Knights Start Season With A Bang

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Knights Start Season With A Bang

Shane Palma, Editor in Chief

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Michael Incantalupo, Matthew Jounakos, Brian Fox, and Frankie Phelan. When these four seniors graduated last year from Floral Park Memorial, they left quite a basketball legacy. After dominating the CYO circuit from 5th to 8th grade, playing for Our Lady of Victory, this core advanced to the Nassau County Class A championship game before falling to Garden City in a heartbreaking double overtime classic.

So as the 2018-2019 season begins, the Knights have to find out who will step up and lead the team.

On Dec. 3, in a home game against another perennial playoff team, Roslyn, Floral Park came out slow, somewhat discombobulated, and most noticeably, nervous. But who could blame them? Maintaining the high expectations from the last few years is not an easy task. Numerous turnovers led to too many easy baskets for the Bulldogs. Roslyn raced out to a 44-35 lead at the half. But that deficit didn’t last for long.

The one returning starter from last year, senior Jayson Delgado, put on an absolute show in the third quarter, scoring 19 of the team’s 27 points. The incredible performance capped a 27-6 quarter for the Knights who went on to defeat Roslyn 78-65. It was clear that Delgado is ready to take on the role of leading scorer this year. He learned, developed and grew into a much improved player over the summer. He is an offensive facilitator and creator. Finishing with a game-high (and career high) 30 points sent quite a message to the rest of Nassau County. But we might not be talking about Delgado without the inspirational play off the bench from junior Thomas Freely. He saved possessions with some key steals and clutch offensive rebounds, giving the Knights the spark they desperately needed. Michael Matich and Matthew O’Donnell both had exceptional games as well, each grabbing close to double digit rebounds.

The competition in Conference A-IV is possibly the most difficult in all of Nassau County this year. Playing against Lynbrook, Valley Stream North, Lawrence, and Valley Stream South will be quite a test. But in the early season, this group seems ready for the challenge.