The long-awaited game of the year in Suffolk boys basketball is finally here. No. 1 seed Half Hollow Hills West (21-0) will face No. 2 seed Longwood (19-2) in the Class AA championship contest Wednesday at Farmingdale State at 8 o’clock. A capacity crowd of 4,000 is expected.

Hills West, ranked No. 21 nationally in the latest USA Today poll, advanced with playoff victories over Sachem North, Copiague and Bay Shore. Longwood, whose only losses were in a tournament at Baltimore, defeated Sachem East, Whitman and Lindenhurst.

All season long, I’ve been asked by various coaches, “Does Longwood have a chance to beat Hills West?” So I’m not the only one who thought the Suffolk AA title would come down to this matchup. My answer to their question? Yes, I believe Longwood has a chance, because any team that can shoot the three as well as the Lions, has a puncher’s chance. I watched them hit 20 treys in one game this season.

The Lions also have an excellent trapping defense, but I’m not sure if that will be effective against the Colts for two reasons. (1) Hills West point guard Tavon Sledge is very strong and quick with the ball. (2) Tobias Harris has an excellent handle, and at 6-8, can see and pass over the press.

So I don’t expect Longwood to apply all-out fullcourt pressure. If point guard Tajric Boggs is healthy – he left Sunday’s semifinal game with an injured foot – the Lions have three-pronged backcourt featuring Boggs, Darien Davis and Paris Parks.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

The Colts, of course, counter with Sledge, Tobias and his brother Tyler Harris, who has had an outstanding year playing in the shadows. Hills West plays pressure defense, too.
Both teams can score in bunches in transition when they are creating turnovers. The Colts have an advantage inside and that could be crucial if the pace slows down.

Farmingdale State will be rocking and that’s a great thing for Long Island basketball. I’ll be at courtside and I’m looking forward to it.