As Glen Cove’s Neri Romero sped downcourt, Brian Fox pinpointed a spot near the right block and planted himself in his path.
In his haste to make up an eight-point deficit late in the fourth quarter, Romero dribbled into the sophomore, who drew a charge and sent Floral Park’s home crowd into a frenzy.
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That was the last of several key plays made by Fox in Floral Park’s 60-53 win over Glen Cove in a Nassau A-III boys basketball game Friday. “When I took that charge, I knew we were going to win,” said Fox, who scored 15 points and grabbed four rebounds.
Floral Park’s Frank Phelan matched Glen Cove’s Kevin Ernest with a game-high 17 points and added five rebounds, four assists and two steals. T.J. Cluess had 13 points and five rebounds.
The Knights (5-3) trailed for a majority of the first three quarters and faced a 47-42 deficit with five minutes left. Then Fox led Floral Park on a 13-0 run to wrest control from the Big Red (5-3).
Fox hit two foul shots to cut the gap to 47-46, setting the stage for a fast-break layup by Shadner Edouasie that gave Floral Park the lead.
With Floral Park leading by three, Fox drew a foul on a three-pointer and converted two foul shots with 2:17 remaining. After a steal by Edouasie, Fox hit a layup through contact for his third three-point play of the evening, and his free throw gave the Knights a 55-47 lead. Fox drew his first charge of the season 11 seconds later.
The three-point plays and the charge were emblematic of Fox’s growth from a three-point specialist into an aggressive player who seeks contact.
“He really does a great job of that now,” Cluess said.
Fox said he worked on improving his ballhandling and strength last summer to gain the tools for attacking the hoop.
“He put a lot of time into it, got better, and tonight, especially the second half, he attacked the basket really well,” coach Sean Boyle said.
Without Fox’s aggressive approach, Floral Park might not have succeeded in its quest for revenge against Glen Cove, which won the first meeting, 65-52.
“We weren’t really ready for the last one,’’ Phelan said. “We came out stiff. This game we had to make a point that that’s not us.’’