In the first half, Kian Dalyrimple got a scolding. In the third quarter, he was scalding.
“I told him to shoot with his feet set and stop all the dribbling,” Half Hollow Hills West coach Bill Mitaritonna said. “He listened.”
Did he ever! Dalyrimple, a 6-5 senior guard, turned in a remarkable eight minutes, scoring 27 of his career-high 34 points, including six three-pointers, as host Hills West defeated Bellport, 73-54, Tuesday night in Suffolk IV.
Dalyrimple began the quarter by scoring 11 consecutive points to turn a three-point deficit into a 34-26 lead that the Colts expanded to 27 early in the fourth. Dalyrimple nailed three consecutive treys plus had a steal and a layup during that surge.
“It all started with our defense,” said Dalyrimple, who made eight steals, three in the third quarter. “Our energy was up in the second half, everyone was hot, we shared the ball and my teammates found me.”
Richard Altenord (15 points, seven assists) did a lot of the finding as Dalyrimple hit from all over the court during his spectacular quarter. He hit a straightaway three and a layup off a steal in a nine-second burst and finished the quarter with nine consecutive points.
Four of them came when he was fouled as his left-wing three hit the bottom of the net just as he hit the floor. He got up to complete the four-point play. Another steal and layup and one more trey from the corner put a punctuation mark on a performance that kept Hills West (10-0) unbeaten in league play. The Clippers (7-3), whose pressure defense forced 17 first-half turnovers, were led by Jaye Bookhart (15 points) and freshman Jarell White (12).
Mitaritonna agreed that the Colts’ defense turned around the game. “It’s usually our defense that triggers what we want to do on offense,” he said. “Kian was the recipient of all those great passes in transition.”
Dalyrimple, who also grabbed 12 rebounds, was in such a zone that he did not realize exactly what he had accomplished. When told he had scored 27 points in the third quarter, he just shook his head in wonder. “I didn’t know it,’’ he said. “I had no idea.”
Of reaching his career high — his previous best was 32 — Dalyrimple said, “After the game, my teammates all came up to me and told me. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have known.”