As the horn sounded after a hard-fought but ultimately unsuccessful semi-final in Bronxville, Coach Craig Moses and Edgemont’s players knew that they had to build on their exciting season in which they notched 17 wins while allowing only 5 losses. The Panthers now have their sights set higher in 2022-23.
The Panthers enjoy the advantage of having nine returning players from last year’s team, with only three new players joining the varsity squad this year. This team is going to be very experienced and will know how to finish in close games.
However, in his interview with Campus, Coach Moses revealed that he tunes out the outside noise and the hype around this team. “The biggest goal I have for the team, every single season, is from the day we start to the day we finish, I want to be a better team at the end of the season and get every single thing we can out of our guys. So by the end of the season, we’re better than where we started.” This emphasis on the process of getting better has helped turn Edgemont’s basketball program into a section contender and appeals to the players as well.
Jonah Vadakkan, a first-year varsity player, marveled at the environment that Coach Moses and assistant coach Lowell Robinson helped to foster. “I’m learning a lot from the guys on the team as well as Coach Moses and Coach Robinson. I’m getting better at reading plays and playing smart basketball…I plan on gaining the respect of my teammates and myself so that next year I could make a greater impact on the team.” The players are buying into the goal of getting better every day, hoping that by the end of the year this team will be a threat to win the section.
Their coach certainly thinks they can do it. “As for team goals, we had a great season last year and I would love to get back to the playoffs and make a run at the gold ball this year.” The coaches have infused confidence in the team, which could be key for winning the close games.
Coach Moses doesn’t intend to use the same strategy as last year. All-time great NBA coaches like Gregg Popovich, Pat Riley, and Steve Kerr have spoken about the importance of tailoring your coaching and your scheme to your players, and Edgemont’s skipper intends to follow in their footsteps. “I think the best coaches make alterations to the players they have so I think ultimately just making sure we feature the right guys at the right times and putting the guys we have this year at the best positions, which might not be exactly the same as the guys from last year, so just being able to adjust with every player we have, so we can get the most out of them, that's how I think we can get to where we want to be.”
The coach’s response serves as a reminder that while the Panthers made an incredible run last year, they didn’t get to where they wanted to be. The goal was to raise a banner in the Pantherdome, and Coach Moses intends to hoist that gold ball. This team remembers that heartbreaking 57-52 loss at the hands of Bronxville last year, and, with more experience and more grit, they intend to go all the way this year. The Panthers showed this experience in their close homecoming win against Blind Brook. They were able to make a fourth quarter comeback in front of a rowdy EHS crowd.
This team faced heartbreak a little over 9 months ago, and they are determined to avenge that loss. And after their huge homecoming win over Blind Brook, you’d be a fool to count them out.