Tough early going for Blue Tide boys’ basketball squad

Photo by Jim Hague/ Harrison boys’ basketball coach Nick Landy (center) is looking for good things out of seniors Anthony Ferriero (left), who just returned to basketball, and Andreas Economou, who has been a mainstay with the program for the last two seasons.


By Jim Hague

Nick Landy knows that it’s only a matter of time before his Harrison High School boys’ basketball team puts it all together and gets a hard-earned victory.
It didn’t happen much last year, when the Blue Tide struggled to a 1-22 record. And it hasn’t happened yet in the new season, as the Blue Tide has dropped all five of its early season contests.
But the wins are coming. Landy can feel it.
“I think a win is what will put this team in the right direction,” Landy said. “We just need a win to get off the schneid. If we can get one or two, it would make a big difference. We need a little confidence. If we get that one, it will help us jell together and we’ll be alright.”
There was one positive aspect about all the losing a year ago.
“We had a very young team last year and we were able to gain a lot of experience for this year,” Landy said. “We also have two new key additions.”
One is a familiar face. Senior Anthony Ferriero has decided to return to play basketball. Ferriero, the ace pitcher for the Harrison baseball team in the spring, did not play basketball the last two seasons, but the 6-foot-2 forward has returned this year and has already made a positive impact. Ferriero had 15 points in a loss to Kearny last week.
“He’s a good athlete,” Landy said of Ferriero. “He hasn’t played much basketball, so he has to get his basketball legs back. But he’s going to play a lot for us.”
The other newcomer is 6-foor-4 junior Varinder Singh, who arrived in Harrison from New York. Singh is the Blue Tide’s starting center.
“We have about nine guys over six feet,” Landy said. “We have some size. We just need them to be able to jell together.”
Senior Andreas Economou is a 6-foot-3 senior forward and the lone returning member of the Harrison roster who has two full years of experience. Economou averaged nine points per game last year and Landy needs him to step up a little this year.
“He’s been getting rebounds for us and he’s also a very good defensive player,” Landy said. “He’s also keeping everyone in check.”
Senior Willie Aguilar is the team’s point guard. The 5-foot-9 Aguilar, a standout on the Harrison soccer team, is a fiery spark of energy.
“He’s the one who gets us going,” Landy said. “Like everyone else, he just seems to need a little confidence.”
Junior Carlos Gutierrez, another member of the soccer team, is a 6-foot jack-of-all-trades.
“I use him wherever I need him,” Landy said. “He’s our utility guy, but he was hurt early on and he’s just getting back into shape.”
Junior Justin Aponte is a 5-foot-8 guard who has a lot of speed.
“He’s pretty quick,” Landy said of Aponte, who had 13 points in the loss to Kearny. “He’s finding his way and getting around.”
Junior Sammy Rodriguez is a 6-foot-2 forward who is tenacious off the glass.
“He’s also developing a pretty good shot from the perimeter,” Landy said of Rodriguez.
Sophomore Federico Oliviera is a 6-foot-3 forward with a ton of potential.
“He has a lot of promise,” Landy said of Oliviera. “He just needs to get a little tougher. He loves the sport and played all summer, so he’s improved a lot. I’d just like to see him get some toughness and he could be a good one.”
Junior David Marinho is a 5-foot-8 guard who adds depth off the bench.
“He’s pretty fast as well and a good defensive player,” Landy said of Marinho. “We have a lot of soccer players on this team and hopefully, the success they’ve had in soccer will rub off.”
Now all the Blue Tide needs is a win or two.
“I think that would help in a lot of ways,” Landy said. “They really haven’t played a lot together with the new guys. But when they do get used to each other, I think we’ll see a change.”

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