His three-ball attempts earlier hit nothing but air. “You’ve got to forget about stuff like that,” South Side reserve junior forward Dami Awosika said.
His next three-point attempt hit nothing but net with 1:23 left and provided the winning points in No. 1 South Side’s dramatic 48-47 victory over No. 13 Hewlett Wednesday night in a Nassau Class A semifinal played at Hofstra. You can’t forget about stuff like that.
“I don’t even know what happened,” Awosika, who netted 11 points, said of his game-winning shot.
What happened was that South Side, as it had all night, kept the ball moving trying to solve Hewlett’s sticky box-and-one defense that kept a defender on high-scoring Alex Sorensen all night.
“With a box-and-one, someone will be open. You just have to find him,” said Sorensen, who sank four consecutive late free throws and finished with 12 points.
South Side (18-4) will face No. 2 Elmont in the Nassau Class A championship game on Saturday at 7 p.m. at LIU Post. Hewlett, which lost three times to South Side, finished 12-10 after an impressive run in the postseason from a low seed. Sophomore guard Alyjah Hill led the Bulldogs with 11 points. His free throw with 1:47 left put Hewlett ahead 47-45.
After a couple of frantic, fruitless exchanges, the Bulldogs got the ball back with 22.5 seconds left. Hill missed on a runner in the lane, but South Side got the ball back with 4.5 seconds left. After a timeout, Hill’s shot from the right corner was off target. “It wasn’t the prettiest win in the world, but we’ll take it,” Sorensen said.
Awosika helped the Cyclones’ rally from a 21-11 deficit with 4:53 left in the second quarter. The game was stopped for about 25 minutes at that point for a medical emergency involving a spectator. Both teams returned to the locker room during the delay.
Awosika scored the last four points of the first half as South Side cut the deficit to 23-20. “Dami gave us great energy in the second quarter,” South Side coach Jerry D’Angelo said.
And displayed a short memory just before his long shot. Unforgettable.