Standout Middletown junior guard Travis Cook expects to miss Tuesday’s non-league showdown at John S. Burke Catholic with what he called an aggravated tendon in his left foot.
Cook, a Division I prospect, sustained the injury in a loss to Kingston on Tuesday. He missed Thursday’s game against Pine Bush and won’t play Saturday at New Rochelle. Still, Cook, averaging 10 points per game, put a positive spin on his minor setback.
“I honestly think this happened for a reason,” Cook said. “I think with me sitting out it gives the subs more time to play and they will get more confidence. They will know what to do. I think the plan is for me to sit out next week and go from there.”
As of Friday, Cook was still on crutches.
“It’s just sore. I can’t run on it or nothing.”
Burke Catholic hosts Middletown at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Eagle’s Nest in Goshen in a match-up of two of Section 9’s elite teams. Sure, it’s a non-league game. But this isn’t just any non-leaguer. Burke Catholic has walked to four straight Section 9 Class B titles and won the state championship two years ago. The Eagles are the favorites to win in Class A in March. Middletown is the defending Section 9 Class AA champion and plays a tough schedule.
Burke Catholic defeated host Middletown 63-58 last season. Two key players in that game who return for this showdown are Burke Catholic center/forward Stan Buczek, who had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Middletown sophomore guard Aaron Ray. Ray, coming off 33-point games this week against Kingston and Pine Bush, scored 17 against the Eagles last year.
Burke Catholic scrimmaged another Class AA power, Kingston, during the preseason for six quarters. According to Burke Catholic coach Doug Janeczko, Kingston “got the better” of the Eagles. He added: “We are a lot better at this point.”
John S. Burke Catholic guard Jack Dwyer said the Eagles are looking forward to the Middletown showdown.
“We have been getting ready for it, talking about it for two weeks,” Dwyer said. “It should be a good game. It’s a big game and I love big games. All of my friends and family are asking me about it.”