Howdy all, Cardillo here checking in after Masuk’s important 61-56 win over Newtown.
The Panthers are for all intents and purposes in the SWC playoffs now, with one game left next week vs. Weston. (Right now the SWC field looks like: Bunnell, Bethel, ND-Fairfield, Kolbe Cathedral, Stratford, Masuk and then some combination of Immaculate/Newtown/Weston.)
Friday’s star for Masuk was Dominic (or Dom, never know which way kids like to go by) Migliaro, who poured in a career-high 29 points.
Masuk was lights-out in the first half, shooting 5-for-6 from 3-point range in the second quarter. This was well on its way to Blowoutsville, until Masuk got very sloppy with the ball and let Newtown get back into it.
If somehow the Panthers can shoot that well, they could be a mild threat in the SWC playoffs to one of the league’s favorites. The Panthers are a team, on their night, you’d probably want to avoid due to the talent of Migliaro and the returning to fitness Matt Gerak.
Could Panthers coach John DeGennaro bottle up whatever worked in the first half and save it for next week?
“I wish I could,” he said.
Gerak miss the first two months of the season due to a torn labrum in his hip, an injury that slowed him down during the summer AAU season. He wasn’t properly diagnosed with the injury until September and didn’t start jogging until the fist week of January. A 15-point scorer as a junior, Gerak is probably only around 70 percent right now.
Whatever Masuk gets from him, is a bonus.
“All of us needed to learn how to play without him,” DeGennaro said. “Right now the last five, six games were playing better.”
As for Newtown, which started the season 0-3? The Nighthawks will still probably find a way into the SWC playoffs, but might need help considering they play Stratford and Bunnell next week.
Newtown does crash the glass well and seems to be good at tipping the ball back to teammates off missed shots.
For whatever it’s worth Connor Quinn took some of the strangest, most off-balance shots I’ve seen this season.