Making a considerable run in the Nassau boys’ basketball playoffs is a goal for the Colts, who are no strangers to the postseason under head coach Jay Kreutzberger.
Calhoun won 37 games over three seasons prior to last winter’s pandemic-shortened 3-5 campaign and will look to return to its successful ways in what appears to be the toughest conference in the county on paper. The Colts will tangle with the likes of defending Class A champion Elmont, Sewanhaka and Carey.
“We had a choppy start with some injuries, but hopefully nothing that’ll linger and we’ll find our way,” Kruetzberger said. “We’re talented and physically strong, so we should hold our own on the boards and our seniors will lead the offense.”
It was no coincidence Calhoun came up short in each of its last four games last season when Chris Stokel (25 points per game) was sidelined by a wrist injury. Stokel enters his fourth varsity campaign and will run the point as well as serve as the shooting guard, as he and Chris Zaveckas are interchangeable parts. “They have great chemistry,” Kreutzberger said of the senior tandem who’ll lead a backcourt that includes junior Matt Kalfas, a lefty playmaker and returning starter, and senior Matthew Edouard, who is quick with a high motor.
Stokel, the coach noted, elevates everyone else’s game with his vision, passing, and ability to create. “The ball is on a string when Chris has possession,” Kreutzberger said.
Zaveckas is a smart player who can bring the ball up the floor and like Stokel, make significant noise at both ends. “He really filled out his skill set,” Kreutzberger said.
Senior center Bryan Pena has a soft touch around the rim and can block shots, and senior forward Brian Matalevich is a fierce competitor who brings all the intangibles. Senior Chris Amaya will also be a factor up front.