By: Matt Rothman
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas boys’ varsity basketball team lost their leading scorers, as well as their head coach from last year but, looked sharp in their opening game of the new season.
The Eagles doubled up South Plantation High School, winning 60-30, with head coach Teddy Lyons’ first win as the new coach.
Lyons served as an assistant coach with Cardinal Gibbons High School. Growing up in Chicago, he played a physical brand of basketball into high school, bringing some of that mental toughness over to MSD in their first win.
“It feels really good,” said Lyons. “It’s pretty surreal, and I had my family here to see it. I thought we played aggressively at times. When we put our foot on the metal, we played really well and moved the ball.”
He also has brought over assistant coach Jason Sucarichi, who has worked with Lyons with their travel team, Triple Threat Elite.
Sucarichi will help oversee the team as well as provide insight on opponents. His son, Sean Sucarichi, who previously attended J.P. Taravella High School, was terrific in his debut, knocking down an early three for his first points in an Eagles jersey and finished with 15 points.
Early on, it was the Eagles defense that controlled the game, forcing a turnover on nearly every other South Plantation possession. However, in the second quarter, MSD’s offense woke up with a big offensive performance led by Adrian Naile, who had 16 points in the game.
MSD has eight players who are new to the varsity program, as well as from five other countries, including Pakistan, Turkey, Brazil, Israel, and Columbia.
Some other high impact players on the team this year are Ameer Hussein, a former hockey player. Also, Paxton Kafka and JV Morris will be looked on for heavy minutes as well as 6-foot-8 center, Michael McLaughlin.
After not having a winning year since the 2015-16 season, the Eagles are now 1-0 and will have some time to prepare for their game at Monarch High School on Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m. They will have five of their next six games on the road, including a rematch of the district quarterfinal against Cypress Bay High School.
Later this year, they will then take part in Jim Clark Holiday Classic in the Orlando area from Dec. 26-28, where teams throughout the Broward County will be in attendance before there are five straight home games in Parkland to begin the new year.
“We are pretty excited tied about the rest of the season,” Lyons said. “At the same time, there is a lot of work that needs to be done, especially when rebounding the basketball.”