After dropping its first three games of the season, the Huntington High School junior varsity boys’ basketball team went on a tear, winning 10 of its final 12 contests and showcasing some awfully good players.
First year head coach and Blue Devil basketball alum Patrick Reilly was magnificent in his rookie season, leading the 16 player squad to victory after victory, sometimes in dramatic fashion. Huntington finished at 10-4 in Suffolk League III play; 10-5 overall.
The roster included eighth graders Dylan Coleman, Max Rentsch and Clayton Ward; ninth graders Adrian Brooks, Darrius Harris, Charles Kiviat and Christopher Segreti and tenth graders Mason Brewster, Traven Bryant, Lex Colato, Daniel Danziger, Renato Erek, Ethan Mulroy, Nathan Soric, Omari Stephen and Michael Wright.
Captained by Colato and Mulroy, it took the Blue Devils some time to gel. Huntington fell to Northport (52-37), Smithtown West (51-38) and Half Hollow Hills East (50-43) to open the season. Then the wins started to come.
The Blue Devils toppled Newfield (57-26), Smithtown East (52-38), North Babylon (47-46), Centereach (71-54) and Copiague (51-41) over a two week period before falling a second time to Smithtown West (50-42). Huntington then won another five straight games, overcoming Newfield (51-46), Half Hollow Hills East (66-51), Smithtown East (57-45), North Babylon (51-45) and Centereach (51-36)
The final game of the year was played before what might have been the largest crowd of the season. Huntington and Copiague battled it out until the final buzzer with the Eagles edging the Blue Devils, 52-49.
Reilly was pleased with how his team developed, calling the squad a “very cohesive group” and “very talented.” With seven seniors set to graduate off the varsity team, there will be several openings for JV players to be promoted.
With the likelihood of a good number of JV players returning next winter, Reilly sees another strong team ahead.
“We have the potential for major growth in the high school boys’ basketball program,” Reilly said.