Right out of the gates this past season, the Wallkill Valley High School boy’s basketball program displayed its worth on the court-and that worth proved to be quite substantial.
The Rangers navigated through a difficult schedule with a consistently competitive spirit and a winning attitude. Ultimately it paid off as they finished with double digits wins and earned a spot in the NJSIAA North 1 Group 1 Sectional Tournament.
“Opening day win over a very good High Point team [57-54 on Dec. 20 was a memorable victory],’’ Wallkill Valley head coach Ed Paiva said. “[It was] good to start on a positive note. Our game against Parsippany Hills (a 62-55 win on Dec. 26) in the Holiday Tournament allowed us to play in the finals for the third year in a row.
“Our win on Senior Night against Newton (49-48 on Feb. 13) was a great way for our seniors to remember their special night. Finally, our opening round win in the (NJSIAA Sectional) Tournament against West Caldwell Tech, which marked the third straight year that the boys advanced in the State Tournament.’’
The Rangers benefited a great deal by the outstanding guidance demonstrated by the members of the graduating class of 2020 on the roster.
“Our four seniors Shawn Falk, Ryan Nugent, Reyes Madera and Jake Carey showed their leadership qualities every day in practice and games,’’ Paiva said. “Their hard work and dedication to the game are fine examples for our young student athletes to emulate.’’
Every high school level boys basketball squad at Wallkill Valley made steady progress as the winter moved forward.
“All of our players on all three levels freshman, junior varsity and varsity showed noticeable improvement as the season progressed,’’ Paiva said. “A couple of players of note that worked to gain more playing time were freshman Chris Ross who played and earned starting time on the varsity team. Junior LJ Reid made big contributions as the season progressed as well as sophomore Dan Falk and sophomore Tony Ciappara.’’
The Rangers tallied 13 victories overall and they had four wins in the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference Freedom Division. The 2020-2021 season should be quite promising for Wallkill Valley.
“Many of our returning players made contributions this year,’’ Paiva said. “Players from the freshman and JV teams have shown consistent improvement throughout the season. With their commitment to the game in the off season we feel confident that we can continue to enjoy success.’’
NOTES: Wallkill Valley was defeated by Hasbrouck Heights in the quarterfinal round of the North 1 Group 1 Sectional Tournament.