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Moriah returns solid nucleus, but has little time to ready for 2009-10

PORT HENRY - Football success will again have an impact on the Moriah boys basketball.

The Viking gridders reached the state Class D championship game for the second straight year this fall, which was great news for them....

The Moriah basketball team, though, started practice two weeks after all other teams while many of its players were still on the football field.

Moriah returns eight players from a year ago when it went 11-9 in the Champlain Valley Athletic Conference and 13-10 overall.

Leading the Vikings this winter will be a rugged front court, paced by center Hayden Whalen. Whalen led the Vikings in scoring with 12 points a game and rebounding with 10 boards a contest a year ago.

Also returning to the front line are Nathan Gilbo, Nick Gilbo, Mike Speshock and John Petro. They're joined by rookies Wally Edwards and Tom Slattery.

Tom Tesar, who led the team in assists in 2008-09, returns at guard along with Phil Belzer and Ralph Schofield. They're joined by newcomers Zack DeSimone, Dustin Tesar and Larry Wintle.

"Rebounding should be our strength with Whalen, both Gilbos, Speshock and Tom Slattery leading the way," Coach Brian Cross said. "Tom Tesar returns at the point and Ralph Schofield and Larry Wintle will help at the guard spots."

Assisting Cross with the coaching duties this winter are Don Tesar and Chris Lobdell.

Viking schedule

Dec. 10...Lake Placid

Dec. 15...at Ticonderoga

Dec. 17...NAC

Dec. 21...at Plattsburgh

Jan. 5...at Seton

Jan. 7...Saranac

Jan. 12...Saranac Lake

Jan. 14...AVCS

Jan. 20...at Beekmantown

Jan. 22...at Lake Placid

Jan. 29....NCCS

Feb. 3...Ticonderoga

Feb. 5...at Peru

Feb. 10...at NAC

Feb. 12...Seton

Feb. 17...at AVCS

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