Joe Campay leads East Meadow over Garden City

East Meadow center Joe Campay looks to pass East Meadow center Joe Campay looks to pass in the fourth quarter of a non-league varsity boys' basketball game vs. East Meadow. (Dec. 31, 2012) Photo Credit: James Escher

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When the East Meadow boys basketball team needed a basket down the stretch, it turned to senior captain Joe Campay.

"Just give it to him and watch," teammate Cody Zafran said. "If we're down, we know he's going to step up. We just give it to him and let him do his thing."

Campay scored 12 of his team-high 18 points in the second half to lead the Jets to a 56-52 non-league boys basketball win Monday at Garden City.

"It was a struggle," East Meadow coach Barry Dickson said. "I thought [Garden City] played better than us, but we'll take it. Campay stepped up, and that's what he's supposed to do as our senior captain."

Zafran had 17 points and eight assists as East Meadow (5-3) picked up its fourth straight win. Campay also had 12 rebounds.

Point guard Spencer Bais sparked Garden City (1-5) early on, scoring 15 of his game-high 20 points in the first half, including the Trojans' final seven points of the second quarter to take a 25-22 lead into halftime.

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Campay began to take over in the third quarter. After Ed Blatz gave Garden City a 30-24 lead on a layup, Campay helped spark an 8-2 run, capped by his coast-to-coast layup, to tie the game at 32.

But the Trojans kept attacking. Kyle Skramko scored seven of his 13 points in the third and Bais hit a layup with less than 20 seconds left to give Garden City a 41-40 lead going into the fourth.

After East Meadow took a 51-48 lead with about one minute left on a free throw from Damien Sanders, a wild sequence ensued. Garden City's Blatz grabbed an offensive rebound and got fouled on his putback attempt. He made the first free throw, missed the second, got his own rebound, but missed that putback, too. Teammate Rob Wotczak grabbed the rebound, but his layup rimmed out and East Meadow's Campay secured the ball with 40 seconds left and drew a foul. The Jets went 5-for-6 from the free-throw line down the stretch to secure the victory.

"In the second half, we played like the team we know we can be," Campay said. "If we keep playing like that, we'll keep winning."

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