Even when East Islip guard Jordan Mosley is backpedaling on defense, his eyes often can be found staring at the basketball.
Mosley has a knack for timing a pass, reaching in at the ideal moment for a steal or just being in the right place at the right time for a loose ball as he displayed Tuesday. He had eight steals to go with his 22 points as host East Islip defeated Westhampton, 75-55, in a matchup of undefeated boys basketball teams in Suffolk V. Many of Mosley’s baskets came in transition off his own steals.
“Usually off-the-ball defense is better for me,” Mosley said. “We just pressure the ball and make them nervous.”
East Islip, which has made 14 of the last 15 Suffolk AA playoffs, dropped down to Suffolk A because of enrollment numbers. The Redmen believed they could be a force in their new league right away.
“We knew we were going to come down and we knew could win the league,” said Greg Cassiano, who had 16 points. “But now after this win, I think it just proves it.”
Mosley was consistent throughout the game — scoring six points in three of the four quarters, and four in the third quarter.
“I think he’s a very unselfish player who gets his buckets and scores in multiple ways,” coach Rob Schwender said about Mosley. “We’re not running plays for him all the time, he just scores in flow. It’s nice to watch him play.”
East Islip (6-0) got off to a fast start, taking a 17-8 lead in the first five minutes. Mosley and Cassiano dictated the scoring in the first half, totaling 26 points as East Islip led 39-26.
“Jordan is one of the most exhilarating players I’ve ever played with,” Cassiano said. “He’s just always on the prowl.”
“Greg is one of the best big men I ever played with,” Mosley said in return.
Joseph Cassiano, Greg’s brother, added 10 points with AJ Audain and Patrick Connolly each scoring nine points in the win.
Jake Gaudiello had 28 points with Nolan Quinlan adding 10 points to lead Westhampton, which already has already won as many games this season (eight) as last season — and is 4-1 in Suffolk V.
“I think as the season goes along you have these games where you have to put a measuring stick of your success,” Schwender said. “This is one of them.”