Jordan Riley helps lead sharp Brentwood to Suffolk Class AA crown
The vast capabilities of Brentwood’s boys basketball team were never much of a secret. The Indians can score on the break or in the half-court set. They have speed and athleticism and play a very tenacious brand of defense. If some aspect of the Indians’ game wasn’t clicking, there always was another way they could beat you.
In Friday night’s Suffolk Class AA championship game against Northport, the crowd of more than 4,000 at Farmingdale State got to see what Brentwood looks like when everything clicks.
The Indians sprinted out of the gate with an 11-2 run and never let up on the accelerator as they roared to a 72-45 victory. They closed the second quarter with another 11-2 run for a 32-16 halftime lead and led 52-26 after three quarters. With the outcome clear, both teams substituted heavily beginning with 5:27 left in the contest.
“We were as serious as we ever get in the practices leading up to this game,” said junior swingman Jordan Riley, who had 14 points. “We wanted this.”
Brentwood (23-1) has won 10 county titles in its classification, including four of the past seven and two in a row. It will face small schools champion Amityville for the overall Suffolk title Thursday at Ward Melville and begin play in the state tournament on March 14.
“What you saw is a team that’s committed to each other and to winning,” Brentwood coach Anthony Jimenez said. “We made some athletic plays and we ran our transition game when we had opportunities, but this result was really built on defense.”
Northport (22-2) got very few good looks at the basket in the first half and missed all nine three-point shots it took in those first 16 minutes. Senior guard Sean Walsh, who had 14 points, made the Tigers’ first three-pointer in the first minute of the fourth quarter.
Amari Isaacs gave Brentwood a spark early with his three-point shooting. He made three in the first nine minutes of the game and had 11 of his 12 points as the Indians took a 19-10 lead early in the second quarter.
Romello Wright scored 10 of his 12 points as the Indians bridged the second and third quarter with a 20-3 run.
“We did our share of scoring, but I was really proud of how we got into them on defense,” Isaacs said. “Our focus all week was on our defense and it really came through.”