Maspeth’s first varsity basketball team inspires high hopes

Maspeth’s first varsity basketball team inspires high hopes

Maspeth High School's first-ever varsity basketball team is already showing dominance on the court. Photo courtesy Anastasia Bitis

Maspeth High School’s first-ever varsity basketball team is already showing dominance on the court. Photo courtesy Anastasia Bitis

They might be Maspeth’s rookies, but this bunch is using its speed to rise to the top of the varsity basketball ranks.

In its third year of existence, Maspeth High School’s first-ever boys Argonauts basketball team kicked off its eight-game season with a couple of commanding victories, showing the rest of the Public School Athletic League they meant business. Team coach Anastasia Bitis said her group of 15 guys had the kind of work ethic that was necessary to make such a statement this early in the season.

“I always tell them that everything we do in basketball is what life is about,” she said. “You’re going to have ups and downs and situations where you have to work with somebody else to be successful.”

While she acknowledged Maspeth’s first varsity group did not have the same kinds of height advantages other teams in the league have, Bitis said her Argonauts team works extra hard on conditioning and speed to outwork any opponent. Once it is time for tip-off, the teens are so hyped up on adrenaline that their enthusiasm helps them beat their way to every loose ball, Bitis said.

“We try to focus on the positive things about the game,” she said. “I make sure to instill hard work into the players. We all work hard to reach the things we have to do. They always come out strong.”

The Maspeth boys varsity basketball team won its first two games of the season with six more to go – a schedule Bitis said she hopes to see go undefeated. Most of the players came up from last year’s junior varsity team and have only kept getting better, she said.

Junior Paolo Tamer helped lead the team in its first game with 18 points, six rebounds and four assists. Ryan Rodriguez also tallied 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists, helping the team clinch its 76-34 victory. Junior Damian Piszczatowski led the team in the second game Jan. 10 with 19 points, eight rebounds and four assists in the team’s 75-46 victory.

What is even better, Bitis said, is that Maspeth’s new varsity team lacks seniors, which means she should retain virtually her entire roster for next year. Being able to stay with the same players will pave the way for even more progress and success, the coach said.

“We’ve been playing really well and have a lot of great shooters,” she said. “Any guy on this team can be a threat at any moment.”

Maspeth High School was launched in September 2011 with 273 students in its first

By Phil Corso


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