Mike Almonacy, Jamel Allen lead high-flying Brentwood to Suffolk overall championship
In a game in which both teams were playing with house money, Brentwood cashed in a few more scoring opportunities. The Indians won their first Suffolk boys basketball overall championship since 2005 by defeating Glenn, 75-69, Friday night at Whitman High School.
The Indians (21-2) ran the floor and attempted a half-dozen alley-oop plays, with sophomores Mike Almonacy and Jamel Allen hooking up on a couple of crowd-pleasing jams. They looked like they were having fun, perhaps because this was not an elimination game for either team.
"To an extent," said Almonacy, who had 18 of his 19 points in the first half, including four three-pointers. "But we're proud of our program and we really wanted to win this game."
Brentwood will play for the Long Island Class AA championship next Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Hofstra against the Nassau AA winner. On the same day, Glenn (17-6) will face the Nassau A champ at Hofstra at 5 p.m. A trip to Glens Falls is at stake in both L.I. championship games.
"We want to win all our games, but we really want to get to states," Almonacy said. "We have fun in every game, but we had a few more opportunities because they ran with us. Those plays are part of our style."
Allen, a 6-5 leaper who runs the floor well, had a couple of spectacular dunks among his 16 points -- one a reverse off a lob from Almonacy and another on a feed from Ali Mableton (14 points). "I know if I keep moving, my teammates will find me," Allen said. "I love them for that. We play a fun style."
Femi Olujobi was an inside force with 17 points for Brentwood.
KeAndre Augustine, a 5-7 sophomore whippet, dazzled for Glenn with 22 points, including five treys. Jeff Park also had 22 and Darryl Daniels added 15.
The game turned in Brentwood's favor in the second quarter. The Indians led 34-33 when Almonacy was fouled as he drove for a layup. Glenn was hit with a technical foul for arguing the call, giving Almonacy four consecutive free throws plus possession. He made it a backbreaking seven-point play by nailing all four foul shots plus a three-pointer on the ensuing inbounds play.
That sequence keyed a 17-0 run that helped Brentwood take a 45-36 halftime lead. Another flurry late in the third quarter put the Indians on top 61-44.
Glenn got hot in the fourth quarter, scoring the first 10 points to cut the deficit to seven. But Olujobi made two free throws, scored after an offensive rebound and made a nifty spin move and bucket to give Brentwood breathing room at 69-59 with 2:55 left.
Brentwood coach Anthony Jimenez thought his team displayed a little too much style and not enough substance in spots.
"Maybe they lost themselves in the moment," Jimenez said. "They were a little casual. But Jamel made one hustle play for a putback that was just tremendous. I liked that a lot better than the dunks. I'm all about 'let's grind it out.' "
In other words, it's dunk for show but dig in for dough.