Determined Parsippany Hills has a lot to build on

By Mark Kitchin

Morriscountyvarsityboysbasketball

Parsippany Hills season review

It was tough to be a Parsippany Hills fan last year. It’s not that the Vikings didn’t work hard but they were young, inexperienced and thrown in a league with some of the toughest teams in Morris County. They finished at 2-21 but have a lot of returning players who know what it will take to compete with the very best.

“Obviously we didn’t have a lot of wins,’’ Parsippany Hills coach Mark Gibson said. “However, we graduated two seniors and the core of the varsity was sophomores, so it’s real promising for the years to come. As far as last year, we had the growing pains of being in a new conference. We were outsized and our skill level wasn’t quite there, but the kids worked hard and we competed for two quarters of each game.’’

Senior leadership: The Vikings lose only two players to graduation and only one starter. Christian DiDonna was last year’s point guard. “He was a little guy, good handle, quick, and he just led by example,’’ Gibson said. “His leadership will be missed but he left a lasting impression on the other guys.’’

Highlights: The Vikings savored the victories they received. Parsippany Hills topped Wallkill Valley in an out-of-conference contest in its second game of the season. The Vikings also earned a 5-point road victory over Randolph.

“It was our second to last game of the season and it was our first complete game in which we put all four quarters together,’’ Gibson said.

The Vikings, which did not have a player over 6-foot-2, often had to play junk defenses and push the tempo to be competitive for a half, but the team’s relative inexperience doomed them down the stretch of games.

“We were very young,’’ Gibson said. “We were very inexperienced. We made a lot of mistakes in turning the ball over and just handling that pressure against teams like that Roxbury team which was a sound team. … Near the end we finally put a game together and got a win.’’

Hope for the future: Gibson will have a youthful and promising core group for the next two years. Manny Dance, a small forward, swing-man type is a slasher with leaping ability and athleticism. He matches up well with Mike DiEdwardo, who has similar size and skills. Their games complement Brian Mulcahy, a shooting guard with good range. Connor Clark and Paul Walek up front are growing like trees. They are pure post players. If they can learn to rebound and become resilient on defense, the Vikings certainly have some blocks to build upon.

Offseason plans: The Vikings work hard in the weight room like most teams in order to get stronger. Some also play for AAU teams. They also have a team in the Morris Knolls Summer League which is a new experience for them. Parsippany Hills competed in the Newark Academy Summer League for years but the Livingston-based private school halted the league for the first time in ages and a majority of those teams entered a league in Bloomfield. Gibson likes the MK league because it is close and the competition is comparable to what the Vikings will see in the regular season. The players seem to like it too, since they have gotten off to a 4-0 start this summer and are starting to build a little confidence.

Advertisements

About mcvbb

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

No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: