Last season: 1-4
Coach: Jim Pastier
KEY PLAYERS: J.J. Collins, 6-2, G, Fr.; Jake Mangio, 5-8, G, Fr.; Jaden McFarlane, 6-5, C, Sr.; Dylan Mingo, 6-1, G, 8th; Ryan Woodland, 6-5, F, Sr.
ABOUT THE DALERS: Pastier thinks the team’s promising young players are its strength, but that youth could also be a weakness. So he’s hoping the upperclassmen can take some of the pressure off. The coach said Mangio (Class of 2025) and Mingo (Class of 2026) are both ranked among the top 10 in their classes for Long Island.
FREEPORT RED DEVILS
Last season: 1-4
Coach: Larry Steimer
KEY PLAYERS: Donald Darby, 6-1, F, Jr.; Elijah Darby, 6-6, C, So.; Jashaun Jones, 6-0, G, Fr.; Marcus Rhymes, 5-9, G, Jr.; Jaden Thrat, 5-10, G, Jr.
ABOUT THE RED DEVILS: Freeport doesn’t have a single player back with varsity experience. So Steimer wants his young guys to bring energy to the court, and then the team can try to build off that. The coach is counting on his talented young center, Elijah Darby, to make an impact.
Last season: 2-6
Coach: Jared Weir
KEY PLAYERS: Jaeden Davis-Samuel, 6-3, C, Sr.; Zi’yair Jones, 6-2, G, So.; Taj McLeod, 6-2, F, Jr.; Shemar Pink, 6-3, F, Jr.; Jakkai Stith, 6-3, G, Jr.
ABOUT THE TIGERS: Weir feels he has an up-and-coming team that worked hard this past summer, and he’s aiming to challenge for a playoff spot. The Tigers want to play uptempo offensively, and they have enough size to try to rule the paint. Weir thinks Stith is the key element and one of the top players in the conference. Stith, who lends size and strength to the backcourt, averaged team-leading figures of 19 points and six rebounds last season, along with five assists and two steals. Davis-Samuel averaged 10 points and five rebounds.
Last season: 3-3
Coach: Chris Cafiero
KEY PLAYERS: Andrew Cacciatore, 5-9, G, Sr.; Ryan Fountain, 5-10, G, Jr.; Ryan Heidrich, 6-4, F, Sr.; Brian Kopp, 5-9, G, So.; Alec Solik, 6-2, F, Sr.
ABOUT MASSAPEQUA: Cafiero is hoping for daily improvement and a shot at making the playoffs. Cacciatore was an all-conference point guard last season after averaging 12 points and seven assists. Heidrich, who won a Long Island Class I football championship last month as a quarterback, is a power forward who’s expected to grab a lot of rebounds after averaging 11 along with eight points as a junior.
Last season: 4-3
Coach: Ed Risener
KEY PLAYERS: Matt Amitrano, 6-0, G, Jr.; Liam Hannon, 6-3, F, Sr.; Logan Lyson 6-3, F, Jr.; Dillon Mullin, 6-4, F, Sr.; Jacob Raphan, 5-11, G, Jr.
ABOUT THE SAILORS: Oceanside started three sophomores (Amitrano, Lyson and Raphan) last season and won four of five conference games. It has 10 returning players overall, and Lyson should be a focal point in the paint at both ends in his third varsity season after averaging a double-double with 12.5 points and 10 rebounds. Raphan averaged four assists and four rebounds from the backcourt and has improved as a shooter, while Amitrano has a good three-point touch and can defend multiple positions, as can Hannon.
PORT WASHINGTON VIKINGS
Last season: 0-2
Coach: Sean Dooley
KEY PLAYERS: Trevor Amalfitano, 6-0, G, So.; Alex Argyros, 5-10, G, Sr.; Max Garmisa, 5-10, G, Sr.; Christian Kitsantas, 6-0, F, Sr.; Ben Krefetz, 6-0, F, Sr..
ABOUT THE VIKINGS: Port Washington, which has moved up from AA-II, definitely has a shot at being in the playoffs, according to Dooley. There is outside shooting ability, a willingness to share the ball and good depth. Kitsantas is the Vikings’ best returning player, and Dooley feels Amalfitano has the potential to be their top scorer as a sophomore.
Last season: 5-0
Coach: Greg Cardona
KEY PLAYERS: Noah Abraham, 6-2, F/C, Sr.; Marco Bamonte, 6-7, C, Sr.; Jason Lebson, 6-1, F, Sr.; Matt Lindenman, 5-10, G, Sr.; Andrew Zhou, 6-0, G/F, Sr.
ABOUT SYOSSET: The team won all five of its games by double-digits earlier this year in the season abbreviated because of COVID-19 and returns three starters and 11 players overall. Besides having depth, Cardona has the ability to play small or big. He has two of the better players in the conference as scoring threats in Lindenman (averaged 11 points, five assists, three steals last season), the fourth-year varsity point guard, and Zhou (eight points), the team’s top shooter. Bamonte (seven points, nine rebounds) and Abraham are expected to help greatly on the boards.
Last season: 6-1
Coach: Tom Diana
KEY PLAYERS: Judah Bontemps, 5-4, G, 8th; Joel Charles, 6-6, C, Jr.; Chani Duncan, 6-2, F, So.; Orlando Morris, 5-6, G, 8th; Tyler Randolph, 6-1, G/F, Sr.
ABOUT THE KNIGHTS: Diana, who’s beginning his 27th season, said that this is probably the youngest team he has ever had. There are three sophomores and two eighth-grader players in the mix, so this group is a work in progress. Randolph is a shooting guard/small forward who averaged eight points as the top reserve last season. Diana thinks he’s a very good all-around player and predicts he will make all-county and then compete collegiately in the Division II or III ranks.