SPRING VALLEY — Veteran Hall coach Mike Filippini has a task ahead of him as he will look to replace the scoring of BCR Player of the Year and second in all-time scoring Brett Fanning along with having a team that has no player taller than 6-foot-1 on their roster.
Filippini will look to a committee of players to provide the scoring Fanning did for the 2012-13 Red Devils squad.
Returning for Filippini’s squad include seniors Zach Urbanski, Ian Trevier, Nick Scheri, Roosevelt Fuentes and Austin Schmitt. Urbanski, Trevier and Schmitt have provided great senior leadership so far in practice and were named captains for Hall. The three senior captains are also the tallest players listed on the Hall roster at 6-1.
Newcomers to the Red Devils squad include St. Bede transfer Taggart Venegas, seniors Collin Aimone, Miguel Villarreal, juniors A.J. Gaeta, Grant Hill, Julian Barroso, Tyler Pullam and Ryan Cinotte. Filippini’s roster is rounded out by sophomore Chris Ballerini.
“A.J. (Gaeta) is a good 3-point shooter,” said Filippini.
Filippini is looking for Aimone, who played varsity as a sophomore, and Venegas to provide good ball handling and quickness while Cinotte will be looked at to provide hustle for the Red Devils.
“Replacing Brett will be very difficult,” said Filippini, “Every team last year’s gameplan was to stop Brett and he was still able to become player of the year. Adding both Collin (Aimone) and Miguel (Villarreal) are two ways we can help replace Brett.”
Filippini doesn’t expect an easy task to replace the scoring that Fanning contributed, but he believes his team will have more scoring options for this season.
“I doubt we will have anybody average what Brett did, but we will probably have 3 to 4 guys in double figures that will make us a tougher team to scout,” said Filippini.
Hall (11-17 last season) will look to push the ball and will play very hard with lots of quickness.
According to Filippini (168-167 in 13 years at Hall), his team’s goals are to win a regional and be playing their best basketball in late February.
Having confidence in themselves is something the Hall coaching staff is looking to carry over after many of them were members of the football team whose season ended on the Saturday before basketball practice officially began.
“Collin (Aimone) gained a ton of confidence in himself during his impressive football season which has carried over to basketball,” said Filippini. “Most of our kids played on the football team, and I believe that will really help us. They gained a lot of confidence in themselves and they also saw how our community got excited to follow a winning team. That really opened their eyes and I think they want to have the same success that the football team had.”
Filippini’s squad will open the 2013-14 season with a familiar foe in Mendota at the Seneca Thanksgiving Tournament that is always very big and physical who Filippini knows his team must be ready to match that with.
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