Fivay basketball

Fivay junior Deondre St. Clair is one of three Falcons averaging double figures in scoring this season. The team is 15-1 and having its best season in program history.

HUDSON- This time a couple years ago, Fivay’s boys basketball program was more of a middle of the road team.

A 14-12 record a couple seasons ago under Bryan Williams was the Falcons’ best mark then. Fast forward to present day, and, through 16 games played, they've already exceeded that win total. And they've only suffered one loss. Fivay’s boys basketball has grown by leaps and bounds since Williams took over and the Falcons are aiming to keep up the strong season.

“This has been a tremendous start to our season, especially in the midst of this pandemic, and the team has been maximizing every possible minute we have on the court, as well as off the court with film study,” Williams said. “It has been a challenge to the start off this season with player quarantines and Covid issues. I told my team from the start to treat every day like the season will end today. And they all have had the perfect next man up mentality.”

That next-man-up mentality has infiltrated the program in the most positive ways, as the Falcons have multiple players averaging over double digits in scoring. The leader of the bunch, however, is senior guard Eric Howard. Howard is currently averaging a team-high 17.7 points per game to go along with 5.7 rebounds and 5.8 assists. With Howard leading the way for Fivay, Williams knows his worth to the team is huge on and off the court.

“For Eric Howard, he has had a laser focus for the season since this summer, working very hard to make his senior campaign his best year ever,” Williams said. “Eric’s play on the court so far has been exceptional and he has taken even bigger positive leaps off the court in the classroom. Eric’s leadership on and off the court has been a stabilizing factor in these unstable Covid-19 times.”

Like all schools trying to power through what is a tough time throughout the country, Fivay has faced its challenges throughout the coronavirus pandemic. In normal times, there would be year-round basketball with AAU circuits and basketball camps.

“Coaching during this pandemic has been difficult for all coaches, as it has been especially difficult for me because of the limited amount of time I have had with my guys this season,” Williams added. “Due to having to cancel my normal summer and spring leagues due to Covid-19 concerns, that is 30 or so games of experience missed, which mainly helps my younger guys.”

Andy Villamarzo can be reached at andyvillamarzo@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.