OSSINING, N.Y. – Ossining High School boys basketball coach Khalid Sales knew what he had coming into the 2012-13 season.
His team returned a core of seniors who helped lead the team to a playoff win last year. But Sales measured his expectations for the Pride this season and focused instead on amassing individual wins.
“We wanted to play a certain style and get an identity,” Sales said. “We thought that that would translate to wins. So, really, play hard, play fast and go.”
Sales coaches the team with Ed Walker. The two men have tried to instill a run-and-gun offense at Ossining, which has jumped out to a 3-1 start this season.
“We just want to push the ball,” said senior point guard Noah Morton. “Run people out the gym.”
Ossining started the season with a 55-49 win against Blind Brook before losing by five to Fox Lane. The Pride’s second win was a 43-42 nail-biter against Poly Prep.
“We’ve been in every game. Every game has been a low-scoring game,” Sales said before Monday's game against Horace Greeley. “Everything has been close.”
On Monday, Ossining racked up a 78-63 win over Greeley.
The Pride starts three seniors and typically rotates eight to nine players in each game. Morton, Steven Espinosa-Hunter, Kayvon Murray and James Johnson make up the nucleus of the team.
Sales took a cautious approach to this season but Morton, part of Ossining’s senior core, set his sights a bit higher for his final high school year.
“I want to make playoffs … and hopefully get to the County Center and win that gold ball, compete for that gold ball,” Morton said. “It’s going to be tough, but I think we can do it if we just keep playing together.”