In the Paint
The Salem boys basketball team is known as a guard-oriented club, where players like Christian Dunston, Marvin Baez and Billy Muse steal all the headlines.
But as talented as that trio is, all the Witches know their success depends on the effort, hustle and dirty work that their forwards provide.
Starters Jared Louf-Woods and Emilio Beato, plus reserves Davonte Holloway, David Kazadi and Nick Salamida have to provide defense, rebounding and all the “little thing” plays that truly make up a winning team.
When that quintet is doing the job, Salem is much more difficult to stop.
“They’re great. They do all the dirty work,” Dunston said. “Whenever we think we don’t have it, they get a rebound and put it right back in. That’s why I love those guys. We’ve played together forever, since middle school, so I know how they work and I really appreciate it.”
As shifty and slippery as Dunston is on offense, he’s just as gritty and tough on defense. Even though he’s the team’s point guard, he’s willing to slide inside and grab some rebounds when the team needs him to. Still, he’d much rather have his frontcourt handle the grunt work.
Beato is just the type of player every coach wants. He’s not concerned with how many points he scores; he’s just as happy grabbing a loose ball or taking a charge for the Witches.
“We need guys like that. Every team needs guys like that,” Dunston said. “We’re lucky we have Emilio. He’s also a great baseball and soccer player, so he’s an all-around athlete.”
Salem head coach Tommy Doyle knows exactly what to expect from Beato every game.
“He is just non-stop effort, whatever is needed,” Doyle said. “He listens and he tries his hardest at all times on defense and offense. He’ll shoot if he needs to and he’ll rebound. Him and Louf-Woods have been the grunt workers. As a result, they do get some points, but they don’t care. They’re not out there for points; they’re team guys.”