By Tyler Smith
S9Hoops.com Goshen Basketball Beat Writer
Despite a double-double in his first showing this season, senior guard Zack Foley was not satisfied in the slightest. He’s aiming to show the naysayers that he is a top player in the section and that he’s got the skill set and numbers to prove it.
Last night, Zack Foley sent a message to the rest of Section IX.
The “Colosseum” was packed in Goshen this Friday night. The students were animated, the bright lights were on, and Foley’s signature “short-shorts” were in full effect.
Right off the tip, Foley was locked in. “I had an off night in the first game versus Saugerties so I knew I had to show everyone my real game,” he said. “When my shots are falling, we are a very tough team to beat.”
And tough they were, demolishing the Liberty Indians 78-40. Foley finished the game with 33 points, 12 assists, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals. Eric Romero added 19 points of his own, with five three-pointers. Senior guard Cam Perez had a great defensive performance as well, shutting down Liberty’s backcourt with 7 points and 7 steals.
Very similar to their first outing of the season, Goshen had a comfortable double-digit lead heading into halftime. This time though, they did not let up and kept their foot on the pedal the entire second half, giving Liberty no chance to get back into the game.
Goshen (2-0) played a tough man-to-man defense throughout. Liberty ball handlers were almost unable to cross half court as the Goshen backcourt was suffocating on the defensive end. This exceptional defense gave Goshen enormous amounts off both confidence and easy fastbreak opportunities.
Although Foley’s lights out scoring performance was the talk of the game, what possibly stood out more were his twelve assists. For the second straight game, he has recorded double digit assists, something that wasn’t present in the stat sheet for the majority of last season.
When asked about this outburst of playmaking and ball movement, Foley recalled back to the offseason, where he attended many camps with top high school prospects. “At these camps, the competition is so high that I had to do much more than score to get noticed. I’ve really just brought that mindset back to Goshen this year and looked to penetrate and set up my guys with open shots,” he said.
With this unselfish attitude and team-first mindset, Goshen is going to be a tough squad to bring down in Class A. Goshen head coach Michael Tangney voiced his praise for Foley’s unselfishness postgame, saying “When Zack Foley is able to take over a game not just by scoring, but also distributing, it really creates opportunities for us to perform at an exceptionally high level across the board, and boy is it fun to watch.”
Tangney also commented on the standout play of seniors Cam Perez and Tom Colgan. “Those guys are out there playing tough nosed defense, diving at each and every loose ball opportunity. That stuff is essential to winning basketball games.” Colgan had another impressive performance on the boards with twelve rebounds Friday night.
Looking ahead into next week, Tangney hopes the team will continue to execute and “stick to the basics”. He doesn’t want the guys being overconfident and getting out of playing their brand of basketball. With O’Neil and rival Cornwall on the schedule, those next two games will certainly be a test of Goshen’s strength as both teams are playoff caliber groups.
Tangney concluded, putting it best, “As long as we cross our T’s, dot our eyes, and tie up all our loose ends, it will be a difficult task to put on ‘L’ on our schedule moving forward.”