Antoni Vlogianitis of Chaminade, left, looks to get inside the paint...

Antoni Vlogianitis of Chaminade, left, looks to get inside the paint as his cousin, Leo Vlogianitis of Garden City, guards him during a non-league boys basketball game played at Elmont on Saturday. Credit: James Escher

The Vlogianitis cousins, Leonidas and Antoni, had played against each other dozens of times before Saturday. Those were just highly competitive games of one-on-one – in Antoni’s backyard or Leo’s driveway. This one counted, when Leo and Garden City met Antoni and Chaminade.

“This was the first time in our lives we’d been on different sides – so it felt pretty different,” Antoni Vlogianitis said. Leo Vlogianitis piped in “we always played together, even in AAU, so this was different – each of us wanted our team to win.”

Each cousin was a factor in the outcome, but Chaminade emerged with the 80-56 victory in the 2022 Public-Catholic Challenge at Elmont High School. It was a strong rebound for the Flyers (5-2), ranked No. 2 in Newsday’s Island Top 10 rankings, after losing to No. 1 Long Island Lutheran on Thursday.

Leo had seven quick points to stake the Trojans to an early 11-6 lead. Antoni had a three-pointer and three-point play in an 11-0 burst that put the Flyers up 17-11. But things really changed when Chaminade’s Brad Wyckoff took a charge on Leo in the final minute, a second foul that put him on the Garden City bench. He would remain there while Dave DeBusschere and Wyckoff each scored six second-quarter points as Chaminade took a 44-28 halftime lead and full control of the game.

“We’re a different team when he’s not on the floor,” Trojans coach Jim Hegmann said. “But we got something that is going to help us down the road with Quinn Long and Ben Lau taking their games up and filling some of the scoring (void).”

DeBusschere had 19 points, Wyckoff had 17 points, nine rebounds and four assists and Antoni Vlogianitis scored 15 points for Chaminade. Long scored 16 points, Lau 15 points and Leo Vlogianitis 14 for Garden City (3-2).

“We wanted to come back strong from the loss,” Antoni said. “And when (Leo) came out, it took something big away from them.”

“My teammates played really well,” Leo said. “Being on the bench is not where I wanted to be.”

Leo and Antoni are the next generation of Vlogianitis basketball players on the Island. Their fathers, twin brothers John and Jim, respectively, were part of NSCHSAA champions at Holy Trinity, were both 1994 Division III All-America selections at SUNY-Brockport and both played professionally in Greece.

Leo made a big splash last season, becoming the go-to scorer as the Trojans reached the Nassau A championship game. Antoni has emerged this season as a major player in a deeply talented Chaminade ensemble.

“We’ve had different successes and each of us is happy for the other,” Antoni said. Added Leo “whenever we see each other, we’re asking about how their season is going and how they’re playing.”

With the holidays just a few days away, the Vlogianitis cousins will be together again to celebrate with family. Is there a chance the results of Saturday’s game might come up?

“It’s 100%,” Antoni said. “We’re going to be talking about it.”

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