Boys Varsity Basketball Team Secures an Impressive Tournament Victory



The SHS Boys Varsity Basketball Team opened their season with an impressive tournament win.

Michael Marks and Henry Rifkin

How could the boys’ basketball team bounce back from a disappointing season? The answer: rely on their returning players, with the help of some new players to win games. Although that seems like a simple formula, executing it is a lot harder than it sounds. Luckily for the Raiders, the team had no problem accomplishing their goal during this year’s Maroon and White Kari Pizzitola Holiday Basketball Tournament hosted by Scarsdale High School. In two strong performances, the Raiders beat Hastings 57-54 and Iona Prep B 64-38 to secure the tournament title.

During last year’s condensed season, the Raiders’ Varsity Basketball Team struggled. After their first game against Pelham, one member of last year’s team tested positive for COVID-19. Consequently, the team had to quarantine for a significant period of time, forcing them to play multiple make-up games within a short time period. As a result, their record was an unsettling two wins and six losses by the end of the season, which only motivated the Raiders to rebound and prove everyone wrong in the 2021-22 season. Current four-year head coach Joe Amelio has high expectations for the boys this upcoming season. 

The team is led by captains Hunter Miller ’22, Dylan Manin ’22, and Asher Krohn ’23. The three captains aspire to be great leaders on and off the court. “Being a captain as a junior is a role I take very seriously. I feel that it’s something I shouldn’t be taking for granted. Day in and day out, I try to lead my team the correct way each time I step out on the court,” stated Krohn. Similarly to Krohn, Miller believes his role as a senior captain is crucial to helping the team accomplish their goals this season. “I try to make sure the team has good chemistry. I do this not only by picking my teammates up on the court after they make a bad play but by also having team dinners off the court,” noted Miller. Team chemistry is a focus for the captains because they know that basketball is a team sport and without collaboration, they will not get them very far.

Hastings was Scarsdale’s first challenge of the season. Even though it was a Thursday night, the bleachers were packed with parents, siblings, and high school students supporting the beloved team. “You could really feel the energy in the stands, and it definitely gave us a strong home-court advantage,” said Ryan Nicholl ’23. The Raiders’ starting lineup was comprised of two seniors (Miller and Manin), one junior (Krohn), and two sophomores. One of those sophomores, 6’3” point guard Carlos Rodriguez ’24, ended up serving as a vital asset to the team during their run to secure the tournament title. Burying triples and sinking floaters, the tall point guard made dominating look easy during the first game. The other sophomore AJ Booth ’24 contributed greatly to the win as well. After draining a three-pointer in the first half, Booth scored the majority of Scarsdale’s second-half points, keeping them afloat during Hastings’ attempt at a comeback while Krohn led in scoring with twenty-one points. Miller and Manin were pretty quiet in the points column but made up for their lack of scoring with clutch rebounding and quality defense. Scarsdale ultimately emerged victorious despite an impressive second-half effort from Hastings, beating Hastings 57-54.

After an intense victory to begin the season, the team still had one more game to play to finish the tournament. Two days after their win, the Raiders faced off against the Iona Prep B team in the tournament championship game. The Raiders’ mindset remained excited, determined, and focused going into the game. On a Saturday afternoon, the bleachers were yet again filled with fans. The Raiders played outstanding in the first half, which allowed them to enter the second half with a comfortable lead. Returning from an ankle injury, Jody Alter ’23 entered the game and netted two consecutive three-pointers, which electrified Alter and the crowd. When the fourth quarter began, freshman Jake Sussberg ’25 entered the game. Showing off his repertoire, Sussberg drove to the basket and scored the first points of his high school career. The game ended in a decisive victory for Scarsdale, 64-38, and the Raiders took home the first-place trophy. Rodriguez was crowned the tournament MVP. Krohn and Manin received All-tournament honors, and Miller fittingly received the Miska Alanka award.

If the results from this tournament are a sign of what is to come for the Raiders, there is a lot of room for excitement.

Scarsdale High School students compete in a basketball tournament last weekend, bringing home a win.