Cassius Moore of Elmont celebrates after the Spartans' 51-34 win...

Cassius Moore of Elmont celebrates after the Spartans' 51-34 win over South Side in the Nassau Class AA boys basketball final at Farmingdale State College on Saturday. Credit: James Escher

Elmont vs. South Side didn’t end well for the Spartans a year ago.

It was the Nassau A semis at Farmingdale State College. The Cyclones won by 14 on their way to Glens Falls and the state final four.

But Elmont vs. South Side on Saturday ended very well for the Spartans.

The two sides met in a postseason rematch on the same court, only this clash came in the Nassau AA championship game.

This time, Elmont saw a 16-point halftime cushion sliced to three after three quarters. But the Spartans owned the fourth, getting nine points from Cassius Moore and six more from Nassir Edwards and allowing a grand total of three.

And so fifth-seeded Elmont claimed the program’s first county title since 2020 via a 51-34 victory over second-seeded South Side.

“I’m happy that we’re a champion, but I can’t say we didn’t expect this,” said Moore, who finished with 16 points. “We knew it was going to happen from last year when we got sent home.

“[Facing South Side] was definitely a motivator. To see them again, it kind of made some of us angry and play with a fire under us.”

So the Spartans have won nine straight games and are 20-4. They will face Suffolk champion Hills East in the Long Island AA championship game/Southeast Regional final at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Farmingdale State.

So why did they advance?

“Because we have tough kids with great attitudes,” coach Ryan Straub said.

After South Side sheered Elmont’s lead to just 34-31 after a big third quarter, the Spartans took charge. They outscored the Cyclones by 17-3.

Moore got Elmont going, drawing two shooting fouls and making four free throws for a 38-31 lead with 6:20 left.

Edwards, who scored 10, made two more — nine-point lead.

Moore fired up a straight-on three — swish, 43-31.

Edwards drove the left baseline — 14-point game.

The lead reached 19 when Edwards drove and jammed with about 46 seconds remaining.

“We just stayed together because we know every team makes their run,” Moore said.

South Side dominated the third, holding Elmont to no field goals and outscoring the Spartans by 15-2. John Pericolosi scored six of his team-high 10 points.

“I think we lost some steam,” Cyclones coach Jerry D’Angelo said. “We had to claw so much back in the third quarter, expend so much energy and effort.”

Elmont made a couple of baskets off turnovers on the way to scoring the first 10 points of the game.

“Our goal was to pressure them, turn them over, make them feel uncomfortable,” Straub said.

Moore scored seven in the second quarter to help the Spartans go up at 32-16 at halftime. South Side could never quite catch up. The Cyclones finished the season at 20-4.

“I would say it was a success,” D’Angelo said. “No one thought we were probably going to be any good. We graduated [just about] everybody from the state final four team. But these kids proved them wrong.”

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