Cyclones Spin Bulldogs Out of the Playoffs

Cyclones Spin Bulldogs Out of the Playoffs

Nassau Class A Semifinal 

#3 Southside 58  #7 Hewlett 46

America is a funny place.

When you begin regularly frequenting it’s pool halls and musty old gyms, public opinion is more readily available than a free lunch.

If tonight’s matchup between relatively new rivals, Hewlett and Southside , were a classic Western gunfight …..

the desperadoes known as Coach Bill Dubin and Coach Gerry D’Angelo would draw many onlookers.

Before last night, I had met each head coach only once. Both were gracious and helpful.

So, the pregame buzz about rooting interests from the vultures circling Hofstra’s arena was perplexing to my innocent ears.

It’s not surprising that the programs had not won friends and influenced people to their favor ….. perennially winning teams have a way of distancing themselves.

When the opening tap finally flipped up over the outstretched hands of Hewlett’s Bromfeld and SS’s Awosika , the naysayers took their seats, and the players played their parts …. with passion and pride !!

The Bulldogs of Hewlett barked loudly at the Cyclones, taking an early 8-2 lead on 4 layups.

Looking at their size and confidence, picking Hewlett as this game’s winner was an easy estimation.

But, they led only by one 11-10 after 8 minutes.

Southside seemed passive.

They are known for an extended 2-2-1 trap.

Versus the Bulldogs, with their talented 6’7 big man, Zach Bromfeld, the ‘clones swarmed in a collapsing 2-3 zone. Unusual but effective.

The low scoring first half, 25-23 Hewlett, was not typical for SS, but making a game of it vs. a challenging opponent certainly was their fortè!

The geniuses in the crowd “knew” that the Hewlett coaching staff would make two simple adjustments at the break. Keep Dami Awosika off the offensive glass ( his 4 put backs had kept the undersized SS in the game )  & make secure passes ( 7 unforced turnovers limited their scoring chances ).

What we didn’t know was what Coach D of Southside had up his sleeve. It was a gunslinger’s best friend ( a secret weapon! ). 

Trailing after 3 quarters , 37-36, SS extended their defense to a 1-2-1-1 trap.

Had the Cyclones used THAT before ?

This season ?

Any recent season ??

But, wait ….. why would a club as truly savvy as this Hewlett team, fall apart because of a simple bit of pressure ?!?! The week before, at Roosevelt, the Bulldogs overcame a tremendous effort by the home team to advance.

Not sure.

But, it happened.

Sideline driving opportunities existed but the Bulldog guards tossed looping high ” lollipop ” passes instead.

All County guard, Alijah Hill, spurted with two made 3s and two brilliant assists to keep Hewlett ahead.

But, then the reign came. The history and determination of basketball success, established even before D’Angelo’s tenure at  Rockville Centre’s public school.

Four Cyclone starters finished with double digit points.

Ryan Prendergast 11

Pat Basile 13

Dami Awosika 14

Brandon Grayson 17

Final Score : Southside 58 – Hewlett 46

Congratulations to SS!!

The Cyclones face Elmont on Saturday at Hofstra for a Nassau County class A Championship.

Reported by Tom Rottkamp, NassauBasketball.com


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