Third times the charm for Malachi Moore. Having experienced defeat on two prior occasions, he was determined to end his third and final Alzheimer’s Classic with a win.
Moore scored 14 of his 21 points in the second half to lead Suffolk All-Stars to a 106-99 victory over the Nassau All-Stars in the 11th annual Alzheimer’s All-Star Basketball Classic at St. Dominic high school. His efforts led to him earning the Det. John E. Thomas Sr. MVP award.
“This was my third time playing and I lost twice, so I really wanted to get a win,” Moore said. “The first half I played eh, so I knew [in] second half I had to attack.”
That attacking style and the fast pace of the game led to the Copiague senior shooting 10 second-half free throws.
“The coaches told me I had to keep going and be the player they know I am,” Moore said. “That was like the green light for me, so I just kept attacking because I knew they couldn’t stop me.”
Baldwin’s Joshua Petion got the crowd going early with a big dunk as Nassau rallied from an 8-0 deficit. Leonidas Vlogianitis scored 11 first-half points and led Nassau with 17 points.
“I love to play in this game, it’s for a great cause,” Vlogianitis said. “We didn’t get the result we wanted, but we still had fun and played together.”
On the girl’s side things were much different as Nassau picked up a 93-51 victory. Our Lady of Mercy senior Meghan Andersen scored 27 points for the Nassau All-Stars and Suffolk got 12 points from Commack’s Fiona Kernaghan.
“It’s an incredible cause and I love how they paired it with basketball,” Andersen said. “We wanted to showcase what we can do and make it fun.”
Former St. John’s guard Gordon Thomas founded this event in 2010 in honor of his father and paired it with his passion for basketball. 100% of the proceeds go to the Long Island Alzheimer’s Dementia Center.
“These players weren’t hand-picked, they had to try out for this honor,” Thomas said. “They competed for these spots, so these are the true stars.”