.
ABOUT THE MARINES: Long Beach was undefeated in conference play in 2019-20, then was impacted greatly by COVID-19 issues last season. Martin has a good backcourt, and he’s aiming for his uptempo team to contend for the conference title and earn a high seed in the playoffs. Michaels, a Division II college prospect, sat out last season, but he has returned bigger and stronger, and has the ability to handle the ball, drive and shoot. Main, who averaged six points and four assists as a freshman starter at the point, also came back bigger and stronger and played like a veteran in the preseason.
Last season: 4-4
Coach: Brian Maini
KEY PLAYERS: Sonny D’Errico, 5-9, F, Jr.; Chris Gryl, 5-7, G, Sr.; John Rebaudo, 6-3, F, Sr.; Matt Sarni, 5-11, G, Sr.; Phil Trafficanda, 5-9, F, Sr.; TJ Trapani, 6-3, F, Sr.
ABOUT THE GENERALS: Maini wants MacArthur to be the hardest-working team on the court, and he feels A-I is wide open and that the Generals can vie for a playoff spot. Even though he has no returning starters, Maini sees a team that plays well together and has good leadership, especially with Sarni and Trafficanda in the mix after not playing as juniors. Sarni, who’s back from an injury, Rebaudo, a varsity reserve last season, and D’Errico, who’s up from the JV, will be counted on for scoring.
Last season: 6-2
Coach: Bob Kaible
KEY PLAYERS: Timmy Burns, 6-0, G, Sr.; Kieran Kehoe, 6-5, F, So.; Mitch Savalli, 6-1, G, So.; Kevin Perry, 6-6, F/C, Jr.; Robert Tansey, 6-2, G, Sr.
ABOUT THE PIRATES: Kaible, in his first season as coach, plans on playing an uptempo style. He has good size and is hoping this can be a solid defensive team. Tansey, a combo guard who’s being recruited by multiple Division III schools in the Northeast, has a quick first step and is expected to provide a lot of offense from different levels. Kehoe can score from inside and out and brings length on defense.
NEW HYDE PARK GLADIATORS
Last season: 2-6
Coach: Ben Krauz
KEY PLAYERS: Sireen Brown, 6-3, F, Sr.; Amal Kayani, 6-6, F, Sr.; Isaiah Lariosa, 6-2, G/F, Sr.; Francesco Mangione, 5-11, G, Fr.; Arsh Singh, 6-3, G/F, Sr.
ABOUT THE GLADIATORS: Krauz has stepped in to coach because Patrick Eustache is on leave right now due to a family matter. New Hyde Park graduated its top two scorers, but has a solid group of seniors back. Several players were on the football team, which went to the Nassau II quarterfinals. Krauz says the goal is to also make the playoffs besides have a winning season. Lariosa is a returning starter who will be relied upon as the offensive focal point.