The ball bounced right for Mountain Lakes

By Mark Kitchin

Morriscountyvarsityboysbasketball

Mountain Lakes season review

The sport of basketball hasn’t always been high on the pecking order among Mountain Lakes’ athletes. This year things may have turned the corner for the Lakers on the hard court. They won 19 games on the varsity level and had a strong jayvee season.

“I’m very happy the way the season progressed,’’Mountain Lakes coach John ByDook said. “We’ve helped to change the culture a little bit. I have guys that really, really want to play basketball and I’m very happy about that.’’

Senior leadership: Plucky point guard Jimmy Boyhan directed the Lakers attack and was the epitome of a leader. “People forget Jimmy missed all of last year because of injuries,’’ ByDook said. “I’ve never had a player who was as quick with the ball as we was and near the end of the year he did a really good job of picking up the bulk of the 3-point scoring.’’ ByDook also had plenty of praise for Tim LaBeau an athletic player who was quick off the ball and Greg Cuccinello who had terrific passing skills.MountainLakeshad 10 seniors in all who contributed at some level.

Tim LaBeau corrals a rebound for Mountain Lakes in their state win over Newton.

Highlights: The Lakers had a few ups and downs. They had great wins against Hanover Park andChatham. A revenge triumph against sixth-seeded Morris Knolls and a competitive showing against Mendham in the quarterfinals of the Morris County Tournament was certainly a highlight as was its home state tournament win against Newton. Strangely, enough an overtime loss to Morristown-Beard might have been a highlight, too. “We were playing for a conference tournament championship on a Saturday afternoon,’’ ByDook said. “The gym was rocking and it felt like Lakers basketball really meant something. It went to overtime and even though we lost it helped change things around. People were beginning to notice us.’’

Hope for the Future: Ethan Lubowitz was a given. He averaged 14 points a game and grabbed many crucial rebounds. Sophomore Paul Tarnowski and junior Max Boerstel saw the most time among people expected to return. Chris Robertson also saw some time at guard and Chris Herring is a sophomore with tremendous potential. The junior varsity was 17-1 last year and varsity opponents will become acquainted with Alex St. Lifer and Demitri Aiello and many others next year.

John ByDook guided the senior-laden Lakers to a 19-win season.

 Offseason plans: The Lakers are hoping to make FDU Team Camp once again. They also will have open gyms twice a week. ByDook knows many of his players at the Group I school are involved in multiple sports, but many more are focused on basketball than in the past which is a good sign.

“It’s just a mater of putting in the time and having players that really want to work,’’ ByDook said.

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About mcvbb

Mark Kitchin is a boys varsity basketball writer for the Morris County New Jersey area

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