Tough early games to prepare Masuk boys basketball team for league play

The Masuk boys basketball team's senior captains are Owen Smith, Mike Cafaro, Dylan Jackson and Greg Nivison.

MONROE, CT — Balance in the lineup and an imbalanced schedule could combine for success on the hardwood for Masuk High School’s boys basketball team this winter. As they strive to qualify for the postseason, the Panthers are hopeful a challenging early schedule puts them in position to succeed.

“Our goal, as always, is to make the SWC and State Tournament. Our early schedule is difficult, but should get us ready for league play,” Coach Pete Szklarz said, adding, “we have a good balance of players, who are versatile and play multiple positions.”

Szklarz said great senior leadership is provided by captains Greg Nivison, Dylan Jackson, Owen Smith and Mike Cafaro.

“Juniors Matt Domenichelli, Ethan Palma and Colin Francisco have been working hard thus far,” he added. “Juniors Ben Londono and Malakai Roy have been solid and are competing for minutes. Sophomores Stephen Sentementes, Alex Simouldis and Oliver Irving have provided good guard play. Freshman Tyler Newsom will be very interesting to watch this season.”

Masuk opens the regular season at home against FCIAC team Trumbull on Thursday, Dec. 15, at 7 p.m. Southern Connecticut Conference foe Shelton comes to Monroe on Saturday, Dec. 17, at 1 p.m. for the first game of a doubleheader with the girls who play at 3:15 p.m.

Kaynor Tech, St. Joseph of Trumbull, Bassick of Bridgeport and Darien round out the opening couple of weeks of competition for Masuk. The first South-West Conference tilt is Thursday, Jan. 5, when the Panthers go to Stratford. Joel Barlow of Redding visits Monday, Jan. 9. Both games are at 7 p.m.

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