Elmont takes “Battle of the Spartans: Part Deux”

Elmont vs VSN - Battle of the Spartans Part Deux

Nassau Class A Semi Final

#1Elmont 67  #4Valley Stream North 50

The last time I saw VSN coach Dan Achatz, he was doing the best post game celebration by a basketball coach since the 1983 NCAA madness of NC State’s Jimmy Valvano!

In an early round “upset” of Garden City, the Spartans Noah Shy laced a foul line jumper as time expired to shock the GC Trojans. The VSN students flew down onto their home court and coach Dan literally ran about 4 feet up the wall on the baseline. Truly a great high school basketball moment.

VSN BenchCoach Dan Achatz addresses his VSN Spartans

Achatz did not get close to a similar moment last night.

Despite coming to this Nassau semifinal game with a record of 18-4, the Elmont Spartans had more doubters than believers this season.

Surely, comparing Coach George Holub’s 2016-17 squad to last year’s NY State Championship team would be unfair.

The conjecture regarding the present team had to do with the occasional disappearance of junior swingman KC Ndefo. The athletic and talented KC missed a couple of games and seemed to be out of sync at times on the floor for Elmont.

In fact, early in this game, Ndefo had but one “touch”, only 2 points.

Let’s credit his patience. 

After a brilliant and dominant performance last week vs. Floral Park, KC could have tried to exert his game immediately vs. VSN.

Vincent McDonald and Ismael Astasie were scoring so, no problem.

KC got in a groove in the third period as Elmont pulled away. He finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

KC FT attemptElmont’s KC Ndefo attempts a Free Throw

At this game’s start, Valley Stream’s junior point guard, Taliq Abdul-Rahim, looked to use his strength against the undersized Elmont freshman, Jevon Santos.

Coach Holub countered with Conrad Ihaza, who then slowed Rahim’s drives to the hoop.

Noah Shy hit two consecutive 3s to pull VSN within 31-25 in the second quarter but as the contest rolled on , Elmont had too many quick ballhandlers , all skilled at going by defenders and finishing at the rim.

Making Elmont’s victory even more convincing was their production without their Star pg, Victor Olawoye. His drive & beautiful dish for an easy assist in the first ended with a knee injury that kept him sidelined for the rest of the game .

Tough loss for the Spartans from Valley Stream North but with 10 underclassmen on the roster, expect to see them at Hofstra again next year.

Impressive win for the Spartans from Elmont!

They face Southside this Saturday at Hofstra in the Nassau County A Final.

Reported by Tom Rottkamp, NassauBasketball.com


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