After Marvel Chambers tore his ACL in January 2018, Farmingdale certainly missed his profound impact as they fell in the first round of the playoffs the following month.
Back in the fold on Wednesday afternoon, things were dramatically different this time around for Chambers, who had 29 points and 10 rebounds as No. 3 Farmingdale held off No. 6 Long Beach, 67-64, in a Nassau AA boys basketball quarterfinal victory.
“It feels great,” Chambers said. “It feels like all the hard work I’ve put in is paying off.”
Farmingdale (17-3) will face No. 2 Uniondale in the semifinals at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Farmingdale State.
After a Gerard Burns steal and layup with 2:15 remaining cut the Farmingdale lead to 57-54, Chambers responded with a deep three from the right wing to give the Dalers a 60-54 edge.
The Marines cut the lead to four with 10.5 seconds to go, but Chambers converted two free throws on the next possession to put Farmingdale ahead 67-61.
“I just decided to be in attack mode and be smart,” Chambers said.
Burns, who led Long Beach with 28 points, made a three at the buzzer to provide the final margin.
Despite the Dalers being the higher seed, Long Beach hosted the matchup because Farmingdale’s court was unavailable.
“These guys fought through a lot of adversity,” said Farmingdale coach Jim Pastier. “And if we are who we thought we were, we’d come here, or outside or in the Garden and win. A court’s a court. Like in the movie ‘Hoosiers’ where they measure out the height of the hoop.”
Burns scored nine points in the first quarter, but Chambers put up 13 of his own, giving the Dalers a 21-15 edge at the end of one. A 16-5 run put Long Beach ahead 31-26 with 3:06 in the second. Alex Bauer capped off the spurt with six straight points and scored eight during the stretch.
Trailing 34-28 at halftime, Farmingdale eased up their full-court press approach in the second half and subsequently held Long Beach’s transition offense at bay. The Dalers flipped the momentum with a commanding 17-2 run to begin the third and led 45-36 with 1:29 left in the period.
“We just stayed composed,” said LJ Smikle Jr., who added 12 points for Farmingdale. “We didn’t go for anything they were giving.”
With Chambers back in the fold, the Dalers are primed for their semifinal showdown with Uniondale.
“We just have to stay together, be strong, and we can win,” Chambers said.