Colts embark on playoff mission


After guiding a senior-laden team to a 6-2 record, capped by a four-game win streak, in his first season as Calhoun’s head coach, Dan Catapano is counting on a hard-working group of returnees to snap a playoff drought dating back to the 2017-2018 campaign.

“We had 10 seniors who helped the program turn a corner,” Catapano said. “It was a large group to lose, but we have a nice core of experienced kids returning and they haven’t stopped working since last season ended.”

To reach their main goal, the Colts will need to hold their own in a challenging conference that includes recent county champions Sewanhaka and Elmont, in addition to Garden City. “It’s a tough schedule,” Catapano said. “We have an athletic, close-knit group that has its eyes on the playoffs.”

Senior center Holly DiPalo enters her fourth varsity season and is a leader on the court in many ways, Catapano said. “Holly gets up and down the floor well, has a nice elbow jumper and is strong on free throws,” he said. “She’s capable of putting up double digits in points and rebounds.”

Junior Margaret Casimano can play forward or guard and can stretch the defense as an outside shooter and also provide rebounding. She’s being counted on to boost her scoring after chipping in a consistent 5.5 points per game last winter.

Senior point guard Gabby Hanellin will be leaned upon to not only protect the ball and distribute, but also score. “She’s battled some injuries that are hopefully behind her,” Catapano said. “She’s worked to get back.”

Junior Mia Licari and senior Olivia Perrone will spearhead the defensive pressure and look to create turnovers. Both are guards with varsity experience and play with a high level of intensity, the coach noted. Sophomore Ashleigh Coyne is another backcourt talent with a high basketball IQ and drives to the basket.