The Sewanhaka Indians boys’ basketball team dropped a win-and-in game on Monday, Feb. 10 to Roslyn High School, 70-69, which officially knocked the Indians out of the playoffs. The team finished over .500 for the first time under head coach Jason Allen.
The Indians had the ball, down by three with 15 seconds left, looking to score and force Roslyn to make free throws. They missed two shots but kept getting the rebounds and were finally able to score to cut the deficit down to one as time expired.
Despite not making the playoffs, the Indians still finished 9-8 (6-8 in conference play). It was the most games the program has won under Allen and they are taking a step in the right direction.
The Indians last made the playoffs since 2011, Allen’s first year on the job, despite only winning four games.
“Theres an old saying with basketball that sometimes you have to lose before you win and I think that applies to this team,” said Allen. “The team should be hungry for next year cause we were right on the cusp of where we needed to be.
“We had a moderately successful season but we didn’t get where we want to be, so that alone should be enough motivation for those returning,” Allen said.
The Indians have more returning players next year, as they only had six seniors, two of which were starters this year. Only four of the seniors played significant minutes, according to Allen.
He believes that the seasoning will help his young team improve, especially in close games, which were a big struggle for the Indians this year.
All feels a player that will improve the most from the seasoning is freshman point guard Kamoy Silvera.
“He was new to the school so not only did he have to adjust to varsity basketball, but he had to adjust socially,” he said. “This was my first year as coach having a true point guard. He can score if he wanted, but he is so unselfish.”
Allen believes Silvera can grow to be the Indians best player in a year or two.
The best player currently on the Indians, Carlos Bodden, will be returning for his senior year next season. Bodden established himself this season as not only the Indians best player, but as one of the best players in Nassau, earning All-County honors.
He lead the team in scoring this season averaging just around 19 points-per-game and surprised his coach with his rebounding ability, grabbing 23 in a game against Hewlett.
Allen speaks very highly of Bodden. He will run his offense through Bodden next season and doesn’t think teams will have the ability to stop him.
“We have other guys that can score but [the game plan ] will be about him,” Allen said. “A lot of his points come just off his effort.”
Even though the Indians season ended shorter than Allen had hoped, he feels confident with his team going forward.
“We fought hard this year, we were on the brink,” he said.