The 2021 All-Central New York boys basketball teams consist of 22 players — 11 each on the large school (Class AA and A) team and small school (Class B, C and D) team.
The small school team was announced Wednesday.
These are the large school Player of the Year candidates: Dan Anderson, CBA; Devin Mascato-Buffaloe, East Syracuse Minoa; Jack Broderick, Fulton; and Adam Dudzinski, West Genesee
The winner is scheduled to be announced virtually at our annual All-CNY High School Awards celebration on June 24.
Name: Dan Anderson
School: Christian Brothers Academy
Season statistics: 14.5 ppg, 6 rpg, 4 apg, 1.5 spg
What’s next: Looking forward to my senior year and trying to make a state championship run.
Best moment of the season: Winning the Westhill game on a buzzer-beater from Sacario Williams. That game really showed how this team never gives up. Also finishing the season undefeated, which was our main goal for the season.
Who (or what) inspires you? My parents, teammates and coaches. They all make me want to be the best version of myself and always are supporting me.
What will you most remember for this pandemic season? All the memories and good times we had and making the most out of the season. I’ll also remember being a part of a team that has the longest win streak in school history.
Name: Jaylen Brantley
School: PSAL @ Fowler
Season statistics: 26 ppg; 7 rpg
What’s next: I am looking to play college basketball and/or football at the next level as well as further my education studying Sports Management undecided right now though.
Best moment of the season: Best moment of the season had to be senior night with my team and sharing that with them.
Who (or what) inspires you? I feel like my whole family is inspiration to me and my hard work and being self-motivated.
What will you most remember for this pandemic season? I’m going to remember the first game and the experience to be able to walk onto the court even though we are going through a pandemic still in this time.
Name: Jack Broderick
School: G. Ray Bodley High School
Season Stats: 22ppg; 9 rpg
What’s Next: Continuing my academic and athletic career at Nazareth College.
Best Moment of the Season: Winning all of our rivalry games.
Who inspires me: My dad because he has always been there for me and helped me out with everything in life.
What will you most remember for this pandemic season? Being able to have one last year with all my best friends and being able to have a great year with my teammates.
Name: Luke Davidson
School: Fayetteville-Manlius High School
Season statistics: 13.5 ppg, 4 rpg, 3 apg, 1.5 spg
What’s next: Senior year with a section title and that is what we are chasing everyday.
Best moment of the season: The best moments of the season were for sure 1 point wins over CNS and West Genny back to back to close our season. Both were close games the entire way and we lost to them both earlier in the season. We came out on top and going out with a W over undefeated Genny at home with my seniors was a feeling I will never forget.
Who (or what) inspires you?: My parents and coaches inspire me everyday. I’ve been so blessed to be put where I am and I’d run through fire for any of them. They have always believed in me and they’ve shown me how to stick to the process, continue to work hard, and keep my head down until I reach my goals. I really owe them a lot.
What will you most remember for this pandemic season?: I’m going to remember the super quiet and empty gyms and I’m definitely going to remember my teammates that I shared it with. My seniors this year were teammates of mine for 3 or 4 years and this is the closest team I’ve been on since being on varsity and we didn’t know if we would get a chance to play again. Getting an opportunity to go battle it out with my guys, it is something I will never take for granted again because you never know what will happen. Things can change in a flash and I’m going to definitely remember to not take what I have or experienced this year for granted, especially next year when senior year rolls around.
Name: Adam Dudzinski
School: West Genesee
Season statistics: 20 ppg, 9 rpg, 4 apg
What’s next: Attending Loomis Chaffee prep school and reclassifying to the class of 2022.
Best moment of the season: Winning on our senior night.
Who (or what) inspires you? All the people who believe in me, especially my dad.
Name: Jack Gutchess
School: Bishop Grimes
Position: Point guard/forward
Season statistics: 16 ppg, 9.4 rpg
What’s next: Attending Lemoyne College
Best moment of the season: Beating undefeated Fulton in overtime in the last game of the season.
Who (or what) inspires you? My parents and Dave Portnoy.
What will you most remember for this pandemic season? What I’ll remember most about this season is the sense of gratitude our whole team felt to be playing. Us seniors all knew that each game could be our last and we were just lucky to be able to compete for one last time. We all took the privilege of playing basketball for granted up until this unique final season.
Name: Sam Haas
School: Christian Brothers Academy
Position: Small forward
Season statistics: 123 points, 38 rebounds, 28 assists, 10 steals
What’s next: I’m going to Niagara University.
Best moment of the season: My best moment would be against Westhill when we were down late in the fourth quarter and we came back and hit a buzzer-beater to win the game.
Who (or what) inspires you? My parents because they sacrifice a lot for me to come to CBA.
What will you most remember for this pandemic season? My teammates and coaches. I will never forget them in this crazy season.
Name: Devin Mascato-Buffaloe
School: East Syracuse Minoa
Position: Point guard
Season statistics: 13 points per game
What’s next: I am going to attend SUNY Cortland to pursue physical education, and one day I would like to be a coach.
Best moment of the season: The best moment of the season was when my teammate, Nick Brown, hit a game-winner against Jamesville-DeWitt.
Who (or what) inspires you? I am inspired by players and teams who played before me. I was motivated to be the best player in school history, and more importantly, I wanted to be a part of the best team to ever go through East Syracuse Minoa.
What will you most remember for this pandemic season? I will remember our last game against our rival, Jamesville-DeWitt. We won the game by hitting a buzzer-beater that put us up by one. I couldn’t have asked for a better ending to my senior year.
Name: Luke Paragon
School: Cicero-North Syracuse
Class: 2023 (Post-grad at a prep)
Position: Shooting guard
Season statistics: 17.8 ppg, 5 rpg, 2 apg
What’s next: Looking forward to next year and a sectional chip.
Best moment of the season: Dunk versus F-M and 30-point game versus Corcoran
Who (or what) inspires you? My coaches inspire me to be the best basketball player I can be and to be a great person on and off the court.
What will you most remember for this pandemic season? I will remember the short season and playing with all my senior friends for one last time. Also, I will remember the new coaching staff that came in and changed the way we played.
Name: Preston Shumpert
Season stats: 20 ppg
What’s next: AAU season with the NY Jayhawks, looking to the next level.
Best moment of the season: The best moment of my season was my first game and getting the chance to play again with my teammates.
Who/what inspires you? My family inspires me to be my best, and they have supported me throughout my entire high school basketball career.
What will you most remember for this pandemic season: I will remember that my senior season was during the Covid-19 pandemic and that I am grateful I was able to play a few games.
Name: Jacob Works
Position: Shooting guard
Season statistics: 20 points per game, 7 rebounds, 4 assists
What’s next: The AAU season is already underway. I play with both the Albany and Syracuse City Rocks teams.
Best moment of the season: Scoring 31 points in a win against Baldwinsville.
Who (or what) inspires you? My parents taught me everything I know and continue to support me every day. And my little sister. She thinks I’m the best.
What will you most remember for this pandemic season? It was a big adjustment having to play with masks and without spectators in the gym. I remember how exciting it was to learn we would even have a season.
Coach of the Year
Name: Buddy Wleklinski
School: Christian Brothers Academy
Years coaching (including this year): 37 years as varsity coach
2021 record: 13-0
Career record: 526-285
What person (or event) inspired you to become a coach? As far back as I can remember, I always enjoyed being part of a team and wanted to be a coach. Over the years, I was fortunate to have played on some very successful teams and for great coaches at all levels. I learned from my coaches Bob Felasco at CBA and Doc Sauers at Albany and looked up to the many great high school coaches in our area who were role models for me when I was starting out. And the unwavering support and encouragement of my wife, Patti, and daughter, Alyssa, has helped make coaching a very rewarding experience for me.
What is it you like most about coaching? I really enjoy all aspects of coaching, including the practices, preparation for games and the games themselves. But the most enjoyable part of coaching for me is having the opportunity to work with our players and, along with our assistant coach Ed Leone, help build relationships with them during the course of a season. High school sports is so much more than X’s and O’s and winning and losing. As coaches, we have the opportunity to teach our players the importance of teamwork, commitment, sacrifice and working together to reach a common goal. While we always strive to do our best, just as importantly we want our players to bond together as a group and form relationships that will last long after the memory of the team’s record and the statistical details of the season have faded. We want our players to have fun and encourage them to come back after they graduate. It is gratifying that many do stay in touch with us, and each other, long after their playing days are over.
What was it like coaching in a pandemic year? There were certainly many challenges and details that needed to be addressed during the year. But considering in mid-January we didn’t even think there was going to be a season, none of them were insurmountable. Our parents and players were very supportive and understanding, which really helped the season go smoothly. We had shorter practices, three games in most weeks, and played games without spectators. While those realities are less than ideal in a normal year, having the opportunity to work together again as a team made them easier to deal with. Once we were able to get on the court with our team for practices and games, it was like nothing changed. The players put forth the same effort, even in games without spectators, as they did in past years. We were all just happy to be playing, and for the hour or so that we were on the court, there was a sense of normalcy, in a time where that could be said about very little else.