Niagara Gazette — The Niagara-Wheatfield Falcons are looking for a turnaround in year three under head coach Erik O'Bryan, who took over the team two years ago after a successful five-year run at North Tonawanda.
Leading the way will be senior Jack Mulcahy, a 6-foot-3 guard who averaged 15 points and eight rebounds last season en route to being named first team all-Niagara Frontier League.
"Jack's kind of a coach's dream," O'Bryan said. "Honestly, most of these kids on my team are. They're very dedicated and work hard, and Jack's kind of the leader of all that. He's not a talker, but he leads by example.
Mulcahy's leadership was evident during the Cataract City Classic on Friday, when the Falcons took on Sweet Home. Struggling from the free-throw line with his team protecting a late lead, Mulcahy approached the stripe, each of his teammates dropped back to defend the fast break. Mulcahy missed the free throw, but corralled the rebound with four Panthers surrounding him. He finished the game with 18 boards.
"It's tough to get on a kid who works so hard," O'Bryan said. "And he has. He's bigger and stronger this year than he was last season."
Joining Mulcahy in the Falcons' all-senior starting lineup are forward Nick Yarussi and guards Anthony Cappuccilli, Murray Taylor and Chris Galvano.
Yarussi, who also plays on the offensive and defensive lines of the N-W football team, provides a big body inside. Taylor, Cappuccilli and Galvano serve as a trio of outside scorers meant to take advantage of Mulcahy's drives.
"We're expecting a lot out of Chris," O'Bryan said. "Cappuccilli, he's a kid we kind of have to rely on a little bit more than we have. He took six shots the other night, and he's been hampered by an ankle injury.