Nutley HS boys’ hoops boast athletic, experienced group

NUTLEY – The Nutley High School boys’ varsity basketball team hopes to use its experience and athleticism to produce a competitive season.

The Raiders, who open the season on Friday, Dec. 18, when they host Christ the King Prep at 7 p.m., boast a good group of returning seniors. They include guards Geoff Bevere, Devitt Merritt and Devin White, forwards Will Montgomery and Giancarlo Padilla; and center Antonio Olivo.

Montgomery and White particularly have led the way during preseason scrimmages.

NHS also has promising youth, led by sophomore Matt Schettino and freshman guard Marty Higgins, who are both good shooters,  said NHS head coach Bob Harbison. Montgomery and Bevere are other reliable shooters, added Harbison.

With their athleticism, the Raiders plan to use an aggressive approach on both ends of the floor.

“We’re athletic,” said Harbison, whose team finished 8-16 last season. “We’re going to try to get the ball up the court a little more and pressure the ball a little more. We’re going to try to take advantage of that in our conference. I think we’re a little bit more athletic than most teams.”

Harbison is confident his team can compete in the Super Essex Conference-Freedom Division. The other teams in the division are Belleville, Glen Ridge, Christ the King Prep, Golda Och, Technology and Montclair Immaculate Conception.

“We should be able to play with everybody in our conference,” Harbison said. “I know Montclair Immaculate loaded up a little bit and got new kids in, but everybody else, I think we should be able to play with and score a lot more points than we’ve been scoring.”

Following the season opener, the Raiders will visit Caldwell on Dec. 22 at 4 p.m.