Lead Stories, Sports

Tigers eye next step

After enjoying a historic season last winter, the Mamaroneck Tigers are coming into the upcoming campaign hoping to take the basketball program to a whole new level. And with a number of returning players from last season’s squad, the Tigers are poised to once again make waves in the Class AA landscape.

Last year, the Tigers finished with an 18-5 record and reached the semifinal round of the sectional tournament, both high-water marks for the program since the early 1970s. With seven players returning, head coach Ty Carver hopes that last year’s success will carry over.

Will Sarkozi goes up for a layup last season. The senior center will be an offensive catalyst for the Tigers this year.

“I definitely feel like our returning guys are focused and understand what they need to do,” Carver told the Review. “They feel like they have some unfinished business coming into the season, and we not only want to get back to where we were, we want to go one step further.”

Chief among Carver’s returning players is center Will Sarkozi, who enjoyed a breakout season last year. The senior, long a defensive stalwart, emerged as a true scoring threat, and Carver feels like his presence down low should help to open up chances for the team’s athletic perimeter players such as Ethan Renner, Shane Smith and Tommy Martin.

“We want to attack from inside-out,” Carver said. “We’re going to have some younger guys step up, we want to take care of the ball and play unselfish basketball.”

Mamaroneck’s commitment to unselfish play doesn’t stop on the offensive end, however, as Carver’s teams have long been known for their stifling team defense, something that the head coach hopes will continue this year.

“I think these guys understand that everything starts and ends defensively,” he said. “Our goal is to limit opponents to one shot, excel in the open court, and at the end of the day do those things that we preach.”

Mamaroneck will officially kick off the season on Nov. 30, when they match up with Hendrick Hudson in the first round of the Sleepy Hollow basketball tournament. Although the Tigers won’t play their first league game until Dec. 9 at White Plains, Carver hopes to see encouraging signs as his team begins its run toward another postseason appearance.

“We just want to continue to work on our game; we’ve had some good scrimmages and we want to continue to improve,” Carver said. “This is a good group of guys, and if they work hard every day, they’re going to see the fruits of that hard work.”

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