Head Coach: Mike Lilac
2018-19 Record: 14-0 League 21-2 Overall
Key Returning Players: Tristan Williams Sr. Jon Kempf Sr. Max Kipp Sr. Dmitri Rose Sr. Isiah Burnett Sr. ( all who started at some point last season ) Zach Cahill Sr. Nick Houghton Sr. Sam Wickenden Sr. Dylan Baker Soph.
While it’s not true that the last time Hoosick Falls failed to win a Wasaren championship was during the Bush administration, it sure seems it. The Panthers, coming off a perfect 14-0 league campaign a year ago, have a won 84 of their last 86 Wasaren games including 54 straight. They return five starters from last years squad, and seem poised to once again defend their league title.
“Our overall experience should be our biggest strength this year,” said longtime Panthers head coach Mike Lilac. He added, “We will always stress our tough man to man defense,” a cornerstone of the Falls program for years.
As for this year’s preseason, Lilac likes that his team’s, “Shot selection is better and we seem to be taking better care of the basketball, keeping turnovers down.”
When asked what the Panthers need to do for another successful year, the head coach responded, “Rebounding the ball is the single biggest thing we need to do to be successful. Outside of Williams we’re not very big.” He continued, “We will need to bring the intensity every night as we have a bit of a target on our backs. We will see everyone’s best shot.”
As for top contenders chasing the league crown Lilac said, “We should be in the mix,” but pointed out his Panthers last season had, “Several close games with Mechanicville, Waterford and Stillwater and they all return a lot.”
“Grit” is the one word the Falls mentor hopes people will associate with his squad this season. “We always talk about having pride in the program and keeping our strong tradition going.”
And with an experienced, deep and talented Hoosick Falls squad ready to take the floor next week, the smart money says the program’s winning tradition will continue to thrive.