Sometimes it’s as simple as dribble-drive-kick.
The Center Moriches boys basketball team struggled offensively against Babylon on Friday night. All the while, Red Devils coach Nick Thomas could be seen from the sideline mouthing, “Keep it simple; just play basketball.”
So guard Troy Goode did what comes naturally.
With his team leading by two in overtime, Goode drove left and forced the defense to converge on him. He left his feet, turned in midair and found sophomore Tyiquon Nix open on the right wing.
Nix buried the three-pointer that proved to be the difference in Center Moriches’ 59-56 Suffolk VII win over Babylon.
“I’m comfortable going past my man because I have a good first step, so that’s easy for me,” said Goode, who had 15 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds for the Red Devils (6-0). “Then if somebody steps up, I just kick it out to the open man, and hopefully they hit the shot.”
Center Moriches wing Nakia Durham scored 12 of his 21 points in the first half as the teams headed to the break tied at 19. Durham’s scoring made up for the output of 6-5 Sean Braithwaite, who entered averaging 18.8 points but managed only eight against Babylon.
The score was tied at 39 after three quarters and neither team built a real advantage in the fourth. Babylon went ahead 50-46 with 3:33 left after Shaun Kaminski stole a pass under the Red Devils’ basket and made a layup in traffic, but Center Moriches reclaimed a 52-51 lead on Nix’s layup in transition with 52 seconds left.
Durham fouled out seconds later, sending Joe Rende to the line for Babylon (4-2). He split the free-throw attempts with 32.9 seconds remaining, tying the score at 52 and sending the game to overtime.
Center Moriches took its largest lead of the game at 57-52 on Nix’s clutch three-pointer.
“Ty’s good for making those shots,” Durham said. “That’s not his first time making a shot like that. And that’s a great look by Troy. That’s what he does.”
Simple as dribble-drive-kick.