DIX HILLS, New York, Jan. 1
BY: Andrew Wroblewski
Head coach of the Half Hollow Hills High School West boys basketball team, Bill Mitaritonna has already said that he’s planning for the Colts to be playing well into March of the New Year, perhaps for a state championship. However, before that, the boys had to get through December – and they did it with near perfection.
“All of the things we had hoped would work out right are going right… especially chemistry,” Mitaritonna, who helped the Colts to a 4-0 record in December as of press time Friday, said. “The kids have great chemistry on offense and defense; they’re really unselfish players. We haven’t shot well at times but our defense has been great and that’s what’s gotten us off to a 4-0 start.”
To start the year, the Colts faced three of last year’s top four seeds in the Suffolk County Class AA playoff bracket: No. 2 Deer Park (2-1), No. 3 Half Hollow Hills East (2-3) and No. 4 North Babylon (1-3). A test for the 2015 playoffs, Mitaritonna said, the Colts passed with flying colors as they won each of the three contests by 6 or more points.
“I’m glad we’re playing such good teams… We’re trying to play the best teams possible,” the 15-year head coach said.
Mitaritonna contributed the successful start to the 2014-2015 season to Colts like Richard Altenord, who is averaging 11.5 points per game and is “one of our most consistent scorers,” the coach said. Along with Altenord, guards Devin Williams, Josh Koval and Curtis Weingard have handled distribution as they’re managing their assist-to-turnover rations masterfully to allow their teammates opportunities to succeed.
“As far as being successful in the playoffs, it’s all about getting a high seed, and you do that by winning the league. You win the league by getting through teams like North Babylon and Copiague [3-0],” Mitaritonna said.
The Colts have already proven they can beat the Bulldogs of North Babylon, a fellow competitor in League III, and look toward Tuesday when they’ll get their first crack at Copiague when they make the trip for a 4 p.m. tip off.
In the meantime, the Colts were enjoying their break from league play on Friday by working on some fundamentals before a tournament on Saturday that took them to Baldwin Senior High School where they faced Holy Trinity High School – one of last season’s Catholic High School Athletic Association finalists.
“We’re trying to get our game to a higher level,” Mitaritonna said.
Originally published: Long Islander News: Half Hollow Hills
(Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015; A27)