Ramapo: Basketball wrap-up, senior tribute
The Ramapo Gryphons finished off their 2011-12 basketball season with a 63-54 loss against North Rockland. Despite many productive runs that put the Gryphons within striking distance, their ongoing foul trouble, left the team unable to truly recover from a 10-0 run by North Rockland to open the game.
While most of the season proved to be both thrilling and extremely competitive, the end was disappointing and rarely displayed the same amount of promise.
Ramapo, whose program is not normally recognized for it’s stellar athletic play, finished the regular season with a record of 11-7, a record good enough for 10th in the class AA playoff standings. Coming into the season, a feeling of optimism was felt by players and coaches alike. With returning players David Haye, Aqeel Dallas, and Kevin Taylor as the foundation of a good team, they had the experience to make things happen. Fresh blood also contributed, when talented freshmen joined the roster and were able to supply the team with some interior presence.
This Ramapo squad was considered to be one of it’s better teams to come along in recent years, one with the ability to compete with any team in the county. Despite a poor season last year, several key senior players did end up displaying some flashes of brilliance. Guard David Haye had a spectacular regulation season and was later given both praise and an all-conference honor for his play. Aqeel Dallas was also honored for his marvelous play as was selected for all-league honors. This season’s seniors were among the best in recent memory with several players looking to continue their games at the collegiate level. Dallas, Haye and Kevin Taylor are all hoping to represent Ramapo as they move on to college ball.
The continued development of the program will extend to next year with several players proving that it is certain that regardless of the loss of key players, the team will be able to rebound and prove to be just as competitive. Junior guards Kyle Miceus and Robert Vaughn displayed enough potential to replace long time staples of the team, Haye and Dallas. The team will also be also monitoring the development of forwards Tommy Salu and Joshua Williams as they will be called upon next year to contribute too. A varsity player since his sophomore year, Michael Malone will be one of the “battle tested” players who can be relied upon. While players Mezu and Jordan Duncan will likely be given larger roles and hopefully fill out to become valuable components toward the team’s success.
The playoff game was the final game for this year’s seniors, players that have been together and played for a long time. Aqeel Dallas’ leadership and playmaking abilities will be missed by coaches and fans alike. Superstar David Haye had a spectacular high-school career with the Gryphons highlighted by his athleticism and classic jump-shot that proved to be a deadly attack for all opponents. Kevin Taylor proven to be a capable scorer as did Henoch Bellanton, a worthy complementary piece to a deep back court. Defensive players, Wesley Borno, Dirk Glen, Kervins Ferdilus all added to the success and will also be sorely missed.
Despite losing half of the seniors for next season, the returning seven players with a dose of new of new players from the JV level will have to carry on and hopefully build upon the brand of winning basketball that was shown this past season by the Gryphons. Next season begins a new era for Ramapo basketball.