The New Look Kinnelon Boys Basketball Team

How the Kinnelon Boys Basketball team is rebounding from a poor season


Devin Agnello

Guard Nick Canariato dribbles around a Boonton defender with just minutes left in the game.

Kinnelon Basketball has gotten off to a scorching hot start so far this season. The team, led by Nick Canariato and Dylan Charles, has a record of 13-6. A pair of four-game winning streaks have been the difference maker for this group so far. They currently lead their conference and have a few regular season games remaining before state tournament games begin. 


Canariato, the captain and leader of the team, has high expectations for this energized group. “Our expectations for this year was to compete at a high level overall, and be at least a couple games over .500. We wanted to win our conference and win a county game. We also want to make a deep run in the state tournament,” said Canariato. The team has been able to be extremely successful so far, and has given themselves the opportunity to go deep into the state tournament. 


A big part of the team’s success has been the team’s new head coach, Coach Dave Kessinger, known as “Coach K”. He has done a great job helping the team bounce back from a 2021 season where they had a record of 8-13. “Coach K has been great for us this year, he has taught us a lot on and off the court…I love what he’s added to the team,” said Canariato. 


Statement wins over Butler, Boonton, and Parsippany have been crucial for the team. These in-conference wins showed that this resilient team is capable of winning any given game, no matter the circumstances. “Beating Boonton in the preliminary round of the Morris County tournament was a huge win for us. It’s probably my favorite moment from the season so far,” said senior Rich Geng. 


Juniors Canariato and Charles, along with sophomore Ryan Geng have paced the team in scoring. Another notable sophomore has been center Jace Marone. He has played a big role in the team’s ability to own the paint and dominate the rebounds. It’s clear that the team’s strength has been their size and ability to come back as a team when trailing in a game. 


The team’s ability to rebound from losses has been crucial. After tough losses to Kittatinny and Delbarton, they were able to edge Parsippany in a tight, low-scoring affair by a score of 35-33. This come-from-behind win showed what this team is capable of. With four regular-season games remaining on the schedule, it will be a busy couple of weeks for the team. Upcoming games include matchups against Whippany Park, Pequannock, Newton, and High Point. 


All four of these games will be away games as well. It’s no question that they will face a big test in the upcoming games, as Pequannock is one of the biggest games of the year and is a highly anticipated matchup. As the season progresses, every game becomes more and more important. This determined group will have a great opportunity in the postseason and looks forward to bringing back early-season success.