When it comes to the winter sports season, its hard to overlook the competitiveness of IAC boys basketball inside of Section IV. Within Tompkins County, the boy’s basketball programs have made a deep impact on the IAC Championships and the sectional playoffs. With the first few weeks of the season underway, the potential for county schools to make a strong showing in the IAC race is beginning to come into focus.
IAC LARGE SCHOOLLansing BobcatsAfter posting 13 wins a season ago, the Bobcats look to challenge for the IAC title and use its texperience to make another run into the Section IV playoffs. Sporting a number of seniors on the team, the experience of competing for a division crown and making the run into the third round of the sectional tournament last season makes for a class that can lead underclassmen to a potential better finish in the conference. With a new head coach, Joe Volpicelli, stepping in to replace Stuart Dean, the Bobcats’ have the opportunity to create another strong season with a coach who has worked within the system as the junior varsity coach.
Dryden Purple Lions A season ago, the Purple Lions looked greatly improved on the 5-14 record that rounded out the 2017-'18 season. The team lost two of its seniors from the varsity squad but returns with a number of juniors that have helped to propel the lions back into winning ways. The success of making the sectional tournament has set a goal for the Purple Lions to surpass this season. After jumping out of the gates with a hot start to the season, Dryden looks to cause headaches for conference foes and aims to lock up an IAC championship for the first time since 1986.
Trumansburg Blue RaidersEntering the 2018-19 season after a one-win season a year ago, the Blue Raiders are hoping to turn things around for the program that tallied 16 wins two seasons ago. The team holds promising athletic talent but looks to find a way to make that talent work together through all four quarters. With a starting five that consists of all seniors, Paul Pennock’s squad certainly has the experience to make games competitive. An early season schedule that includes many of the top IAC schools, the Blue Raiders have struggled out of the gate. The fight and determination of the Blue Raiders that has been shown during the tough early stretch shows that Trumansburg, while not ready to make a run at a conference crown, has the possibility to make noise in the conference picture.
Groton IndiansA tough struggle through last season’s schedule has left some questions lingering about what this season holds in store for the Indians. This season’s squad looks to continue to grow the young players on the squad and must find a way to replace seven graduates. As with most schools in Section IV and the IAC, the schedule allows for very little room for a team to take a contest or two to sort through the game plan. For the Indians, the early season provides a brief opportunity to work out the bumps before the middle of the schedule picks up against the conference’s hard hitters.
IAC SMALL SCHOOLNewfield TrojansVery little needs to be said to accompany the resume that Chris Bubble’s Trojans have formed over the last few seasons. The success speaks for itself. After an IAC title, back-to-back sectional crowns and two consecutive trips to the NYSPHSAA Final Four, Newfield has set its sights on repeating the previous success but with a new added challenge. Moving up a classification from Class D to Class C, the Trojans look to replace a trio of seniors that were influential in the previous success. With a young core that will have opportunities to grow and fill in the vacancies, the Trojans will look to find a new identity in the IAC.
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