By Rob Potter
LAKE HUNTINGTON Even though Sullivan West supporters had little to celebrate after Wednesday’s night’s blowout loss to powerhouse John S. Burke, there was plenty to cheer about before the game as senior cheerleaders and players were recognized.
Cheerleaders Jenna Keesler and Xheika Lushaj and senior players Shawn Bailey, E.J. Franskevicz, John Masten, Andrew Parsons and Adam Talbi presented flowers to their parents at halfcourt during a brief ceremony.
While the five Bulldog seniors and their teammates played hard and tried to record a victory in their final regular season home game, they were overwhelmed by the Eagles in the Orange County Interscholastic AThletic Association Division IV contest. Burke, the defending Class B state champions, were fundamentally sound and razor sharp in taking a 22-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Even with their starters on the bench midway through the second quarter, Burke continued to roll to the easy 78-32 victory.
With the victory, Burke (13-2, 5-0 Div. IV) clinched the Division IV title.
SW Coach Bruce Nober started his five seniors to highlight them on their night. He noted that all five have made great contributions to the team.
“Our two captains, E.J. Franskevicz and John Masten, provide great leadership,” Nober said. “They provide a good example for our other players on how to work hard on the court.
“Andrew Parsons came out for the team this year and he gives us some toughness when he is on the court.
“Shawn Bailey comes to practice every day and works hard,” Nober commented. “He gives it his all when he’s on the court and he’s a great kid.
“Adam Talbi always tries his best in practices and games,” Nober said. “He’s been a great player to coach.”
Nober praised all of the Bulldogs for they way they played.
“I thought our guys played hard for every minute of the game,” he said. “I am proud of them for that.
“Burke has a great team and they are well-coached,” Nober added. “We started out slow, but then we settled down and played better.”
Matt Cardona paced SW (11-6, 2-3 Div. IV) with 13 points. Teammate Patrick Pierce added six points.
“I had a chance to get everybody in the game tonight,” Burke Coach Doug Janeczko said. “And they all did a good job when they were in there.”
In addition to facing their Div. IV foes this season, the Eagles, who are a Class B team, have played a very competitive non-league schedule. Last Saturday, Burke defeated Stepinac, a Class AA school in White Plains. Then on Monday night, the Eagles topped Middletown, another Class AA team.