Pirates return deep roster


Just prior to Thanksgiving, Mepham boys’ basketball head coach Bob Kaible was still settling into his new gig after nearly a decade coaching the Island Trees girls’ team. While he was still trying to find the right formula for the Pirates, it wasn’t lost on him that he inherited a deep roster of talented athletes. 

Among them, Kaible was well aware of the reputation of senior guard Robert Tansey, and that was immediately confirmed during opening tryouts. Kaible said he was struck by the guard’s court presence both on and off the ball, as well as his shooting range. “He’s going to carry a lot of the scoring for us,” the coach said.

He also lauded the versatility of his other signature players, including sophomore Kieran Kehoe, who he expects to carry much of the workload offensively alongside Tansey. “I can see him being a force for us,” said Kaible. “This year, but more so in the years to come.”

Junior Kevin Perry stands as one the team’s tallest players at 6’5”, and Kaible said he expects him to do much of the rim protection and rebounding. Mitch Savalli, an athletic sophomore, also projects to pad the stat sheet and has stood out to Kaible as a hustler and natural leader.

With a relatively young squad, Kaible expressed excitement over the return of senior Timmy Burns, who has missed time with an ACL tear. “Kids look up to him,” he said. “He’s a gritty guy who knows what he is doing on the court.”

Kaible said he wants his team’s M.O. to be its defensive intensity and rebounding. “We want to play extremely hard,” he said “Push the ball in transition a lot. Wear on some teams that may not have the depth we have. I’m really enthusiastic about the type of kids we have.”