By Mark Kitchin
Montville season review
Can the success of a basketball team’s season end before it even starts? Not entirely, but there are circumstances that can hinder a team’s growth. The Montville Mustangs faced obstacles that were more difficult then their opponents and consistency may have been the biggest. “These kids have had three different coaches in three years,’’ Montville coach Bill Medina said. “Our seniors learned three styles, three offenses and three different philosophies. … I was also hired late. There were some kids I didn’t meet until the first day of practice.’’ It wasn’t the best of seasons but the Mustangs are optimistic that the lessons learned will help next year’s newcomers.
Senior leadership: The Mustangs had eight seniors that made contributions on the varsity level. Point guard Lee Sieradzki averaged 10 points a game and had firm control of the Mustangs offense. Ellis Casler was an x-factor and on his good days, Montville often thrived. Jordan Gajdos was another offensive threat and an all-around versatile athlete that gave opponents problems. Brian Keane, Mike Trifari, Matt Guilder, Peter Tollis and Mike Dellostritto also contributed on the varsity level.
Highlights: A 6-17 record has few highlights but the Mustangs found they were at their best against some quality squads. Three of their wins came against Vernon, Sparta and Morris Hills, all teams with winning seasons. Two of those triumphs came on the road.
Hope for the future: It’s unsure whether Jesse Warech can match the exploits of his older brother Travis but Medina would like to find out. “He can do a lot of good things,’’ Medina said. “He has a great work ethic.’’
A lot is also expected of brothers Marc and Tom Prezetak. The 6-foot-2 athletes didn’t see much varsity time because of the senior-heavy varsity team but they are among the most capable coming up from jayvee to next year’s varsity club.
Offseason plans: The Mustangs are catching up for lost time. They are one of the few schools that have put together a spring league team at Hoop Heaven. Four of the players are also competing for AAU teams on their own. Their summer plans are unsure. The Mustangs will have open gyms but the rest of their plans will depend upon budgets and funding.