Amityville wins Long Island Class A championship
Yes, the Amityville Warriors won the Long Island championship Saturday . . . and yes, they'll still be punished at practice Monday.
You see, if they allow more than 50 points in a game, the team is forced to do full-court running drills at its next practice.
Not even Long Island supremacy is going to change that.
"Our goal is our goal,'' Amityville coach Jack Agostino said. "We gave up 52 points and our number is 50. We still have to pay the consequences for that, but otherwise, I'm a very happy guy.''
Well, at least the Warriors can consider this run a victory lap after beating Jericho, 64-52, in the Long Island Class A championship at Hofstra.
"This is the best feeling I've had in my three years here,'' senior forward Kavione Green said. "We had a goal to keep them under 50 but we didn't get it. We are going to have to be perfect to win a state championship.''
Another goal for Amityville entering the game was to score 60 points, which Green helped accomplish. He had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Andy Laurent added 12 points and five assists for the Warriors, who advance to play Burke Catholic in a Class A state semifinal game Saturday at 9 a.m. at Glens Falls Civic Center.
Amityville (21-2) will be looking for its first state title since winning four straight from 2000 to 2003.
"We had to work hard because we hadn't been here in a long time,'' said Warriors point guard Mike Alston, who had five points and six assists. "We wanted to get back to states and get back to the tradition we had a couple of years ago.''
After Derek Medolla's three-point play cut the Amityville lead to 55-46 with 5:19 remaining, Laurent attacked the basket and converted an up-and-under layup to make it 57-46. Alston then fed an outlet pass to Mike Smith, whose layup increased the lead to 13.
Garrett Johnson scored 13 of his 15 points in the second half for Jericho (18-4), which was looking for its first Long Island championship since 2006. Amityville held Johnson, one of the most dangerous three-point threats on Long Island, to one three by switching and trapping on defense to limit his touches.
Jericho's Erik Kanzer added 12 points and 11 rebounds and David Orr had 11 points and seven rebounds.
After a three by Laurent pushed the Amityville lead to seven with two minutes left in the half, Green found Travis Dickerson for the layup on a two-on-one fast break to make it 29-20.
Zack Tannis then had one of his six blocks to ignite a fast break as Green found Laurent downcourt for the layup to help Amityville close the half on a 13-2 run and take a 35-22 lead.
Alston and Dickerson drained threes on consecutive possessions to give Amityville a 45-29 lead with 3:44 left in the third.
Amityville's swarming defense made it difficult for Jericho to overcome its double-digit deficit. Which is why being forced to run at practice isn't so much a punishment as it is a commitment to defensive perfection in preparation of the state tournament.
"We have to go up there, do what we've been doing since the first game of the season and play our defense,'' Green said. "It's a new game. The score is zero to zero now.''
And once the Warriors are through with their sprints this week, they'll begin focusing, of course, on a championship run.