Whiz Kids: Peekskill Red Devils Basketball Team: Bayron Carter, Dan Casey, Tyler Daniel, Kyree Hull, Robert Lyles, Courtney Mapp, Masheed Muhammad, Chandler Pierce, Chavis Pigott, Eddie Reeves, Ramon Searight, Gydal Sorrell, Saleem Sutton
Accomplishment: Playing an outstanding 2011-1012 season and finishing as co-league champions.
Key to Awesomeness: Though the Peekskill Red Devils did not make it past the semi-finals, they finished the season on a high note. Lou Panzanaro, the head coach of the basketball team, said that it was a great 2011-2012 playing season for the team who ended with a 16-4 record.
“This was a strong team—strongest we’ve had in two years,” he said. The coach, in his 29th year at Peekskill High school has coached current National Basketball Association players like center Hilton Armstrong, and NBA all-star Elton Brand.
Panzanaro said that the Red Devils in January against Kennedy Catholic High School was their best performance of the season. The team finished the season as co-league champs, earning a first-place status among five schools in the area.
The basketball team has a storied history, with five state championships and many sectional titles, the coach added. This year’s roster had nine seniors, including Chandler Pierce, an outstanding forward who said the team felt very cohesive this year.
“We really played together, had good chemistry and interacted with each other like a family—and accomplished more than we expected,” Pierce said. “We felt like this was our year.” The 6-foot 3-inch player said the season was a terrific one for him personally as well. “My skills kept getting better and I turned into more of a decision-maker on the court.”
And though Coach Panzanaro was tough during practice, he said, the whole team benefitted from his guidance on and off the court.
“We grew a lot as players and the teammates really trusted each other during game time.”
Congratulations Red Devils on a well played season!