Westbury Championship Madness
LI “AA” Final : Westbury 61 – Hills East 60
Trailing 56-51 with less than 2 minutes to play, Westbury won the LI Championship today Improbably, Maddeningly, and Suddenly on three converted offensive putbacks ….. the last by junior reserve, Jalyn Dunlap, with 12 seconds to go !!!!
We can project with a fair degree of certainty that the mind of the teenaged athlete, leading up to a Championship Game being played at a College Arena is dancing with imaginings of heroism.
The Westbury Green Dragons not only have the best team nickname is Nassau County, they also boast two returning all-NY State players , Seniors Jonathan Dean and Darius Young.
Westbury began somewhat carelessly, with turnovers leading to Half Hollow Hills East transition scoring. A crowd-pleasing crossover dribble move to a layup by Savion Lewis gave the Thunderbirds an 11-3 lead.
A smoothly drilled “3” by Julien Crittendon at 1:30 gave Hills a 16-7 lead just before a Westbury floater beat the buzzer to finish the quarter: 19-11 HHHE.
Who hit the floater ?
A Westbury player off the bench, #4 Jalyn Dunlap. Remember that name !!
(Westbury Hero Jalyn Dunlap | Photo Cred: Chris Bergmann Photography)
The first 8 minutes of this AA LI Championship match seemed to feature this dynamic –
Hills’ quickness and speed vs. Westbury’s strength in and around the basket.
4 minutes into the second period, the Thunderbirds seemed to take charge of the game, expanding their lead to 28-13.
Despite Westbury’s attempts to clog the lane with a 2-3 zone, Hills junior guard Savion Lewis still managed to playmake and find his teammates for easy buckets.
Lewis is listed at 5’11 but that seems generous.
No matter his height, he is slight of build but easily one of Long Island’s most talented players this year!
Savion is fearless and skilled in attacking the rim. His deft ballhandling and vision are complimented by a reliable pull up jumper.
Lewis is ably complimented by junior shooting guard, Julien Crittendon (29 points ) who is also quick, savvy, and a gifted long range shooter.
But, Championship Games involve Championship teams and the Green Dragons had too much basketball in their history to be knocked out just 12 minutes into a game.
A timeout by Westbury coach Dave Graff implored his 5 to take care of the ball, and rebound at the offensive glass.
Westbury also switched to a 1-3-1 half court “D”, keeping close attention on Lewis.
The halftime score :
Credit Hills East Coach Pete Basel and his staff.
Their plan to smother Dean ( 16 points) and Young (9 points) worked, keeping both below their averages and getting nothing easy .
But, this was the day that Jalyn Dunlap dreamed of. His play surprised Hills and the crowd who only knew him as a Westbury substitute player.
Dunlap was energized, and relentless is attacking to score …. clearly taking advantage of his openings left by Hills’ attention on the Westbury stars.
Jalyn Dunlap led Westbury with 24 points.
Congratulations to Coach Graff and the Westbury Green Dragons …..!!!
LI AA Champions ?‼️
FROM TOM ROTTKAMP, NASSAUBASKETBALL.COM
*Pictures above from Chris Bergmann Photography