Micah Snowden is already thinking about the next step. For both himself and the Center Moriches boys basketball team.
At 6-6, you may not except Snowden to be the team’s primary ballhandler, but with star Sean Braithwaite battling early foul trouble, the senior had the ball in his hands often, creating for both himself and his teammates.
“I feel like at the next stage, I’m only 6-6 and 6-6 [players] are shooting guards,” Snowden said. “In college, I’m not a center, so I had to improve my skills that I’m not good at.”
It was difficult to find a skill Snowden wasn’t excelling at Saturday afternoon, as he had 34 points and 15 rebounds, six assists and five steals as No. 1 Center Moriches defeated No. 3 Mattituck, 88-66, in the Suffolk B championship at Floyd High School.
“At first it was tough,” Snowden said. “But when you start practicing two hands, one hand, no looking, it becomes natural. Today it came natural, with the killer instinct that I had to get my team up and to score.”
Center Moriches (16-5) advances to play Bridgehampton (13-8) in the Suffolk BCD championship Tuesday at noon at Floyd High School. The Red Devils also advance to face the Nassau B champion in the Long Island Class B championship March 6 at Farmingdale State College at 7 p.m.
After a back-and-forth first quarter and Center Moriches took a 46-34 lead into halftime, the Red Devils’ pressure defense opened the second half on a 20-3 run over the period’s first four minutes to take a 66-37 advantage. Coach Nick Thomas said one of the team’s main focuses each game is winning the first three minutes following halftime.
“That’s something we pride ourselves in, whether we’re up or down, you have to come out with that fight,” Thomas said. “Today we did a great job of just staying in character, getting back to our brand of basketball and imposing the will on the defensive end.”
“When we play like that, it sets the tone for the last two quarters of the game and it gets the energy going,” said David Falco, who had 17 points and nine rebounds. “When you get stops on defense, it leads to offense and it just plays into each other.”
Center Moriches also received key contributions from Dayrien Franklin (eight points, eight assists, four steals), Emond Frazier (seven points, 12 rebounds, seven assists), Tyiquon Nix (six points, three assists, three steals) and Braithwaite (five points, five rebounds, five assists) in the win.
Xavier Allen had 23 points for Mattituck (12-10).