Floyd's Devin Burney drives the outside as Ward Melville's Russell...

Floyd's Devin Burney drives the outside as Ward Melville's Russell Winters defends. (Jan. 12, 2013) Credit: George A. Faella

True to his name, Devin Burney burned his defenders.

The senior forward caught fire immediately Saturday, scoring Floyd's first 17 points. He finished with 30 points and 14 rebounds, both career highs, in a 57-48 win over Ward Melville in Suffolk League I.

"Everything was working," Burney said. "From the three-point game, to the drives, pull-ups, putback rebounds. We were in a slump, so I was just worried about getting the win."

The slump, a three-game losing streak, as well as Burney's previous career high, 24 points on Dec. 22, are now up in smoke.

Burney scored all 10 of Floyd's points in the first quarter, using an array of running floaters off the glass, fadeaways and pull-up jumpers. He notched 10 more points in the second quarter, this time off putbacks and step-back threes as he accounted for 20 of his team's 25 first-half points.

But it was a balanced third quarter in which six players scored that allowed Floyd to build a comfortable lead.

Burney opened a 13-2 Colonials run with a fadeaway along the baseline. Devonte Dixon extended it with a layup, plus the foul, in transition. Vantrell Nash capped it with back-to-back floaters in the paint to give Floyd a 38-26 lead with two minutes left in the quarter.

The lead swelled to 15 early in the fourth quarter on a layup by Elijah Rios, who had nine points.

Junior forward Brian Samuelson had only three points but grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds, eight on the offensive end. He also drew five charges.

"You could say it's one of my secret weapons," he said of taking the charge. "It changes the tempo of the game . . . We needed this win to build our confidence again."

Jesse Smith had 16 points to lead Ward Melville (3-3), including a putback with 2:23 remaining in the fourth quarter to cut his team's deficit to seven.

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But Floyd (4-2), which had four of its previous five games decided by three or fewer points, wouldn't allow Ward Melville to get any closer.

Floyd coach Rob Hodgson Jr. recently nicknamed his team the "Cardiac Kids" because of their string of heart-pounding thrillers, but this one wasn't quite as close.

Thanks in large part to Burney, whom Hodgson praised for his ability to mix it up by hitting the outside shot, scoring in transition and creating off the dribble.

"When you can do those three things," Hodgson said, "it's hard to guard."

And easy to get burned.


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