“Just have fun out there. I don’t care about the score to this game.”
Those were the words that head coach Jason Dudzinski of Fayetteville-Manlius mouthed to his team before their contest against the undefeated Wildcats of West Genesee, a game that F-M would end up losing 77-62.
But, despite what the scoreboard said, the hometown Hornets (2-11) found a way to make strides offensively throughout the game. Some of the improvements and the things that they were finding had a lot to do with Brad Procita, who played more of a role in this game due to the absence of the ill Jawaan Crouch.
Procita, whose size is very important to the Hornets, is sometimes overlooked because his role is nowhere to be found on the stat sheet. He has just been waiting for his time to shine and put himself in the right position to do just that multiple times against West Genesee.
Despite having just four points, the junior sent a message to his coaches and teammates and showed them that he offers and gives the Hornets a lot of options on the offensive end, something that will be important for the remainder of this season and next season.
Going back to his days at the junior varsity level, Procita has shown Dudzinski that he is a very versatile player who can be utilized in a variety of ways.
Some of F-M’s other student-athletes, like Ryan Salzberg and Timmy Zapisek, also had decent games. Salzberg’s 24 points led the Hornets in that category and Zapisek scored 15 points and connected on a three-pointer.
But, no matter how you look at it, F-M’s performance wasn’t enough to cover up the special night from West Genesee’s senior, Malik Zachery.
Each basket of Zachery’s 31-point performance was meaningful but his 30th point lies in the Section III basketball history books. With that point, the senior surpassed 1,000 career points and joined an elite group of athletes.
Zachery’s big night is inevitable, but, the way that Procita took advantage of his few extra minutes on the floor is a good sign for the future of F-M basketball.