20-in-'12: Tuckahoe boys basketball
Coach: Al Visconti (7th Season)
Last year’s record: 19-4 (won Section 1 Class C Championship)
Sky Williams: At 6-1, senior guard Williams is Tuckahoe’s most dynamic scorer. He averaged 21.0 points per game last year and won the Section 1, Class C tournament MVP in his junior season.
Justin Nolan: Nolan, a 6-3 senior swingman, is looking to rebound from an injury-marred junior campaign and become the force down low that the Tigers need.
Names to learn
Tyler Friere: A 5-11 senior guard who has been in the program for four years, Friere will take on a starting role and be relied upon to execute the Tiger offensive scheme.
Kayvon Reid: Reid will start the season coming off the bench but the 6-5 junior forward will certainly be expected to take on a prominent role as the season progresses.
Jan. 20 at Eastchester: Neighborhood bragging rights are on the line as Tuckahoe travels just a mile or two up the road to face dynamic scorer Dave Solano and the Class A Eastchester Eagles.
Sky Williams – 6-1, G, senior
Justin Nolan – 6-3, SG, senior
Mark Raymond – 6-5, F, senior
Shyheim Nixon – 5-10, G, junior
Tyler Friere – 5-11, G, senior
Kayvon Reid – 6-5, F, junior
Nick Reisman – 6-1, F, junior
Brian O’Toole – 6-0, G, junior
Mike Walker – 5-10, G, senior
Joey Liebowitz – 5-10, G, sophomore
Story of the season
Thanks to player overlap with the powerhouse Tuckahoe football team, this is the first time in head coach Al Visconti's seven years that he has started preseason with a full lineup.
Last year, he was missing seven players for three weeks as the football team rolled to a Class C state championship.
Before you begin to feel too bad for Visconti, the Tigers still exploded for a 19-4 record and the Section 1 Class C title before losing to eventual state champion Friends Academy in the regionals. They did all this despite only winning three games in the previous year. Imagining what Tuckahoe will do this year with those extra three weeks will keep other Class C coaches up at night.
Tuckahoe returns an athletic, experienced group that is certainly poised to make another run at states.
“I tell the guys all the time that we like to play fast so we’re going to play as many people as perform well” Visconti said. “I like to have the headache of looking around and seeing good players and wondering who I’m going to play. It’s a nice problem for a coach to have.”
The starting lineup is stacked with proven talent. Senior guard and last year’s section tournament MVP Sky Williams will pace the offense. Swingman Justin Nolan missed a large portion of last season with a broken elbow but is ready to become a force in his senior year.
The Tigers are strong on defense with a true lockdown defender in junior guard Shyheim Nixon. Senior Mark Raymond will look to take advantage of his 6-5 frame to man the paint and clean up on the boards.
Juniors Kayvon Reid and Nick Reisman provide depth off of the bench and afford Tuckahoe fluidity in substitutions that many teams would be envious of.
The Tigers will look to couple solid basketball fundamentals with the natural creativity and athleticism that each player can bring to the floor.
In the small world of Section 1 Class C basketball, many teams will take advantage of the comfort of the known opponent. Tuckahoe has gone the opposite direction and scheduled games against Class AA teams in North Rockland and Greeley and opens its season against Class B’s Walter Panas.
Additionally, the Tigers have voiced a local challenge and will take on neighbors in Bronxville and Eastchester. This is clearly a team looking to prove itself against the very best competition.
“Our schedule is very ambitious, as they gave us only eight games," Visconti said. “So I went out and got the best teams available so we’re going to be tested.”
The varied competition levels can only aid Tuckahoe as they prepare for the rigors of postseason play. Look for this seasoned team to quickly make its presence felt not just in Class C, but throughout Section 1.