New era at Pleasantville opens with win
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ELMSFORD, N.Y. – Heading into Pleasantville’s season opener against Alexander Hamilton on Monday, the Panthers had a new look, a new coach, and a new set of expectations for their upcoming season.
So far, so good.
Pleasantville used a huge first-quarter run to defeat Hamilton, 66-51, in both teams’ opening game. The Panthers started in a full-court press that led to a 13-0 lead and a 17-2 advantage midway through the first quarter. Junior Nick Greto had 12 points and nine rebounds to pace the Panthers, and senior Glen Robinson had 12 points.
“We wanted to get to them early,” Greto said. “Push the ball down the floor and get to them early. We wanted to make them turn the ball over a lot and force them to make mistakes. That’s our game.”
Jack Eisenberg and Danny Schulman each added nine points in a well-balanced effort for the Panthers. Pleasantville used a solid rotation of nine players throughout the game.
“We have a lot of depth, it’s great,” Eisenberg said. “If you get tired you know that there is someone who can step in and give you a break and we don’t have to worry about there being a drop-off.”
Hamilton eventually settled in and pulled it back to a single-digit lead in the second. But playing from behind was too much for the Raiders. Hamilton senior Errol Forde did his best to keep it close, notching 13 points in the first half. He finished with 17 points and four steals
“They jumped on us with that big run and it was hard to fight back,” said Hamilton coach Keith Wright. “Any time you give up more than 10 points in one of these high school quarters you’re not giving yourself the best chance to win.”
Pleasantville used another big run (14-4) to end the third and start the fourth quarter to all but end the game.
This was the first game for the Panthers under new coach Chris Welsh. Welsh was an assistant under his brother, Mike Welsh, at Blind Brook High School and has big plans for his team this season.
“We have high expectations,” Welsh said. “Every game we hope to come out and compete, above all. We want to make sectionals and compete in the league and I think we absolutely can. We have players that can score and we have depth; we’re not afraid to play 10 guys. We’re focused and determined to improve and restore the tradition that is Pleasantville basketball.”
Robinson agreed with his coach’s expectations for this season.
“We’re going to make a statement and show that we can challenge anybody,” Robinson said. “We have a new coach, a new system; we’re ready.”