WESTON, Conn. Some observers of boys basketball in the South-West Conference might be surprised by Westons 5-1 start this season. First-year coach Mike Hvizdo is not one of them.
Im not surprised at all, Hvizdo said after the Trojans latest victory, a 74-54 win over Oxford on Tuesday. Were a talented team. Were young, but were very deep. We have a lot of young players, but theyre very talented. We started three sophomores because theyre very talented.
There is a long way to go in the season, but the Trojans have made teams around the conference take note of their early success. After winning just six games last year and failing to qualify for the state tournament, Hvizdo has set high expectations for the Trojans.
Hes brought a much more positive attitude, and hes also set some high goals for us, senior Max Molinsky said. Our goal was to go 20-0. We lost once, so now its 19-1. We havent played a perfect game yet. But thats our goal.
Hvizdo, a former assistant at Wilton who played under Dave Bike at Sacred Heart University, said he wants to bring the energy out energy from his young team.
I dont take anybody out for mistakes, missed shots or turnovers, Hvizdo said. I take guys out for lack of energy. That could be offensively or defensively. If you dont jump for the ball, or come out with hands a blazing to catch a pass, if you dont talk on defense or bump the cutters, thats lack of energy.
Hvizdo did not see that energy in Tuesdays win over Oxford, and shuffled players in and out for most of the game. That lack of energy has been an exception, however, as the Trojans have rolled through their early schedule.
Defense has been the Trojans strong suit, as they have allowed an average of 53.4 points per game in their five wins. Their only defeat was a 65-41 loss to undefeated Ridgefield.
We feel like if we can hold a team, we can beat them, Molinsky said. Were going to have our offensive blips. But we like we can win a lot of games with our defense.
Besides defense, Westons other asset is its balance. Molinsky leads the team in scoring with an average of 15.3 per game. Charlie DiPasquale averages 12.4, while Lyle Mitchell averages 12.3 points and 10.5 rebounds. Guards Ethan Lee-Tyson and Asher Lee-Tyson are quick point guards who are good passers, and Grant Limone and Evan Blitzer are capable scorers and rebounders.
Weston still has to navigate through the heart of its conference season. Immaculate and Kolbe-Cathedral are undefeated, Notre Dame of Fairfield is regarded as one of the best teams in the state and Brookfield (6-1) has also gotten off to a fast start. The Trojans play Friday at 7 p.m. at Masuk in Monroe.
I believe we can win every game we play, Hvizdo said. I also believe the league is wide open. Everyone said Notre Dame is supposed to be good. Well, Weston is going to be really good, too. We work hard, were prepared, so Im not surprised at where we are.
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