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Men’s Basketball Loses Season Opener to Dutchess Falcons

The Sharks were led by freshman guard Rufino Oliva, who finished with 12 points
Fran Tini
Men’s basketball head coach Victor Correa directs the team in a huddle during the season home opener at the Brookhaven Gymnasium on Nov. 9, 2023 (Compass News/Fran Tini)

The Suffolk Sharks men’s basketball team lost its season opener with a disappointing loss to the Dutchess Community College Falcons 67-45 Thursday night at the Brookhaven Gymnasium. The Sharks came within 4 points following a 22-4 run in the second half, but the Falcons eventually pulled away for good. 

“We got [the players’] attention at halftime because of how bad they played the first half, and they focused, they kinda tuned in, and we made a run,” said Sharks head coach Victor Correa. 

The Sharks were led by freshman guard Rufino Oliva, who finished with 12 points, with nine of them coming in the second half. He finished with four three-pointers on the night, the most out of anyone on either team. Backup guard Tyiem Joiner added 10 points off the bench, leading the Sharks in the first half with 6 points.  

The Falcons were led by their freshman guard Prince Kamate, whose 15 points were the most on either team. They also received 14 points from freshman forward Quincey Platt, including two putback dunks in the first half. 

Oliva opened the scoring of the game with an early three. The Sharks then began to lag behind, giving up runs of 15-2 and 11-1 in the first half. They played loose and sloppy, ending the first half with a 38-14 deficit. 

To start the second half, the Sharks blitzed the Falcons offensively and defensively, outscoring them 22-4 before the Falcons called a timeout. The offense and defense had come to life, showing more confidence and aggression. 

After the timeout, the Sharks managed to bring the deficit to just four points before the next stoppage in play. The Falcons changed their defensive approach, playing more full-court press and double teams. They finished the game on their own 22-4 run, as the Sharks had no response on offense to the different defensive look. 

“I think it’s just growing pains. We have a bunch of young freshmen who are learning how to play,” Correa said on what he felt went wrong. “Like most freshman do, they’re up and down, so that’s something we gotta work on.”  

The name of the game was turnovers. The Sharks finished with 22 turnovers, including multiple shot clock violations and mishandled passes. “Most of our turnovers were unforced… a lot of times we just made the wrong pass, made a bad pass, things like that. We’ll improve,” Correa said. 

The Sharks finished shooting 55.2% from the field and 41.7% from three-point range, improving throughout the game.

Despite the loss, Correa remained confident in the abilities of his young squad. 

“We have plays that are proven, and if our guys buy in more we’ll be OK…we just gotta play a little smarter.” 

The Sharks will look to bounce back against the Hostos Community College Caimans on Nov. 16 at home. The game will take place at the Brookhaven Gym at 7 p.m.

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About the Contributors
Sajad Syed
Sajad Syed, Editor-in-Chief
Sajad Syed is a journalism major and the editor-in-chief of the Suffolk student newspaper, the Compass News. An aspiring sports reporter, he will graduate from Suffolk in 2024 to pursue a bachelor’s degree in journalism
Fran Tini
Fran Tini, Opinions Editor
Fran Tini is a 21-year-old journalism major from Lindenhurst who is passionate about social issues and making sure students' voices are heard.

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