Jamel Allen's dunks spark Brentwood over Farmingdale
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Jamel Allen got into it early with a couple of baby hooks in the lane. That was merely the appetizer.
The main course was a resounding two-handed jam after Allen made an open-court steal.
But the dessert . . . now that was worth the extra calories. Allen, Brentwood's athletic sophomore forward, came flying in from the baseline, took a gorgeous no-look feed from Ali Mableton, and threw down a one-handed dunk that shook the Mack Sports Complex at Hofstra from basement to roof.
"I knew he was coming," Mabelton said.
And now the Indians are going . . . to Glens Falls for the first time since 2005. Allen scored eight of his 16 points in the first quarter and Mabelton added 14 and a handful of sparkling assists to lead Brentwood to a 61-41 victory over Farmingdale in the Long Island Class AA championship game Saturday before a crowd of more than 3,500 fans, many wearing lime-green "WOOD NATION" T-shirts.
Presumably, many will follow Brentwood (22-2) to Glens Falls next Saturday for a state AA semifinal game against Green Tech at 2:15 p.m.
"Wood Nation will make the trip. I'm sure of it," said Mike Almonacy, who contributed 14 points and some fancy passes of his own. "If we get rebounds, we can't be stopped on the break."
Certainly, the Indians were unstoppable early as Allen's acrobatics sparked a 17-5 start and had fans, quite literally, dancing in the aisles and waving those brightly colored shirts. But Farmingdale (17-4) made things interesting, with Ron Winkler scoring 15 points and blocking several shots and Curtis Jenkins crashing the boards and adding 11 points.
The Dalers' trademark tough defense slowed Brentwood for much of the second and third periods and Jenkins' runner in the lane made it 37-34 with 50 seconds left in the third.
Mableton scored in transition with five seconds left in the period and the Indians blew it open in the final frame. Femi Olujobi scored six of his 10 points in the fourth, Allen ignored what he said were back spasms to score two high-flying layups, and Brentwood closed the game on an 18-3 run, including the final 11 points. They were running and gunning again.
"That's a whole bunch of fun," Allen said of the fast-paced style. "Ali and Mike were looking for me early. We were a little nervous and those dunks got us going. That's what we do."
Of the highlight dunk on the feed from Mableton, Allen said with a grand grin, "I gave Ali a little wink."
Brentwood coach Anthony Jimenez gave his forward a little pep talk between the third and fourth quarters. "Coach came up to me and said, 'Jamel, play like you did in the first quarter,' " Allen said.
All the Indians did just that. "I'm so proud of these guys. Our zone worked and they believe in the transition game. They like to run," Jimenez said.
Then the coach paused before adding dryly, "And they like to finish in exciting ways."