Cassius Moore of Elmont drives to the net during a...

Cassius Moore of Elmont drives to the net during a Nassau Class AA semifinals against Sewanhaka at Farmingdale State College on Tuesday. Credit: James Escher

Elmont-Sewanhaka I and II went Elmont’s way. That was the regular season. Elmont-Sewanhaka III had a whole lot more at stake.

This was a game Tuesday night at Farmingdale State College for the right to go to the Nassau AA boys basketball championship game.

There’s always the theory that it’s tough to beat a team three times in three tries. But Elmont ended up going three for three.

The fifth-seeded Spartans pulled out a 51-48 semifinal victory over No. 8 Sewanhaka.

“Of course, it’s a rivalry game,” Elmont coach Ryan Straub said. “But we’re more focused on a trip to the finals now. So hopefully we can go finish the job.”

Elmont (19-4) has won eight straight. It will go after its first county title since 2020 Saturday afternoon at 3:30 back on this court against the winner of Tuesday night’s late semifinal between No. 2 South Side and No. 3 Roslyn.

Cassius Moore scored 16 points, including five in the final 1:04. Osagie Ekhator made the key go-ahead three. And Elmont survived a 23-point game from Dylan McLennon.

“Crazy win against a good team,” said Moore, the standout senior guard. “We’re excited to get back to the finals seeing that we got sent home this year at this same spot.

“The goal isn’t just counties; it’s to win Long Island and hopefully go to states.”

It was 42-42 and then Ekhator sent up a three-point attempt from the right side that hit the rim and went in with 2:13 left.

Jordan Tucker cut it to one with a layup.

But Moore countered with an off-balance shot in the lane to make it 47-44. Sewanhaka missed from in close. Moore then drove, drew a foul and made one of two for a four-point edge.

After a turnover, Moore hit two free throws for a 50-44 lead with 21.2 seconds remaining. Sewanhaka could only get it down to three.

“I just wanted the ball in my hands and to make plays for me and my teammates and win the game and advance to the finals,” Moore said.

Sewanhaka (16-7) owned an eight-point lead in the second quarter and a 28-23 advantage at halftime. But Elmont responded with a strong third quarter, going up by five before settling for a 39-35 advantage going to the fourth.

“Elmont just played well,” Sewanhaka coach Jay Allen said. “… They made more shots than us down the stretch.”

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