Boys Basketball


Roosevelt Ettienne, Reporter


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Head Coach Ronald Yellen is building himself another playoff team. He has built a playoff team before, but last season, the Cougars missed the playoffs for the first time since 2007. After seven years of coaching the Junior Varsity Basketball, in 2012, he got his chance to put his coaching to the test. So far, he looks to have a better team this year. Yellen knows how to coach, how to win, and most importantly, he knows how to play with the team he has. It seems like he always has the right game plan to give his team a better chance off winning. All that he needs is to have all 15 players on the same page as him.

Last year was a disappointing season for Cougar fans. Things did start off smoothly. Yellen put together another quality roster, but he expected more than a 4-10 season. Senior leader Speedy Alzindani had a great season averaging 20 point per game. Seniors Elias Abawi and Aly Ahmed , who was deadly from the three point line, also had good seasons. Unfortunately, it wasn’t good enough for the tough division the Cougars play in. With those guys gone, Coach Yellen is looking to rebuild his team and make another run to the playoffs. While this year’s team has many good players, Coach Yellen is looking for his seniors- Emmanuel Matos, Dondre Blake, Roosevelt Ettienne, and Wayne Best to put all the weight on their shoulders. The way these guys practice, it seems as if they are up for the challenge- especially senior captain Emmanuel Matos, who led the team in points per game during this pre-season.

The Cougars ended the preseason with a record of 2-3.  The Cougars played well, but they suffered some tuff loses against New Drop, by 1 and to Van Arsdale, by 15. Turnovers really killed the Cougars, however, they have worked on the problem and decreased the number of turnovers each game.  Although this is not how any team wants to end the pre-season, the pieces are there. Perhaps the players don’t fit with each other as of yet.  They dropped their league opener against Midwood on December, 5th.

Coach Yellen enters and leaves every game with the same motto, “JUST PLAY.” This shows you that no matter what the situation is, the Cougars will never give up. Assuming playing time and rotations can be squared away, a trip to the playoffs is a realistic goal for this team.  Time will tell….