The place was Nassau Coliseum and the stage was set for a showdown.
And that’s exactly what the clash between the Deer Park and Brentwood boys basketball teams provided on Friday.
Josh Pismeny made a go-ahead layup with 2:41 remaining, Malik Edmead tacked on a lefthanded layup 34 seconds later and Keshaun Jones also finished at the rim with 27 seconds left in the second overtime as Deer Park earned an 81-75 non-league victory at the shiny new building in Uniondale.
“It’s typical Deer Park-Brentwood,” Deer Park coach John McCaffrey said. “Every time we play them, it’s a great game. They’re such a handful, but we showed some Deer Park toughness.”
The teams competed at the Coliseum as part of a fundraiser for their programs.
Brentwood center Zed Key, who scored 17 points, ripped down an offensive rebound and converted two free throws to tie the score at 71 with 19.5 seconds to go in the first overtime. On the ensuing possession, Deer Park’s three-point attempt from the right corner sailed wide left of the rim as time expired.
Brentwood (4-2) appeared to be on the verge of victory toward the end of regulation before a critical miscue. After a three-point play by Bryce Harris (20 points) put Brentwood ahead 64-62 with 18.6 seconds remaining, the Indians came up with a defensive stop and missed two free throws with 9.9 seconds on the clock.
As players from both sides scrambled to the floor for the loose ball after the second miss, Brentwood called timeout, failing to realize it had none remaining. That prompted a technical foul, and Edmead hit two free throws to tie the score at 64.
The Falcons retained possession and missed a long three-pointer at the regulation buzzer.
As poised as he appeared at the line with the game hanging in the balance, Edmead said nerves certainly were a factor in the moment.
“I’m not going to lie,” said Edmead, who scored 27 points. “I was a little shook, but when I got on that line, I was like, ‘I’ve got to hit these.’ ”
D’Andre Edwards also was a force for Deer Park (6-1) with 21 points, including seven in the fourth quarter.
“Coach told me he needed me,” Edwards said. “When he told me that, I just took the ball into my hands and did what a big player is supposed to do.”
Pismeny, who finished with 15 points and the go-ahead basket, marveled at the opportunity to compete at the Coliseum.
“Amazing,” he said. “I’ll remember this for the rest of my life, playing in front of a crowd like this at an NBA-sized arena. Especially with the win.”