During water breaks at practice, Oyster Bay’s Devon Marmorale likes to try trick shots, to the amusement of his teammates and coaches.
“Devon doesn’t need water. He’s got some motor,” Baymen coach Brian Boyle said. “I’ve seen him make 15 or 20 of those.”
But those were in practice, not in a championship game. Still, Marmorale’s trick-shot wizardry resonated with the coaching staff when he caught an inbounds pass in the waning seconds of the first quarter. “One of my assistants said, ‘Right guy,’ ” Boyle said.
On cue, Marmorale rattled in a three-quarters-court shot that beat the buzzer and celebrated as if his team had won a championship. Later, Oyster Bay did just that.
Anthony Reilly had 14 points, 11 rebounds and four assists and Marmorale added 13 points, six rebounds and three steals Thursday as No. 1 seed Oyster Bay won its second straight Nassau Class B title, beating No. 2 Carle Place, 51-31, at SUNY-Old Westbury.
The Baymen (12-9) will face Suffolk Class B champion Center Moriches in the Long Island Class B final/state regional semifinal at 7:30 p.m. on March 7 at SUNY-Old Westbury.
The Frogs, who were led by Chris Ruscillo’s 16 points, finished 11-10. They never recovered from Marmorale’s 60-foot er that netted a 19-3 lead.
“I saw there was five seconds so I told my teammates to get me the ball,” Marmorale said. “I almost lost it on the dribble, but I got it back and shot it. When it went in, it felt great.”
Reilly, a transfer from St. Dominic, called Marmorale’s morale-booster “the exclamation point to a great quarter.”
Reilly scored five points in the opening period, including a three-pointer from the right wing to open the game. The Baymen sank eight from downtown in the first three quarters and built a 46-20 lead. “Coach emphasized an up-tempo game,” Reilly said. “The fast start was a boost to our confidence. When one guy gets going, we all get going.”
Oyster Bay blew open the game with a 12-0 run in the third quarter that made it 41-17. Reilly converted a bank shot, a breakaway layup and two free throws and Marmorale nailed a three-pointer from a more conventional distance.
“We don’t really come out like that every game, but we were fired up and really looking forward to this game for three days,” Boyle said. “We couldn’t have drawn up a better start. And of course, you can’t plan on a 60-footer.”
But you can practice it. In fact, other Baymen like to duplicate Marmorale’s antics. Reilly hit a meaningful shot from midcourt to end the first half in the Baymen’s 50-45 semifinal victory over Wheatley.
Water breaks will never be the same.