Boys Basketball 2021: A Season to be Remembered


Courtesy of Lakeland Boys Basketball Twitter

Boys basketball had a winning record and overcame many obstacles, including shutdowns from COVID.

As the 2021 boys basketball season has come to an end, it will definitely be a season to look back on and remember.

Filled with many obstacles and accomplishments, this team went through it all. The team had set a goal of achieving a winning record for the season, and were able to do so with a 9-6 record, the best achieved by the team in seven years.

Along with that, there were many accomplishments that came along with it that are truly remarkable. Senior Joe Mazzola had a phenomenal season, as he was able to lead the entire state in three point shots with 60 made in just 15 games. In the process, he was also able to break a school record. 

In an interview with The Ledger, Head Coach Ryan McCarney said, “That is quite impressive to make that many in just 15 games; [Mazzola] shot an incredible 41% from three and set the Lakeland single season record for 3 pointers in a single season.”

While the impact of the current pandemic did take some tolls on the team, they were able to push through and put together a strong and complete season. Senior Calvin Watts stated, “One of the biggest challenges we had was other teams that we were supposed to play, postponing and canceling games. It made it so we never [knew] who we were playing, giving us very little time to prep.” 

Coach McCarney agreed stating, Covid caused problems throughout the season in terms of scheduling, we ended up having to postpone or cancel eight games throughout the season.  But as I mentioned earlier we were able to find new opponents to complete our full 15 game schedule.”

They also had a very late start to the season, not holding tryouts for the team until mid-January. By then the team normally would’ve had two months of games and practices in.

Despite the difficulty of the pandemic, the team was still able to put together a great season with plenty of amazing memories and positives to go with it.

Senior Aiden Berkenbush said, My favorite memory from this past season was just getting to spend the time I had with my teammates. I wouldn’t have wanted any other group of guys to spend my last season with and I’m really going to miss them.” 

Watts agreed, stating that his favorite moment was “the whole thing.” He enjoyed the success that came with this year along with his teammates, and wishes success for future seasons.

As for Coach McCarney, his favorite memory was the thrashing of West Milford on Senior Night. “We defeated them 69-33 and all of our seniors made big contributions.” 

Coach McCarney also thanks the seniors for their commitment over their high school careers. “We can’t thank Aiden, Calvin, Dylan and Joe  [enough]  for all that they’ve done for our program over the past four years. They were great leaders and great young men.”

While this season was a huge success, there’s no reason to doubt that the team has the potential to grow next season. Juniors Carter Pagan and Timmy Siegel both had great seasons, making major contributions to the team, and showing what’s to come for their senior seasons. In addition, Sophomore Ra’Sun Ricks had a very promising season, showing a lot of promise for his future with the Lancers.