With only one returning starter from a Covid-shortened five-game season, what South Side lacks in experience it hopes to make up for in size, quickness and depth.
“Our coaching staff took the approach that we’re starting brand new,” head coach Jerry D’Angelo said. “We had maybe 50 percent of our normal offseason and we’re trying to bring the guys up to speed as quickly as we can. I definitely like what I’ve seen so far.”
The Cyclones, who played in the Nassau Class A title game in 2019-2020, are comprised of four seniors, six juniors and three 6-foot-5-plus sophomores. D’Angelo expects Hewlett and Manhasset to be the stiffest competition among conference foes and said his team will need to “play hard and fast all the time.”
Senior guard Chris Goldstein started all five games last season and will work at the point as well off-the-ball. “He’s very quick and athletic, and a good shooter,” said D’Angelo, who mentioned junior James Bivona as another option at the point.
Senior Pat Erickson is a hard-working forward who averaged more than 15 minutes per game. “He’s extremely aggressive and also a leader,” D’Angelo said. “He’ll crash the boards.”
Junior Robert Pericolosi is a 6-3 guard who brings defensive grit and the ability to score in the half-court as well as in transition. Senior Luke Schwartzberg is a long-distance shooter and junior Jamie Murphy can make things happen in the open floor and also has long range. Junior Josh Garelle adds depth to the backcourt.
Opponents will be hard-pressed to match South Side’s size in the paint. Sophomore Ryan Kennedy is 6-5 and can shoot, handle and rebound. Classmates Matt Arnott (6-6) and Patrick Mullen (6-5) will also contribute. All three are first-year varsity players.
“We have a lot of work to do and experience to gain,” D’Angelo said. “We want to be the best version of ourselves in February.”