For the first time in 21 months, the New Paltz Men’s Basketball Team took to the court to begin their new season. On Nov. 9 they played the Army’s Black Knights at West Point. In February 2020, our Hawks played their last basketball game to date unti this week. The Hawks returned with a vengeance.
Tuesday’s game was a learning experience and a time for the team to come together. Four of the five men on the starting line-up were underclassmen, with one third-year. This is a team with new talent fresh on the court for collegiate games.
The guards on the starting line-up were second-years RJ Meyers-Turner and Sean St. Lucia and first-year Solomon Neuhaus. The starting forwards were third-year Isaiah Bien-Aise and second-year Tyreik Fraizer. The Army proved a strong opponent, but the boys pushed hard.
Frazier was able to score early in the first half, getting a layup off a pass from St. Lucia and then a dunk from a pick and roll by St. Lucia. The two worked together yet again, and Frazier got a layup off another pass from St. Lucia.
Despite this break in the Black Knights’ defense, the Army was still leading the game. Neuhuas broke the Army’s streak by hitting a 3-pointer from a cross court pass from Frazier. This brought the score to 35-15, Army’s favor, but showed the Hawks were still fighting hard. Myers-Turner was also able to score five points towards the end of the half, with a great 3-pointer and another shot.
The first half ended 44-24, with the Hawks behind. St. Lucia started the second half with putting the Hawks on the board by getting a right-handed floater. Myers-Turner had a spotlight moment later when he scored off a lay-in and then a foul, bringing the Hawks up to 33 points.
Third-year guard/forward Brandon Scott came in during the second half as well and scored heavily. He pulled off an impressive up-and-under shot and then sank his free throw due to a foul. Second-year forward Lucas Seyoum was put in during this half as well, and scored three points off his basket from the top of the key.
The last part of the second half was a time for younger players to get some time on the court. A line-up of entirely first-years hit the court. Guards Alex Krupinski, Matt McCabe and Isaiah Folk, as well as forwards Mitchell Cumming and Luca Sanna finished the game. First-years forward/guard Dakota Smith and guard Phil la Rosa also played in the second half.
Krupinski finished with two points off a layup, Smith bagged two points, and la Rosa hit a 3-pointer from the right corner, as well.
The score came out intense, at 83-52, Army’s favor. Despite the loss, the Hawks played a great game. Lots of players hit the court and showed their skills and the team was able to come back after over a year long hiatus. The regular season starts this Wednesday, Nov. 17, right here at home at the Hawk Center against Farmingdale State. Come out and support our boys as they continue to improve and play hard this season.