Kingston High looks to build on suc­cess

Tigers re­turn many play­ers from squad that reached sec­tional semi­fi­nals in 2015-16

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Mike Stribl mstribl@free­manon­ @MStribl on Twit­ter

Kingston High’s boys bas­ket­ball team re­grouped and took a gi­ant step last sea­son, go­ing from two wins in 2014-15 to 17 vic­to­ries and a spot in the sec­tional semi­fi­nals.

The Tigers — still young, fast and ath­letic — are aim­ing to con­tinue step­ping in that right di­rec­tion this year.

Kingston starts its 20th sea­son un­der head coach Ron Kelder at 6 p.m. Satur­day, play­ing Spack­enkill in Pough­keep­sie’s Hall of Fame Tour­na­ment. The Tigers open at home next Thurs­day with a 7 p.m. con­test against John S. Burke Catholic.

The Tigers, 17-5 last sea­son, lost three key pieces from that team as grad­u­a­tion claimed Andrai Bai­ley and Al­lS­tar sixth man Alex Kara­manos. Guard Dante Nardi left to do his se­nior year at a prep school.

“We lost three-fifths of the team, but we have a lot of guys back,” said Kelder, who has a good nu­cleus back in ju­nior guards Chris Wright and Da­mani Thomas, plus se­niors Chris

Lacey, Reid Jor­dan, Jasir Hymes and Tre’Shon Rashada.

“I feel that’s a vet­eran group, per se in that they got a lot of min­utes last year. They got their var­sity ex­pe­ri­ence,” Kelder said. “We’re go­ing to have to be a re­ally good de­fen­sive team, be­cause we’re not very big and our big guys are young. They’re go­ing to be thrown into the fire.”

Up from the ju­nior var­sity are 6-foot-4 Jimmy Moot and 6-3 Sk­i­lar Ryan, plus guards Gar­rett War­necke and Tyquan Wat­son. Brian Moore, a New York City trans­fer who turned 15 at the be­gin­ning of the week, also joins the team. All five new­com­ers are sopho­mores.

“The sopho­mores are go­ing to play right away. We have ex­pec­ta­tions that they need to come in and fill some pos­i­tive roles for us,” Kelder said, “and they are ex­pected to per­form at a level and per­form at an en­ergy level that is high.

“I’m ex­pect­ing to go at least eight deep early; eight guys that can re­ally con­trib­ute at a high level. It might be guys that we’re ask­ing a lot from early, but that’s what it is. I don’t have a choice. There’s prob­a­bly go­ing to be at least one sopho­more start­ing game in and game out and other sopho­mores that are go­ing to come off the bench quick.”

Wright and a big­ger, stronger Thomas will be the start­ing back­court with Wright at the point. Lacey will also start, then it’s be­tween Jor­dan, Rashada, Ryan and Moot for the other two spots.

“If I go with Sk­i­lar, it gives me a lit­tle more size in the game,” Kelder said. “If I go away from Sk­i­lar, I’m go­ing to be smaller and quicker, but that means I’m prob­a­bly putting Lacey in the mid­dle of the floor, which he’s ca­pa­ble of do­ing, but he’s re­ally more valu­able to us all over the floor or in the wings.

“I’m try­ing to de­velop Ryan and Moot to be able to run that mid­dle of the court, be the size guys that play for us around the rim.

“If I see early that they’re not ready for that,” Kelder noted, “then I got to go to that more vet­eran, more smaller, maybe a lit­tle more ath­letic lineup. They (Ryan and Moot) are extremely ath­letic for their size, but they’re young.

“Los­ing Alex was a big loss, be­cause Alex was a guy who gave you 120 per­cent every single sec­ond of the game and played prob­a­bly five inches taller than he is,” said Kelder, who is look­ing for that same kind of im­pact player off the bench.

“I’m still try­ing to find that Alex Kara­manos guy,” he said. “I’m look­ing for that guy who can change what is go­ing on. If we got a lead, pump that lead up. If we’re los­ing, get us back into the game. Make a change.”

Con­tenders for that

role could be Rashada, War­necke (still not fully re­cov­ered from an in­jury) and Moore.

“He’s very quick, very ath­letic, has good hands and is a smart, ath­letic guy with long arms,” Kelder said about Moore. “He’s a kid who could put more gas into the lineup.

“I think we’re go­ing to be a lit­tle dif­fer­ent ver­sa­til­ity-wise. We’re not go­ing to rely on one or two guys,” Kelder added. “I think that ev­ery­body that is on the court is go­ing to be able to con­trib­ute some way at all times in the ro­ta­tion, which is some­thing that is very ben­e­fi­cial.

“We’re go­ing to play more de­fenses, prob­a­bly more than we played last year,” he said. “And we’re go­ing to try to cre­ate some havoc. If we’re able to do that, we’ll be in a good place. If we’re not able to do that, then we’re go­ing to have to be even more solid men­tally and fun­da­men­tally.”

With six re­turnees and five new­com­ers, the key will be co­he­sive­ness.

“We have a lot of pieces to the puz­zle,” Kelder said. “We have to put the puz­zle to­gether and make it one and don’t let it come apart as in­di­vid­u­als. We have to keep it to­gether”

Mid­dle­town and Pine Bush are the teams to beat again in the Or­ange County In­ter­scholas­tic Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion’s Di­vi­sion I and in Sec­tion 9, Class AA. The Tigers beat Mid­dle­town at home dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son, but got pushed around in a 93-76 loss in the AA semis. The Mid­dies went on to win the ti­tle and reach the state fi­nal four.

“They phys­i­cally and men­tally took our heads to­tally out of what we wanted to do. They took one piece of the puz­zle out at a time and just dis­man­tled us,” Kelder re­marked. “It hasn’t left my sys­tem, so for any­body who was in­volved in that game it shouldn’t have left their sys­tem ei­ther.”

That in mind, the Tigers plan to be more phys­i­cal.

“We’re a long, lanky, thin ath­letic team. I think we’ll be feisty,” Kelder noted. “I think we’re go­ing to bang peo­ple around a bit and be ag­gres­sive.”

Kingston was a ma­jor un­der­dog when it be­gan last year and caught a lot of teams off guard with its quick resur­gence.

“I would con­sider us still the un­der­dog, which is fine,” Kelder re­marked.

“I like our ath­leti­cism. I like our at­ti­tude right now. Right now, we’re loose and, hope­fully, we walk in Satur­day loose, play hard, play smart and get off to a good start.” SCHED­ULE DEC. — 3, vs. Spack­enkill at Pough­keep­sie, 6 p.m.; 8, BURKE CATHOLIC, 7 p.m.; 12, at Water­vliet, 6:30 p.m.; 16, VAL­LEY CEN­TRAL, 7 p.m.; 22, MINISINK VAL­LEY, 7 p.m.; 28, at Troy, 7 p.m.; 29, vs. Lans­ing­burgh at Troy, 5 p.m. JAN. — 4, at War­wick, 6:30 p.m.; 6, NEW­BURGH, 7 p.m.; 10, MONROEWOODBURY, 7 p.m.; 12, at Pine Bush, 6:30 p.m.; 14, BETHLEHEM, 6 p.m.; 20, MID­DLE­TOWN, 7 p.m.; 31, at New­burgh, 7 p.m. FEB. — 2, at Mon­roe-Wood­bury, 6:30 p.m.; 4, in Of­fi­cials vs. Cancer Tour­na­ment at Dutchess Com­mu­nity Col­lege, 4 p.m.; 6, at Wash­ing­tonville, 6:30 p.m.; 8, PINE BUSH, 7 p.m.; 16, at Mid­dle­town, 6:30 p.m. Home games in CAPS.

LO­CAL SPORTS CAL­EN­DAR for non-res­i­dents and is due at time of reg­is­tra­tion. For more in­for­ma­tion, call Rob Dassie at (845) 481-7334. —— BOWL­ING Sauger­ties Bowl­ing As­so­ci­a­tion Tour­na­ment: Dec, 3-4 at the Saugeries Bowlers Club. Open to all Sauger­ties bowlers. Teams can be com­posed of any com­bi­na­tion of five men or women. Squad times are 7 p.m. Dec. 3 and 1 p.m. Dec. 4. First place guaranteed $1,500 pay­out. Hand­i­cap is 90 per­cent of dif­fer­ence be­tween 1125 and team av­er­age. First 40 teams are ac­cepted. En­try fee: $75 per team (paid at the time of com­pe­ti­tion). For more in­for­ma­tion, call the Bowlers Club at (845) 246-4969. Tour­na­ment Club: Next qual­i­fy­ing event of the sea­son will be held 1 p.m. Dec. 18 at the Sauger­ties Bowlers Club (Please be there by 12:30 for check-in). All bowlers will use last year’s av­er­age. This is a hand­i­cap tour­na­ment. Reg­u­lar tour­na­ments will be held the last Sun­day of each month through March. All bowlers re­ceive points for each tour­na­ment they par­tic­i­pate in to­ward the April Cham­pi­onship event. For more in­for­ma­tion, call Rob Hout­man at (845) 2464969 or John Cook Jr. at (845) 417-1512. —— FENCING Wood­stock Fencing Club: Meets 6:30-9:30 p.m. Tues­days at the Wood­stock El­e­men­tary School (when school is open). Now gear­ing up for the 2016 sea­son. In­struc­tion given at all lev­els in all weapons — Foil, Sabre and Epee from 6:30-8. Prac­tice and bout­ing. Fence dry or elec­tric. It is a non-profit Club with vol­un­teer in­struc­tors in Ron Zukor of Wood­stock, David Osherow of Shokan, Ge­orge T. Gal­lagher from Kingston, plus Elene Um­berto Schoeps of Olive­bridge. BASEBALL Frozen Ropes Open House: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 11 of the sports train­ing fa­cil­ity on 24 Old Black Meadow Road in Chester. Open House will fea­ture free pitch­ing and hit­ting eval­u­a­tions, video anal­y­sis, bat speed and ve­loc­ity mea­sure­ments. Every player that at­tends re­ceives a $10 gift card. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www. frozen­ or call (845) 469-9507. —— BAS­KET­BALL Events Red Hook-Rhinebeck Elks Lodge 2022 Hoop Shoot: For young­sters age 8-13 in the Red Hook, Rhinebeck and Pine Plains school dis­tricts Dec. 3 at Bard Col­lege’s Steven­son Gym­na­sium. Reg­is­tra­tion be­gins at 8:30 a.m.; shoot starts at 9:30. Each par­tic­i­pant must provide a copy of their birth cer­tifi­cate. For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact Richard Belcher at (845) 758-3129 or at richard.belcher@fron­tier­ Youth Pro­grams Kingston Re­cre­ation Youth Bas­ket­ball: Reg­is­tra­tion now be­ing ac­cepted on­line at www. kingston­park­san­ and at the De­part­ment’s Main Of­fice in the Andy Mur­phy (Mid­town) Neigh­bor­hood Center, 467 Broad­way in Kingston. Pro­gram is for ages 14-18 who do not play on their high school var­sity, ju­nior var­sity, fresh­man or mod­i­fied teams. All play­ers must be age 14 and no older than 18 as of Jan. 1, 2017. League games will be played Sun­day af­ter­noons at the Mur­phy Center, be­gin­ning in mid-Jan­uary for the 14-18 di­vi­sion. Fee is $40 for City of Kingston res­i­dents and $50 There is no charge to join for classes, lessons or fencing. Only re­quire­ment is $10-peryear dues for a USA Fencing mem­ber­ship. For more in­for­ma­tion, call Elene Schoeps at (845) 657-8021 or Ge­orge T. Gal­lagher at 331-3832, e-mail YESUS@ or visit www.ashokan. com/fencing.html —— HEALTH & FIT­NESS Jazzer­cise Classes: Of­fered 5:30 p.m. Mon­days at St. John’s Epis­co­pal Church on Al­bany Ave., Kingston. All ages and fit­ness lev­els wel­comed. Lo­cal in­struc­tor Cathy Shaw has been work­ing with tod­dlers to se­niors for 24 years. For more in­for­ma­tion, call (845) 339-1545 or email ec­ Jazzer­cise Lite & Fu­sion Classes: Of­fered 9 a.m. Mon­days and Wed­nes­days at the Mar­ble­town Com­mu­nity Center, U.S. Route 209, in Stone Ridge. All ages and fit­ness lev­els wel­comed in this fun and ef­fec­tive pro­gram. Lo­cal in­struc­tor Cathy Shaw has been work­ing with tod­dlers to se­niors for 24 years. For more in­for­ma­tion, call (845) 339-1545 or email ec­shaw87@ Gen­tle Yoga: 9:30 a.m. Wed­nes­days in the HealthAl­liance Hospi­tal-Mary’s Avenue Cam­pus au­di­to­rium in Kingston. In­struc­tor is Deb Al­bright. $8 per class. Mats are pro­vided. For more in­for­ma­tion, call (845) 616-3765. Se­nior Mall Walk­ing: The Ul­ster County Of­fice for the Ag­ing in­vite se­niors to join them for walk­ing at the Hudson Val­ley Mall every Tues­day at 10 a.m. All par­tic­i­pants re­ceive a coupon to buy tea, cof­fee or water at The Cof­fee Shoppe in the Mall. For more in­for­ma­tion, call the Of­fice for the Ag­ing at (845) 3403456. —— OUT­DOOR SPORTS Trail­sweep­ers Snow and Sports Club: Open to new mem­bers of all ages. Trail­sweep­ers ski, snow­board, cross coun­try ski, snow­shoe, wind­surf, moun­tain bike, road bike, hike, back­pack, ca­noe/kayak and have fun. Club meets sec­ond and fourth Tues­days of the month 7:30 p.m. at Stella’s Ital­ian Restau­rant in Up­town Kingston. For more in­for­ma­tion and to check out their events cal­en­dar, visit www.trail­sweep­ —— SOFTBALL Frozen Ropes Open House: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 11 of the sports train­ing fa­cil­ity on 24 Old Black Meadow Road in Chester. Open House will fea­ture free pitch­ing and hit­ting eval­u­a­tions, video anal­y­sis, bat speed and ve­loc­ity mea­sure­ments. Every player that at­tends re­ceives a $10 gift card. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www. frozen­ or call (845) 469-9507. Travel Teams Dutchess Debs 18U: Look­ing for a few play­ers, in­clud­ing a pitcher, for the 2017 sea­son. If in­ter­ested, call Mike Sheedy at (914) 474-6794. Mid-Hudson Rebels 14U: Look­ing for two solid play­ers. Pro­gram fea­tures year-round train­ing that in­cludes win­ter, spring and sum­mer tour­na­ments as well as in­door in­struc­tion at the YMCA of Kingston and Ul­ster County. In­ter­ested play­ers should call Boyd Vaughn at (845) 389-1667. —— WRESTLING Clubs Mid-Hudson Dark Cor­ner Wrestling Club: Meets 6-8 p.m. Wed­nes­day and Fri­days in the Kingston High School wrestling room. Be­gin­ning through ad­vanced wrestling. Folk­style, Freestyle and Greco-Ro­man. For more in­for­ma­tion, call coach Cappy Weiner at (845) 5320364.


Da­mani Thomas goes up for a layup dur­ing a re­cent Kingston boys bas­ket­ball prac­tice at Kate Wal­ton Field House. The ju­nior guard is among the re­turnees from last year’s squad.

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