The Hewlett boys basketball team are no easy team to play for. With high demands and a strong work ethic displayed by players each year, it is clear as to why the Bulldogs are always competitive under 12th-year head coach Bill Dubin.
Hewlett wrapped up the 2010-11 season with a 7-10 overall record and a 5-7 record in Conference A-III. As a 14-seed in the playoffs, the team fell in the first round to Seaford by a six-point margin. With this season, the Bulldogs have much larger aspirations.
“We are a young team and it is developing, but hopefully we will develop much faster,” Dubin said. “We need to work on our press break, our passing and finishing at the basket.”
Point guard Harrison Brenner is the lone senior for Hewlett, and with that, the second-year varsity player has a large role to take on. He will look to take charge of a team that returns nine players from last season.
“We are trying to work the ball inside and out, look for quick turnovers and counterattack on teams,” said Brenner, who scored a game-high 20 points in a season-opening win against Roosevelt on Tuesday. “I just try to help everyone else on the team and make an impact on the lineup.”
Anchoring the inside will be junior Weldon Irvine and sophomore Avery Feldman, both of whom are also competing in their second varsity seasons.
The 6-foot-3-inch Irvine and 6-foot-2-inch Feldman both earned All-Conference accolades last season for the Bulldogs. Sophomores Bryan Eckerle and Dimitri Baptiste, as well as junior Kevin Dehaney, will also look to make an impact for the nine-man Hewlett roster.
“We know we are not the biggest team out there, so we just need to box out and focus on keeping guys out of the paint,” Irvine said. “It is on us to step up and set the example. If we work hard in practice, the result will show in our game.”
Feldman, who put in 18 points on a game-high seven field goals against Roosevelt in the season opener, is one of four sophomores who will be looked at to help lead an overall young team.
“Throughout practice, we work hard, and it shows through the way we play in our games,” Feldman said. “We may not be the biggest team, but we work the hardest. That is all that really matters.”
Playing out of Conference A-II, Hewlett will face tough challenges, such as defending conference champion Lawrence. Sewanhaka, Bethpage, Plainedge and Division will also compete with Hewlett for a title during the season.
Dubin wanted to challenge his team early on with tough non-league opponents, such as West Hempstead, South Side, Garden City and Jericho before league games begin.
“Lawrence is going to be very good as well as Sewanhaka. We split with Plainedge and Bethpage last year, so every game should be a dog fight,” Dubin said of the conference pool.
Hewlett improved to 1-0 with the win over Roosevelt at home and will now move on to play at West Hempstead on Friday at 7 p.m. For complete schedule information, visit the Nassau Boces Athletics page.