The No. 3 on Rigaud Destime’s Copiague jersey is taking on a new meaning.
A junior on the Eagles’ boys basketball team, Destime said he chose No. 3 as tribute to the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade. But given recent developments, the No. 3 can serve as a warning to all opponents — as in three-point shooter.
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The guard continued his torrid stretch with 26 points and he shot 8-for-9 from beyond the three-point line in Copiague’s 75-64 win over South Side on Saturday in the boys basketball Nassau-Suffolk Challenge at Uniondale High School.
In his last four games, Destime has buried 26 three-pointers.
“If I see one go in, I’m going to try to make it two, then three, four, five,” he said. “I just keep going.”
Destime missed a three-pointer early against South Side (9-4), but he hit five in the first half, including a last-second shot that put the Eagles (8-3) ahead, 46-30, at the break.
After Copiague built a 22-point lead early in the third quarter, South Side chipped away and a free throw by Brandon Grayson (16 points) cut the gap to 64-53 with six minutes left. Copiague’s Andre Morgan (19 points, 21 rebounds, three blocks) had just picked up his fourth foul, and the momentum had shifted in South Side’s favor.
Not for long.
Copiague coach Steve Rebholz called two sets for Destime, who answered the bell with three-pointers on back-to-back possessions to inflate Copiague’s lead to a comfortable 17 points.
“We were in a tough point and we were struggling in that little stretch,” Destime said, “but I had to bring us back in the game.”
Destime converted at least one three-pointer in each of his first seven games this season, his first on Copiague’s varsity, but in those games, he hit as many as three threes just twice.
Then he exploded for eight in a loss to Connetquot and he had five apiece in the Eagles’ wins over Lindenhurst and Half Hollow Hills East, leading up to Saturday.
“I’m looking for him all the time because I just love the way he’s shooting nowadays,” said point guard Myles Mills, who had 12 points and eight assists.
Said Rebholz: “You just give [Destime] the green light.”
Especially from three.