Bethlehem Press

Tuesday, February 25, 2020
Malek Mims is back for the Patriots this boys basketball season. Copyright - DIGITAL_MEDIA_MAGIC_LLC Malek Mims is back for the Patriots this boys basketball season. Copyright - DIGITAL_MEDIA_MAGIC_LLC

Pates prep for a challenge

Thursday, December 5, 2019 by Peter Car pcar@tnonline.com in Sports

The East Penn Conference’s Steel Division might be the toughest slate in the area this season and Freedom head coach Joe Stellato certainly notices.

Stellato enters his 20th season at the helm of the program with the Pates fresh off a 16-6 season last year. They’re now thrust into conference play with Allen being one of the best teams in the area, as well as Easton being considered a league favorite. Throw in city rivalry games with Liberty and Bethlehem Catholic and the Steel Division will be a tough out every night.

“We are in a very difficult division with most of the teams having returning players on the roster,” Stellato said. “We have to come and play and compete every night. But, we have to play our best basketball at the end of the season. We should be in the mix for a spot in the league playoffs.”

Returning for the Pates this year are Malik Mims (G, Sr.); Caleb Mims (G, Sr.); Malek Harrington (PG, Sr.); Taj Montgomery (G, Sr.); David Barnes (F, Sr.); Samir Georges (F, Sr.); Jalen Stewart (C, Sr.); Frank Falco (G, Sr.); Elijah Ruiz (F, Sr.) and Nick Stannard (F, Sr.).

Newcomers include Connor Carey (G, Sr.); Brooks Coyne (G, Jr.); Nick Ellis (F, Fr.); Jalen Fletcher (PG, Fr.); Kyle Johnson-McCormick (F, Fr.) and Owen Johnson-McCormick (F, Fr.).

“We are in a very difficult division with most of the teams having returning players on the roster,” said Stellato. “We have to come and play and compete every night. But, we have to play our best basketball at the end of the season. We should be in the mix for a spot in the league playoffs. We need to finish games off strong, make foul shots down the stretch and stay out of foul trouble.”