After last year’s season was shorter than normal, Schreiber’s Boys’ basketball team had a strong bounce-back year. The Vikings were led by a strong group of seniors and young sophomore star Trevor Amalfitano. Seniors Christian Kitsantas, Ben Krefetz and Nick Sonnenklar headlined the All-Conference honors, while Amalfitano was named All-County. The boys’ long road ended with a tough loss to Baldwin in the Nassau County Semifinals.
They came out of the gates fast, blowing out Great Neck South by 22 on opening night. In early December, Schreiber built on the strong start in the Manhasset tournament, placing second to the hosts after a thrilling double-overtime victory against St. John’s Prep.
“Winning the first game in double-overtime gave the team serious hope for the season because it showed our ability to handle adversity because we rarely had the lead in that game,” said Krefetz. “Then, playing Manhasset and competing with them the way we did showed us we can compete with anyone.”
Hanging with a tough team like Manhasset, especially while missing many players due to injury, proved Port would be a strong team this year.
After the tournament and a postponed game, the boys had two weeks before their next game, a home win against Westbury. Then, they’d start league play in Massapequa, where the Vikings edged out a six-point victory and took down Farmingdale at home to improve to 2-0. Syosset handed Schreiber their first loss of the year, but the boys bounced back and won their next two games against Freeport and Uniondale. They again lost to Syosset before winning two straight, sitting them at 6-2 with six games left before the playoffs.
For the first time in the season, Hempstead would come to Schreiber and win a tough battle over Port, 45-49. The next game, another home matchup against Massapequa, was the closest and most exciting of the season. The game was tied with less than ten seconds left when Amalfitano got the ball, already having scored 35 of the team’s 70 points. He coolly crossed over and sidestepped his defender, launching a three-pointer to give the Vikings the win. Amalfitano did not doubt that he’d come up clutch, despite being one of the team’s youngest members.
“I do this. I knew I’d rise to the occasion,” Amalfitano said in an interview with Port Vikings’ Jasper Abrahams.
The win energized the Vikings down the stretch; they would go on to win four of their next five games, only falling against Hempstead a second time. They finished with a 10-4 conference record, securing the fifth seed for the playoffs and setting up a third matchup against Hempstead.
“[The] most important game of the season was against Hempstead. After losing the first two against them, we knew it would be personal,” said Krefetz.
Taking down Hempstead at their home stadium would be Schreiber’s strongest win of the year, and they were prepared to put up a hard fight. Krefetz and Amalfitano powered the late surge to force the game into overtime. The two would continue to power the offense, combining for 40 points in what ended as a 75-69 win. Next, Schreiber would face off against an incredible Baldwin team at Hofstra in the County Semifinals.
Baldwin entered the game at 19-0 on the season, and they showed off their strength early and often. Port’s season would end with a crushing 72-41 loss.
Despite the disappointing end, the season was quite the opposite. Aside from the team’s strong performance and playoff victory, the outlook for next season is promising. The combination of young talent and a new culture will make the Vikings a powerhouse in Nassau County.
“[The] future is really bright. The younger kids are really good and play unselfish basketball,” said Krefetz. “I also think we left the program with a new culture that the young guys will continue with.”