PORT HENRY - The Moriah boys basketball team hasn't been able to practice this pre-season like other teams, but Viking fans aren't complaining.
Many of the players have been busy with Moriah's extended football season, which ended two weeks after other teams had started basketball practice. The Viking gridders reached the state semifinals.
"Football has set us back as far as practice time," Coach Brian Cross acknowledged. "It may take some time to get into basketball shape."
The Vikings return five players from last season's team that went 10-4 in the Champlain Valley Athletic Conference and 13-5 overall.
Tom Slattery, Mike Speshock, Nick Gilbo and Landon Cross are back on the front line for Moriah this winter. They're joined by newcomers Carol Calabrese, Tim Breeyear and Jim Curran.
Zack Desimone returns at guard, where he's joined by rookies Isaac Aponte, Keith Ida, Thomas Slattery and Sergio Comacho.
"We should be competitive this year," Cross said. "Gilbo and Speshock saw plenty of action last year and Tom Slattery, DeSimone and Cross also played last year. Isaac Aponte is a new player and should see plenty of action along with Breeyear, Curran and Calabrese."
The Vikings will need some players to step up. Last season's leading scorer, Nathan Gilbo, leading rebounder, Hayden Whalen, and top playmaker, Tom Tesar, have all graduated.
Dec. 8....at Crown Point
Dec. 17...at NAC
Dec. 28...Section VII - X Challenge
Dec. 30...Section VII - X Challenge
Jan. 8.....at Saranac
Jan. 12....at Saranac Lake
Jan. 14....at AVCS
Jan. 22...at Schroon
Jan. 27...at Ticonderoga
Feb. 1....at NCCS
Feb. 10...at Seton