It's a new league and a new outlook for the girls basketball team.
New in terms of conference affiliation (A-I, now based on enrollment) and, they hope, new in terms of getting a few more wins. New Hyde Park hopes to contend with a star in the middle and speed all around her.
Last Season: 2-14 overall, 0-12 Conference ABC.
Coach: Hugh Flaherty (fourth year).
- Ciara McCullagh, center
- Gabriella Tomasini, guard
- Victoria Lofaro, guard
- Maria Katsoulis, forward
- Alexis Peveraro, forward
Position Breakdown: It all starts in the middle for New Hyde Park with star center Ciara McCullagh. This senior is being heavily recruited and Flaherty considers her to be one of the best players in the county. Flaherty expects a double-double from her every night.
McCullagh will receive help on the boards from forward Maria Katsoulis, considered to be the heart and soul of the team. Alexis Peveraro is slated to start at forward and will be joined on the wing by Victoria Lofaro, especially effective against a zone. When the offense isn't being run through McCullagh, the team is confident point guard Gabby Tomasini can run things. Caroline Rodgers provides shooting off the bench.
The key words for the team this year are "soccer" on offense and "chaos" on defense. The team has several soccer players and Flaherty wants his team to utilize those skills on the hardwood: being aggressive and playing an up-tempo style. Chaos in this case means press and the Gladiators will look to trap and force their opponents' hands on defense, which Flaherty hopes leads to points in transition and a steep climb in the standings -- the only way to go.
Expectations: "I think we'll do very well in our conference," Flaherty said, adding his squad needs to drastically cut down on turnovers (27 per game last year). "We're a lot quicker, a little bit smarter...I think we're going to surprise some people."
- Dec. 21: Garden City @ New Hyde Park, 4:30 p.m.
- Jan. 11: Wantagh @ New Hyde Park, 4:30 p.m.
- Jan. 21: Division @ New Hyde Park, 4:45 p.m.
- Feb. 1: Westbury @ New Hyde Park, 4:30 p.m.
- Feb. 11: Jericho @ New Hyde Park, 4:30 p.m.