Mules try to overcome key losses


Malverne has constantly appeared in title games in recent years, but can it continue that trend after losing its top two scorers from last season?

The Mules, who appeared in two Long Island Class B championship games in the previous three full seasons, fared well last winter with five wins in seven games during the abbreviated campaign. Michael Warren was the second-leading scorer on Long Island with a 28.6 average and James Ackies (11.7 ppg) was the other Mule to finish in double digits, but both graduated in the spring.

The next highest was power forward DeAndre’ Blagrove (8.6), who has the potential to dominate on both ends of the court in his senior season, followed by Keondre Greene (6.7), Farvens Ulysse (6.2) and Trey Robinson (5.2). Assistant coach Walter Aksionoff said those players’ talents, with the added responsibilities they will have this season, should result in higher scoring averages.

“You take a look at Trey, Ulysses and DeAndre’ right there, they easily can score anywhere from 15 and 20,” he said.

Junior guard Joshua Croom was supposed to combine with Warren to form a powerful backcourt last winter, but he injured his foot during his 18-point performance in the opener against Cold Spring Harbor and missed the rest of the season. He is also a strong candidate to lead the Mules in scoring.

“Josh is the key,” he said. “Josh can light it up. I call him the silencer. No one knows he’s there and he leaves the court, he has 12 to 18 points. When he played on the JV, he was a double-digit scorer.”

The coaching staff is also excited about speedy sophomore guard Chad Wesley, who should pile up the assists offensively while “harassing the ball all over the court” on defense, according to Aksionoff.

The Mules are in the largest conference in Nassau and will play 16 conference games.