BEDFORD, N.Y. – Fox Lane High School basketball player James Morales has had an interesting year.
The junior emerged as the Foxes’ sixth man last season on a team stacked with seniors and big men. This year, he is a captain on a young, guard-oriented team.
And, as the Foxes’ 2012-13 season began Thursday with a 70-45 win against South Bronx, Morales has embraced his new role.
“I’m just trying to be a leader out on the court, trying to get everybody together, communicate and just execute,” Morales said. “We’re looking good.”
Morales’ co-captains include junior Thomas Palmerton and senior Will Quaranta. The latter two will have big shoes to fill, literally and figuratively, as they replace Dylan Peretz and Will Trawick down low.
Morales acknowledged that the makeup of the team is much different from last season, but said that is not necessarily a bad thing.
“Tommy’s our big guy, and Will. We’ll try to feed it in the post to them,” Morales said. “We’re more of a fast break team, more than last year. Last year we tried to get it in the post to Will and Dylan. This year, we’re trying to look down the court and keep our heads up.”
Fox Lane flashed some of its speed in the win against South Bronx in the first round of the 2012 Maroon and White Kari Pizzitola Holiday Basketball Tournament at Scarsdale High School. That type of offense will likely be common for the Foxes this season.
“We’re going to try to just move the ball more, try to execute in fast break, that’s our main thing,” Morales said. “And play defense and execute on defense. That’s our biggest thing.”
Morales played consistently throughout the summer on an AAU team to keep his game sharp. He will lead the Foxes’ up-tempo offense this season and part of that, he said, is because of his off-season work.
“I think I got a lot better and that made me be a starter and captain,” Morales said. “And I’m just thankful for the role.”