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Dana King, Hall Elisias help Valley Stream South win second straight Nassau Class A crown

Valley Stream South celebrates its Nassau Class A

Valley Stream South celebrates its Nassau Class A final win over Floral Park at Hofstra University on Saturday, March 7, 2015. Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

On the perimeter, there was Dana King. Inside the paint, there was Hall Elisias.

King is the Valley Stream South basketball team's all-time leading scorer, according to coach Matt Johnsen. Elisias is the Falcons' 6-7 center.

King alone is trouble for opposing teams. Leave King open or cover him with one defender? He'll make the shot. Double-team King? He'll find an open teammate.

Then there's Elisias. What happens when King misses? Elisias grabs the rebound and converts a putback.

With King running the offense efficiently and Elisias dominating in the paint Saturday, the seventh-seeded Falcons were able to secure their second straight Nassau Class A championship with a 49-43 win over No. 16 Floral Park at Hofstra.

King had 16 points and six assists and Elisias added nine points, 19 rebounds and six blocks for the Falcons (17-4), who will face Bayport-Blue Point at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Farmingdale State for the Long Island Class A championship.

"I have the two best players in the county," said Johnsen, who is in his fifth year. "So I sleep a little easier having them. No one else has a 6-7 center like Hall and I always have confidence in Dana down the stretch of games."

Brian Fox made five three-pointers and finished with 18 points for Floral Park (14-8), which became the first 16th seed to appear in a Nassau basketball final since the seeding process began in 1964, according to county historian Jack White and statistician Joe Giannotti.

Fox's three-pointer from the left corner cut the deficit to 44-40 with 1:13 left in the fourth quarter, but the Knights never got closer.

After a Floral Park miss, King secured a rebound and fired an outlet pass to Murilo Pereira, who converted a layup to give the Falcons a 47-40 lead with 25 seconds remaining. King scored the game's final two points with five seconds left to seal the title.

"This feels even better than the first one," Elisias said.

That's because, Elisias added, he had a bigger role this season. Elisias and King are the team's only returning starters from last season's championship team.

"This was a tough season because some guys were inexperienced and needed time," Johnsen said. "We came off a little hangover, too, and had to battle all year long."

The improved play of Pereira, Jaremi Hernandez and Josh Robinson -- the team's three other starters -- proved vital Saturday. The trio totaled all eight of the Falcons' points in the third quarter, with Pereira scoring four. South led 34-32 after the third.

The Falcons pulled away with a 10-2 run to open the fourth quarter as Elisias and King alternated scoring baskets.

Floral Park struggled to score because of Elisias' presence. His size prevented the Knights from driving to the basket. "He's our savior," King said. "He was dominant again."

Said Elisias: "With having me and Dana back, expectations were high for us. Our expectation was to get back here and beyond."

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