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Brent Bland, Half Hollow Hills West thrilled to finish season as undefeated Suffolk III boys basketball champions

Half Hollow Hills West's Brent Bland moves the

Half Hollow Hills West's Brent Bland moves the ball during win over Kings Park on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2021. Credit: Bob Sorensen

Sure, the season came in a size small because of the pandemic. But after the clock ran out in the finale at Half Hollow Hills West’s fan-free gym Sunday, the players still felt an extra large amount of sheer joy. They were 9-0 with none to go and the top available prize in their possession.

The Colts finished as undefeated champions after taking the Suffolk Conference III boys basketball title game against Kings Park, 81-72.

"It’s great knowing that I went out my senior year going undefeated," guard Brent Bland said. "I’ve been playing with these kids since I was 13, 14 years old. We’ve always played together. It’s great to know that we can make an impact. We went undefeated our senior year. Nobody thought this would happen. Yeah, I’m happy."

Bland scored 11 points in the first quarter and 11 more in the fourth en route to a game-high 27 points. Senior forward Zach Seltzer added 21 points. Senior guard Colby Jordan delivered eight of his 12 in the fourth and contributed seven rebounds and seven assists. Frank Wilson chipped in with 14 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks.

"Me and the other seniors, we always envisioned that it was going to end in a great way," Seltzer said. "We played our heart out for the last 32 minutes of our career."

Kings Park finished 8-2 and with some satisfaction, too.

"Another great season," coach Chris Rube said. "I love these seniors. I’m going to miss them tremendously. But their legacy is here. When we do win in the future, they’ll be a part of it."

Kings Park trailed Hills West by 17 in the second quarter. But it shrunk the margin down to three twice in the final quarter. After the second occasion, Seltzer countered with a layup and Jordan scored on a drive and a runner, making it 67-58.

"We’re explosive," coach Steve Atkinson said.

Junior guard Jon Borkowski, who topped Kings Park with 23 points, responded by hitting a three to cut it to six with 3:22 left.

"We never quit, not once," Rube said. "Most teams would’ve folded."

But it never got closer. Wilson put in his own miss and Bland converted a spinning drive to get it up to 10 at 71-61.

"We just wanted to finish the job," Jordan said.

Bland had also nailed three three-pointers in helping drop Kings Park into a 29-15 hole after one quarter.

"We’re just so, so happy that we had a season," Atkinson said. "This is awesome. We did as much as we could do in this season, and nobody could be happier than us."

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