Blackman, Cox soar for Hills West
West Babylon's mascot is the Eagle, but the only players soaring Thursday night were the boys with "Hills West" stamped on their chests.
Emile Blackman's 2010-11 highlight reel could have been created in the span of three possessions.
Half Hollow Hills West cruised to a 66-42 League IV boys basketball win over visiting West Babylon to avenge its only loss to a Long Island team this season. It also snapped the Eagles' 11-game winning streak, which included the 81-65 win over the Colts on Jan. 11.
After a 10-0 run to start the game, the result was never in doubt. It was simply a matter of which incredible dunk would be shown on MSG Varsity's SportsDesk Friday night.
Blackman, who totaled 15 points and 11 rebounds, had the clear favorites, but senior Chris Cox, who had a career-high 19 points (tied with Tavon Sledge for the team lead), wasn't far behind.
First, Blackman. He scored eight straight points in a 1:16 span in the second quarter, including three dunks. On the first, he snatched the ball from a West Babylon player under his own rim and threw it down.
On the second, which he called his favorite (and based on the reaction, was the crowd's, too), he jammed in a putback one-handed while the ball was still in the air.
"That one was the best," Blackman said. "I was at the top of the key and then crept around and got to it before anyone else."
He said that as if anyone else on the court could've jumped high enough to touch the ball before he did.
"Tavon, Emile and Chris are the three most athletic kids I've ever coached," said Hills West's Bill Mitaritonna, who coached Tennessee standout Tobias Harris last season. "I shake my head at the things they do. I didn't think they were humanly possible."
Blackman's third dunk, which gave the Colts (8-1) a 24-9 lead, came the way many of Hills West's points did, off a turnover. Anthony Rollino had a steal and tossed ahead to Blackman for yet another one-handed, rim-rattler.
Cox showcased his skills in the third quarter on a two-hander. Said Cox: "I told Emile, I think I hit my head on the rim on that one. But his [dunk] on the putback was definitely one of the best I've ever seen."
Added Blackman: "In practice, we don't know who the best dunker is, so I guess we wanted to figure it out tonight."
West Babylon (9-1) scored a season-low 42 points and was led by Chris Doyle and Taylor Frisch, who had 12 points each.
Said Eagles coach Tim Lynch: "Hills West proved they're still a great basketball team."
And for the fans, one of the most fun to watch.