The Gill St. Bernard’s Boys’ Basketball team continues to prove itself as one of New Jersey’s top programs year in and year out.
The Knights, who finished their 2022-23 season with a record of 19-7, used a defensive-minded philosophy, timely playmaking, and senior leadership to build upon its perennial success. The team was led by Senior guards Mario Castro-Sanchez (21.9 PPG) and Nick Losada (14.5 PPG), who cemented themselves as one of the top offensive frontcourts in the state. Losada has committed to continuing his career at Gettysburg College next season. The duo was joined by Seniors Andy Hearn, Ibrahim Kaba, Matt Lardieri, and Luke Ruggiero, each of whom added valuable minutes and playmaking ability across the season.
“This was a great senior class to coach,” said Head Coach Mergin Sina. "Just down-to-earth, gritty, hardworkers."
"I was really proud of the way our team competed and stepped up to the challenge. We decided to play one of the toughest schedules in the state again this year. We won some close ones and lost some close ones, but every night these kids gave everything they got. That's the sign of a winner."
The Knights posted a commanding eight game winning streak before hitting a mid-season rough patch against St. Benedict’s, Rutgers Prep, and Paterson Eastside. The squad used this in-season adversity to prepare for its postseason run, in which they reached the Somerset County Championship before ultimately falling to Rutgers Prep 69-67 in a rematch of last year’s title game.
After an impressive win against Saddle River Day in the NJSIAA Non-Public B State Tournament, the Knights season ended in the Semifinal round against Montclaire Immaculate. The team finished ranked #14 in the state with signature wins against top competition across the state, including Rutgers Prep, Saddle River Day, Linden, and Arts, all schools ranked in NJ.com’s Top 20.
Despite losing the senior class to graduation, the Sina-led squad is poised for continued success from returning players such as Sophomores Kobe Closeil, Sebastian Lalo, and Kevin Pikiell, as well as Freshmen Dorsett Mulcahy and Logan Franz. Coach Sina believes that the group each provided solid minutes this year and will be ready for expanded roles next season.
"We have a great young group of playmakers who are ready for the challenge," said Coach Sina. "They gained some very valuable experience this year and I'm looking forward to this team putting it all together."