Dylan Nealis filled the stat sheet on Saturday.
Steals? Check. Blocks? Check. Points, rebounds and assists? Check, check and check.
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The shooting guard for the Massapequa boys basketball team even took a charge and nailed a midrange jumper while falling away from the basket to beat the second-quarter buzzer in the Chiefs’ 60-33 win over Port Washington in the semifinals of the 2nd Annual Massapequa Holiday Basketball Tournament.
“Dylan is our best athlete,” Chiefs coach Martin Voigt said. “He’s All-State in soccer. He plays this for fun. He’s just so aggressive, so quick. He runs the offense. He gets rebounds. He does everything for us.”
Everything is right. Nealis finished with 14 points, six assists, four steals, three rebounds and a block for the host team.
“I always try to read the defense, read their eyes, and see if I can intercept any passes,” Nealis said. “I like to mix it up and keep the defense on its heels.”
Nealis, who will attend Georgetown next fall and play soccer, was a blur on the court. He came from seemingly nowhere to jump passing lines. He blocked a jump shot while flying over from the opposite side of the court. He even stepped up to take a charge on a fast break in the third quarter.
“The kid’s insane,” said Gary Rettig, who finished with nine points and five rebounds.
Nealis’ strong performance was timely. He was mostly quiet in the first quarter, and his first points didn’t come until the buzzer-beater at the end of the first half. The Chiefs led 31-22 at the break, but the Vikings scored 11 of their points on free throws.
With too many easy opportunities for the visiting team, Voigt decided to change to a zone defense. It worked.
Port Washington scored 11 points the rest of the way, including only four in the third quarter. Only one came on a free throw. Meanwhile, Nealis scored 12 of his 14 in the second half.
Unselfish play was the key to Massapequa’s efficiency. The Chiefs got what Voigt likes to call ‘Chief Shots’ — open looks from deep after passing along the perimeter. They converted on nine ‘Chief Shots’ in the game.
“We’re that kind of team,” Rettig said. “We’re not going to razzle-dazzle at the rim. We’re going to go out there and shoot our shots.”
It was Nealis who razzled and dazzled, while Michael Baierlein (13 points) and Bryce Paladino (eight) filled in the blanks. Zach Jimenez and Xavier Merriweather each scored eight for Port Washington (3-2).
Massapequa (7-2) will play North Shore in the finals of the tournament on Sunday.