GUILDERLAND The 2012-13 season was difficult for Matt Cerutti and the Guilderland boys basketball team.
Cerutti had to watch from the bench as the Dutchmen finished in the middle of the Suburban Council South Division pack because his hips prevented him from playing.
"It was probably the worst thing I had to do -- just watch my team go out there and not be able to do anything to help them," said Cerutti.
Off-season surgeries on both hips have allowed Cerutti to return to the Dutchmen for his senior season, and he couldn't be happier.
"It feels pretty awesome. It's been a long time," said Cerutti.
"He's still not where he wants to be in terms of his movement, but it's good to have him on the court," said Guilderland coach Ron Osinski.
Cerutti was a budding force in the paint before his hips became an issue. His strong inside play during the 2011-12 season complimented Cameron Dobbs' play at the shooting guard position and helped the Dutchmen win the South Division title.
With Cerutti back in the fold, Guilderland is aiming to unseat Bethlehem atop the South Division standings and earn the Suburban Council's No. 1 seed for the Section II Class AA playoffs.
"We have high expectations this year. We all do," said Cerutti.
"(Having Cerutti back is) a big factor because we've played together since we were young," added senior guard Vincent Simeone. "It's good to have him back."
Cerutti and returning center Marc DuMoulin give Guilderland a formidable front court and allow sophomore sharpshooter Andrew Platek to move back to his natural guard position.
"Last year, Marc did a pretty good job of it (in the low post), but Andrew had to play big as a freshman. That was tough for him to do, but he did a pretty good job," said Osinski.