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Darius Young leads Westbury past Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK

Westbury's Darius Young puts up a basket against

Westbury's Darius Young puts up a basket against Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK during a boys basketball game on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Darius Young likes to score in bunches. “When I’m feeling it, I go until I miss,” the Westbury shooting guard said.

Young didn’t miss much Friday night at Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK. In fact, when he sank his fourth three-pointer in the final minute of the third quarter, the Green Dragons led by 25 points.

Then, suddenly, there were no more bunches — only punches delivered by the gritty Hawks. “We got too comfortable,” Young said.

The Hawks reduced a 27-point deficit to 10, but Westbury held on for a 77-66 win in Nassau AA-II boys basketball. Young scored 25 of his 28 points in the first three quarters and Jalyn Dunlap added 17 for Westbury (9-1, 5-0).

Jack Stafford scored 26 points and Andrew Cardello 25 for Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK (8-4, 1-3). They totaled 20 of the Hawks’ 22 fourth-quarter points.

“I give them credit for making a good comeback,” Westbury coach Dave Graff said. “In the first three quarters, our zone and man-to-man defense was effective. We keyed on Stafford and made him look for someone else. We were cruising.”

But when Stafford and Cardeollo found the range, the Green Dragons went from cruise control to nearly out of control. “We weren’t running back on defense,’’ Young said, “and they pushed it and it messed us up.”

Cardello’s three-point play on a strong drive made it 72-62 with 1:32 left. Then, after Taylon Hill converted a putback, Young hit a free throw and fired a long breakout pass to Isaiah Ben Aise for a layup and a 77-62 lead with 45 seconds left.

Westbury built its big lead behind Young’s scoring, an opportunistic defense and a big advantage on the boards. Twice Young scored eight consecutive points. He made a three-point play on a driving bank shot midway through the second quarter, followed with a tip-in and concluded with a three from the corner out of the weave. The Green Dragons led 37-23 at halftime.

“Darius got hot and we got him the ball,” Graff said. “Then we stopped moving our feet on defense . . . It was a lot closer than it should have been.”

Young said he learned a lesson. “Next time we get a big lead,’’ he said, “we won’t take our foot off the gas.”


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