Wallkill Valley basketball faces tough road

Hamburg. The Wallkill Valley Rangers have a core of five returning seniors and will open the season on Dec. 20 against the High Point Wildcats.

| 16 Dec 2019 | 03:58

Given their challenging scheduled, there will be very few if any easy breaks on the court for the Wallkill Valley High School boys basketball program this season.

The good news for fans of the Rangers is that the team is well prepared and has an ample amount of talented student athletes on the roster.

Among the varsity tested players returning this winter for Wallkill Valley are Shawn Falk (senior, guard), Ryan Bryant (senior, forward), Reyes Madera (senior, guard), Ryan Nugent (senior, forward) and Jake Carey (senior, forward).

Key newcomers looming to make a positive impression on the varsity lineup include Ivan Hicks (junior, forward), Danny Falk (sophomore, guard), Anthony Ciappara (sophomore, forward) and Chris Ross (freshman, guard).

“We look to our seniors players for leadership,’’ Wallkill Valley head coach Ed Paiva said. “ Falk, Nugent, Madera and Carey are not only leaders in practice and games but also are outstanding role models for our younger student athletes to emulate.

“A premier guard in the county, Shawn Falk’s adding to his 1,000- point career. Ryan Nugent’s a Scholar Athlete and outstanding three sport athlete (football, basketball and lacrosse) and Reyes Madera bringing his exciting style of play for his senior year.’’

The Rangers are scheduled to host High Point in the season opener for both squads on Dec. 20. Three days later they are scheduled to host Watchung Hills. The Rangers are scheduled to host a Tournament beginning on Dec. 26.

Wallkill Valley is slated to start 2020 with a road match up at Hackettstown on Jan. 3 and travel to meet Jefferson on January 8.

“Our team has a number of goals that we are striving to achieve, compete night in and night out in each game,’’ Paiva said. “[We want to] fight for a league title as well as Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex and (NJSIAA) State Section titles.

Last season, they tallied a strong overall record of 21-8 and advanced to the semifinal round of the NJSIAA North 1 Group Sectional Tournament before losing a four point game to Paterson Charter.

Wallkill Valley plays in the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference Freedom Division.

“We look to contend for a Division title again this year,’’ Paiva said. “Our Division is challenging with High Point, Jefferson, Hackettstown, Newton and Lenape Valley.’’