When Luis Smikle Jr. gets in his zone, he’s not going to let anything or anyone get in his way.
The Farmingdale senior guard scored eight of his game-high 23 points in the third quarter as the Dalers defeated host Massapequa, 61-43, in each team’s Nassau Conference AA-I boys basketball opener Tuesday afternoon.
When Smikle is attacking the basket, the rim appears different to him when everything is working.
“It just looks red and I’m trying to get to it,” Smikle said. “Nobody is going to stop me from getting to what I’m trying to do.”
And few players could Tuesday. Smikle led all scorers in three of four quarters en route to the win.
“From last year to this year, it’s night and day,” coach Jim Pastier said. “He’s taken his game to the next level and the kid can score. He worked on his shot and give him all the credit in the world for how hard he worked and this is due to the time he spent in the gym.”
Smikle also credits the time he spends with his teammates. Tyrel Cason added 12 points and Tom Decker and Marvel Chambers each had 11 points.
Chambers, a four-year starter, and Smikle share a special chemistry on the floor. Pastier referred to the two as “Batman and Robin” adding, “no one is more important than the other one.”
“We jell together on and off the court as well,” Smikle said. “We are always working out together, so when we come on the court, I know where he is and he knows where I am at all times.”
Farmingdale went on a 13-3 run to take a 27-12 lead midway through the second quarter and after Massapequa cut the Dalers’ lead to nine at halftime, Smikle’s eight points in the third quarter helped extend the lead to 48-32 at the end of the period.
Thomas Spero led Massapequa with 19 points and Paul Buonaguro added 11 points for the Chiefs.
After losing in the semifinals last year, the Dalers just want to focus on daily improvements throughout the season. Even with lofty goals as the end of the year.
“We just want to get better every day and better as a team,” Chambers said. “We want to bring pressure and show everyone we’re one of the best teams on Long Island.”