The thud when Dalique Mingo landed hard on the court could be heard above the din created by a large, noisy crowd at Uniondale.
Farmingdale's star guard had driven hard to the basket in traffic and came down on his back a minute into the second quarter Tuesday. Play continued for several moments as Mingo writhed in pain, unable to get to his feet.
"It hurt. I came down hard, right on my back. But I told the coaches to leave me in," Mingo said. "It's still killing me now."
"He showed he's one of the best players on Long Island, the way he stepped up for us," said Farmingdale coach Jim Pastier, whose team improved to 8-2 overall, 6-0 in league.
Farmingdale started fast, scoring the first 11 points, including two twisting layups by Mingo. It took a while, but the Knights (5-4, 3-3) finally made a run. They scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter, cutting their deficit to 46-43 with 5:20 left. Imran Ritchie scored five of his 14 points during the flurry.
Mingo stopped the Knights' streak with a lefthanded layup. Then, after Uniondale's Aaron Weeks scored inside to make it a three-point game again, Mingo grabbed the reins and didn't let go. The 6-foot senior scored the Dalers' next nine points, seven from the foul line, as he used a variety of stutter steps and spin moves to get into the lane. His burst gave Farmingdale a secure 57-45 lead with 2:35 left.
"I was going to do whatever it took to win," Mingo said. "If that meant scoring -- which it did tonight -- I'd do it. I was going to the basket to create for myself or for my teammates if they stopped me."
The Knights never did. Mingo, who at times seemed to be favoring his back by moving about gingerly, converted five layups, five of Farmingdale's nine three-pointers and 14 free throws in the highest-scoring game of his career.
"In a hostile environment, after they got it down to three -- I've never seen him do anything like that," Pastier said. "He's still hurting a little. He'll be icing it now."
That's about the only thing that could cool down Mingo Tuesday.