Time to turn it up

More news about: DeSales | Staten Island
Junior Frank Schettino has averaged 19.1 points over his past seven games, raising his second-long average to 15.3 points per game.
Staten Island athletics photo

“They’ve frustrated the hell out of me,” Staten Island coach Tony Petosa said of his team in a telephone interview on Monday.

Never mind that the Dolphins went 11-5 in CUNYAC regular-season play to finish tied for second place in the conference standings. For Petosa, in his 27th year as Staten Island’s head coach, this year’s squad has glaring flaws.

“This is not one of my better shooting teams, for sure,” Petosa said. “And we are very inconsistent when it comes to, I feel, the way we approach the game.”

Petosa said that the Dolphins do not always play with a sense of urgency, a potential problem when Staten Island faces Brooklyn, the league’s other second-place team, tonight in the CUNYAC semifinals. But, Petosa said, “I’m more concerned with the fact that Brooklyn is an exceptional offensive team.”

Three of Brooklyn’s players — senior guard Egzon Gjonbalaj, senior forward Lorenzo Williams, and senior guard Jamel Gist — are among the league’s top 10 scorers. But Staten Island has a standout player of its own. Senior forward Will Fonseca, who was just named CUNYAC Player of the Year for the second consecutive season, is the league’s second-highest scorer. He averages 23.7 points per game.

“He’s definitely the most important player to any team,” Petosa said. “Without him, we would be probably almost non-competitive.”

Junior guard Frank Schettino has been consistent of late, with at least 18 points in six of Staten Island’s past seven games. Senior center Thomas Delahanty averages 10.4 points per game.

Brooklyn and Staten Island split their regular-season meetings, both of which were close games. Brooklyn won, 73-70, on Jan. 3, and Staten Island won, 81-80, on Jan. 30.

Regarding the upcoming contest, Petosa said with a laugh, “I’ve gone into games feeling a little bit more confident.”

DeSales men ready to deal

In MAC Freedom action, top-seeded DeSales hosts Wilkes in the conference tournament semifinals on Wednesday.

DeSales (19-6, 11-3 MACF) averages a league-best 17.2 assists per game. The team has balanced scoring. Senior forward Cody Deal, the Bulldogs’ leading scorer, averages 14 points per game. Junior guards Kuity Slanger and Brian Laird each average 12 points per contest.

“On any given night, we have maybe three, four, five guys who can get at least 10, 15 points,” Deal said in a telephone interview on Monday. “It’s really hard for other teams to focus on one guy and try and take him out of the game because if they do that, then another guy will have the opportunity to go out and have a big night.”

If DeSales beats Wilkes, the Bulldogs will face Delaware Valley or Misericordia, the two teams to beat DeSales in conference play this season, in the MAC Freedom final.

Atlantic Region notes

ESPN’s SportsCenter put Old Westbury women’s basketball in the Top 10 on Feb. 18. The highlight came from the night before, when junior guard Jasmine Robinson hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to give Old Westbury a 56-54 win against Farmingdale State. … In CUNYAC women’s basketball, Lehman junior guard Amely Del Rosario was named Player of the Year. Del Rosario is third in the nation in scoring with 23 points per game. Lehman senior guard Jennifer Navarro received First Team recognition. … In CSAC women’s basketball, Neumann senior forward JoHanna Metzger received Player of the Year honors. She is averaging a double-double (17.0 points per game, 12.7 rebounds per game).

Sarah Sommer

Sarah Sommer is a freelance journalist in New York City. She began writing for D3hoops.com in March 2015, when she covered the women's NCAA Tournament. She is excited to continue covering Division III basketball as the Atlantic columnist.
2011-2015 columns: See Around the Atlantic/Mid-Atlantic