David Carl, do you remember what it feels like to lose a game?
"It's been awhile but, yes, I do," he said with a laugh. "Remembering it is what keeps me hungry. We're just peaking at the perfect time."
The start of that peak began one month ago, which is when Oyster Bay suffered its last loss. The Baymen switched to a zone defense, and ever since, have been in a zone of their own, winning seven straight games to end the regular season.
"We've been playing tighter defense, not allowing open shots," said Carl, who had 11 points and eight rebounds. "We just keep getting better and better as we go. But we need to stay humble and keep doing what we've been doing."
After the Oyster Bay defense held Malverne to just 13 first-half points, Chris Papantoniou found a cutting Carl for the lay-in midway through the third to give the Baymen a 32-18 lead. Austin Seaman scored six of his 14 points in the third as Oyster Bay continued to build a comfortable lead that would only grow.
Nick Carbone added ten points and Rob Venegas had nine, including a three with two seconds remaining in the half that gave the Baymen a 24-13 advantage heading into the break.
The offensive stats are easily quantified but the Baymen realize it's their defense -- making their rotations and not allowing open shots -- that has kept the streak going.
"We've been doing half-court press and trap situations and that's been helping us a lot," Seaman said. "We're deadly right now."
Though a young Malverne team, which featured an entire starting lineup of underclassmen, struggled last night, it showed flashes throughout the season of what they will be capable of with added experience next season.
"It's a work in progress," said junior center Aaron Jackson, who had 10 points. "We're a young team. There's a lot of teams that will graduate a lot of players and we'll still be here. Next year, we'll be back."
Jarmel Richardson and Kevin Young each added six points for Malverne, which finished at 9-9.
Oyster Bay (15-3) advances to the Class B county championship to face the winner of No. 1 Wheatley and No. 4 East Rockaway at 9 p.m. on Saturday at LIU Post.
"They bought into the system and realized that we were going to win through defense, I think that was evident today," Oyster Bay coach Jim Frauenberg said. "Their confidence really started to rise once they started seeing results from playing defense. I think that really turned our whole season around and put us in the direction we're going in now."