With an assortment of tricks, including three-pointers, driving layups, clutch foul shots and an exclamation point dunk with one minute left, Hagigal was magical for Westbury.
Sheldon Hagigal scored 37 points to give the Green Dragons a 71-61 overtime victory over South Side last night at Hofstra in a Nassau Class A semifinal.
Westbury (16-4) plays Elmont for the Nassau Class A championship Friday at Hofstra at a time to be determined. The Spartans defeated Hewlett, 54-45, in last night's opener. South Side finished at 15-5.
Hagigal scored Westbury's final eight points of the fourth quarter, including a pressure-filled one-and-one with 5.9 seconds left that tied it at 55. Leon Taylor missed a long three at the buzzer to force overtime. Hagigal followed up his fourth-quarter act with a clinching encore: nine points in overtime as the Green Dragons broke a 58-58 tie with 14 straight points.
The first half demonstrated the contrasting styles of the two teams. Westbury, after scoring only 10 points in the first quarter, got its outside game going in the second quarter, nailing four three-pointers, including three straight possessions in the middle of the period. Hagigal, who opened the game with a three, sank one from deep on the right side. On the Green Dragons' next trip, Paris Abrams popped one from the left corner. Abrams moved to the left wing for another three 12 seconds later.
South Side displayed a potent inside game, led by Brett Cohen, who had 13 first-half points, eight in the second quarter.
Kevin Waxon came off the bench to score seven points in the second quarter for the Cyclones, who led 17-10 after one, but clung to a 32-31 halftime advantage. In the third quarter, Hagigal scored nine of Westbury's 12 points. Leon White countered with six in the period for South Side, sinking a long three from the right wing that tied it at 43 entering the fourth quarter.