The way Brentwood attacked the glass Friday night, it was as if the team expected every shot to miss. All five players were mobile, hostile and agile when it came to rebounding.
“We were incredibly energized and we had bounce in our step,” Brentwood coach Anthony Jimenez said. “I told them before the game that everyone had to block out on rebounds and that, except if you’re the shooter, assume it’s not going in.”
Jamel Allen led the board brigade with a career-high 22 as Brentwood — helped by a 27-point second quarter that blew open a relatively close game — cruised to a 71-36 victory over host Longwood in Suffolk I boys basketball. The two-time defending Long Island champion Indians improved to 2-0 and the Lions fell to 1-1.
The 6-6 Allen, who scored all of his 10 points in the first half and had three blocks, was a rebounding machine in the second quarter. After Longwood got within 18-13 with 4:45 left before halftime, Brentwood responded with a big-time avalanche of points.
Mike Almonacy, who missed his first six three-point attempts, finally drained one from downtown. A minute later, Allen was the trailer on a fast break when veteran role player George Perdomo deliberately banked a pass off the backboard to Allen for an electrifying variation on the alley-oop jam.
“George practices that play on Xbox,” Jimenez joked. “He’s an intelligent player who’s been on varsity for three years and has been waiting for the opportunity to do something special.”
Those plays triggered a 22-4 run to close out the half, including a 14-0 burst highlighted by back-to-back steals and layups by Jamel’s brother Rahmel (18 points) and a floater, layup off a steal and buzzer-beating three- pointer by Almonacy, who finished with 20 points despite a cold shooting night.
“Mike came to the bench looking for sympathy, but he didn’t get any from me,” Jimenez said with a smile. “That’s basketball. Sometimes the shots don’t fall.”
Almonacy, who grabbed nine rebounds and had five assists, took his coach’s advice to “just keep shooting. And I did other things to help us win.”
So did Ryan Beckles (10 rebounds, six assists) and Lester Quinones (12 points, eight rebounds.)
As for Jamel Allen’s high board scores, Jimenez said: “I love to see Jamel do that. He’s so strong that when he comes down with it in traffic, he keeps the ball high and doesn’t lose it.”
He was a glass act.