Cold Spring Harbor is light on experience after losing 11 seniors from last season’s Nassau Class B championship boys basketball team. The Seahawks also are seriously lacking height for a formidable inside game. But what they had on Monday night at Malverne was a mix of pride and desperation after dropping seven of eight.
Kip Dallaris had a season-best 33 points, including five three-pointers — none bigger than the dagger that followed a pass from a swarmed Tyler Pennetta with 1:15 left — as Cold Spring Harbor got back in the win column with a 71-63 Nassau B/C takedown of the formidable Mules.
Dallaris’ trey put the Seahawks (6-7, 2-5) ahead, 65-59, and after that they withstood Malverne’s withering press for a physical and frenetic victory.
“Tough times don’t last. Tough people do. That’s what I told them,” coach Jason Mecurio said. “This has maybe been the toughest stretch I’ve seen in 17 years of coaching and we’ve had a lot of recent success. Kip has a lot of experience playing with some quality players and I think it showed tonight. He played a perfect floor game.”
“It’s been a long stretch without feeling this feeling after a win,” said Dallaris, who was on the team that went 19-3 last season. “We won our first four games and it looked like everything was going great. Then people started to get sick and people were out. The losses started piling up. It’s been frustrating.”
Luca Sanna added 13 points, Will Buonfiglio had eight points and Pennetta had seven points, including a clutch three-pointer as well as his key pass for the Seahawks.
“In the face of their defense, you have to be focused and you have to trust your teammates and rely on what you’ve learned at practice,” Pennetta said.
DeAndre Blagrove had 14 points, Michael Warren Jr. had 12 points, Duane Bernard Jr. had 11 points — 10 in the first half when Malverne came on strong late for a 33-29 lead at the break — and Jayden Seraphin had 10 points for Malverne (9-6, 5-3), which shot just 13-for-24 from the free-throw line.
The teams observed a moment of silence before the game to remember Kobe Bryant, who perished in a helicopter crash on Sunday.
Among the losses in the bad stretch for CSH was a 10-pointer at home to the Mules, whose press wore down the outside-shooting Seahawks. Dallaris said the team relied on more ballhandlers this time to avoid fatigue.
Cold Spring Harbor opened the second quarter with a 12-3 run, capped by a Dallaris' three-pointer, for a 24-19 lead with just under five minutes left in the half. However, the last four minutes of the quarter was all Malverne. The Mules closed on a 14-5 run for a 33-29 lead. Bernard was especially effective in that interlude with five of his six first-half points, a pretty feed to Seraphin for a dunk and a sweet dish to Malique Mazyck for a three-pointer. Blagrove also was a major factor for the Mules in the first half with 10 points, including a pair of putbacks in the closing run to halftime.