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Thomas Franz leads Garden City to boys basketball win over New Hyde Park

Garden City defeated New Hyde Park, 77-45, in Nassau Conference A-I boys basketball, at New Hyde Park High School, on Sat. Jan. 25, 2020. (Credit: Newsday / Owen O'Brien)

The Garden City boys basketball team doesn’t have just one player to attract the defense’s attention. Game planning against the Trojans is no easy task because even the players themselves don’t know who will be “the guy” that day. And they wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Teams can’t just scout one guy, they have to focus on all of us because we can all play,” junior guard Thomas Franz said. “And when you can’t just focus on one guy, the ball moves and if you shut down one guy, we find the other guys who can play just as well.”

Saturday afternoon was Franz’s turn. He scored 20 points to lead Garden City to a 77-45 victory over host New Hyde Park in Nassau Conference A-I.

“We fight together, we play as a team together and we play our best together,” Franz said. “If someone fails, we get back up together as a team -- it’s captain by committee.”

Gavin Paskewitz added 13 points and Brian Wood had 11 points for Garden City (6-2).

“It just makes us versatile,” Paskewitz said. “One night if a guy’s getting locked up or they are playing a certain defense and not letting Tom or Luke [Long] score, we have guys like Brian Wood, myself, Aidan Long, [Jack] Downey who can all put the ball in the basket.”

From a coach’s perspective, Garden City’s Jim Hegmann understands how difficult it can be preparing for a team with balance and depth.

“When you are game planning for certain teams and certain guys and if you take care of that, it’s easy,” Hegmann said. “But if you have a variety of players who are good and you are worrying about everyone else … it’s tough to scout that if you are on the other end.”

The Trojans opened the second quarter Saturday on an 11-1 run, and outscored New Hyde Park 17-5 in the quarter to open up a commanding lead.

Kristos Fernandez had 16 points to lead New Hyde Park (1-7).

After losing in the opening round of the playoffs last season, Garden City hopes to rely on its athleticism to bring the team on a deep postseason run.

“We have depth, a lot of shooters, a lot of athletes, guys that can guard and we’ve said since Day 1 in order for us to be successful, we’re going to have to do it together,” Hegmann said. “There’s not really one guy that’s going to go out there and take over, so we’re going to have to do it collectively.”

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