Amityville beats Babylon in small schools championship game
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Another Amityville opponent fell into the trap.
The Warriors' disruptive defense forced 20 turnovers and featured a balanced offense Tuesday night, pulling away in the fourth quarter to beat Babylon, 52-42, in the Suffolk small schools championship at Longwood.
"No easy passes," is how Travis Dickerson described Amityville's approach that sent the Suffolk Class ABCD winner into Friday night's Suffolk overall championship game at Ward Melville against the winner of the Northport-Deer Park large-school title game. The Warriors also will play for the Long Island championship against the Nassau A winner on March 9 at Hofstra.
Dickerson and fellow starting guard Andy Laurent scored 11 points each, Sean Walters nailed four three-pointers off the bench and scored 14 points and Kavione Green added nine as Amityville improved to 19-2. Fernando Vazquez led Babylon (18-3) with 20 points. The Panthers will play in the state Class B regional semifinals March 5.
"Forcing turnovers sets up our fast break," Dickerson said. "We like to trap in the corners."
There was a new wrinkle in the Amityville defense Tuesday night. Normally, the Warriors play aggressive, trapping man-to-man, but coach Jack Agostino said he put in "a little bit of a zone trap" for this game.
That tactic was particularly effective when Babylon tried to break the press by throwing it to a big man at midcourt. "We know they like to look it to the middle, so we anticipated the pass," Laurent said. "We're always trying to force them into a trap."
Walters popped in a pair of three-pointers in the first quarter, when Amityville nailed four from downtown.
"We'll shoot from anywhere at anytime," Agostino said.
The Warriors extended a 25-16 halftime lead to 35-20, with Green converting a pair of putbacks during that spurt. Mike Alston's three-point play in the final minute of the third quarter provided a 38-25 lead entering the fourth.
Amityville broke it wide open as Walters sank two more three-pointers and Laurent scored six fourth-quarter points as the Warriors led 50-31 before Agostino sent in his subs.
"We can win games a lot of ways," Dickerson said. "Everybody can score."
All of the Warriors can set a trap, too.