Matthew Garside of Kings Park drives to the net past...

Matthew Garside of Kings Park drives to the net past the Mt. Sinai defense during the Suffolk boys Class A basketball championship on Saturday, February 25, 2023 at Stony Brook University. Credit: Dawn McCormick


The Kingsmen did it again.

Despite losing four starters from last year’s championship team, Kings Park, led by senior Matt Garside, earned its second consecutive Suffolk Class A championship.

“Matthew Garside had one of the best seasons in Kings Park history,” head coach Chris Rube said. “He ended up being the all-time leader in points. He now has won back-to-back county championships.”

Garside scored 29 points and junior Thomas Matonti added 18 points as No. 1 Kings Park won 67-54 over No. 3 Mount Sinai on Saturday at Stony Brook University.

Garside poured it on early, scoring the first seven points and 11 of the 17 first-quarter points to give Kings Park (17-6) the initial lead. However, Drew Feinstein and Mount Sinai (18-5) remained within striking distance.

The Mustangs’ senior threw down a slam on the fastbreak in the first quarter en route to scoring 20 points.

Rube acknowledged while Garside was playing well, some others were making early mistakes. He praised his senior for uplifting his teammates.

“It’s so refreshing when your best player is also your role model for the younger guys in terms of how to work, how to treat others,” Rube said.

Garside knows there’s pressure on him to lead, but he remained poised throughout the game. He’s been in this position before and welcomes his teammates to look to him for guidance.

He tallied 16 first half points, but Mount Sinai slowed his scoring down in the third quarter. He’s a willing passer and found teammates out of the double teams.

Matonti took advantage of the open opportunities, draining four three-pointers, three of which came in the second half.

“It’s evident that Matty is probably the best player on Long Island,” Matonti said. “It’s important for everyone on the team to stay locked in because every day in practice, every time he shoots, everyone always thinks it’s going in. So we always have to be ready when it doesn’t or he’s in trouble.”

The Kingsmen outscored the Mustangs 13-5 in the third quarter, opening the fourth quarter up 12.

That’s when Garside’s scoring came alive again. He scored 10 points, including six of seven fourth-quarter free throws to ice the game. He made 11 of 13 free throws in the whole game.

“You just got to keep your composure,” Garside said. “Obviously, you can’t celebrate too early. You just have to play it until the clock hits zero, and that’s what we did.”

Kings Park will play Class B champion Southampton at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Centereach High School for the Suffolk Small School championship.



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