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Kavione Green, Travis Dickerson help Amityville clinch League VI

Amityville's Travis Dickerson gets inside during a game

Amityville's Travis Dickerson gets inside during a game against Mt. Sinai. (Jan. 31, 2013) Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

For Amityville, Thursday's game was a 50-50 proposition. Hold Mount Sinai to 50 points or fewer and avoid the penalty: A grueling session in which every player must help wipe down the entire basketball court with a towel, while crouched on all fours.

It took a rock-solid defensive stand in the fourth quarter as the Warriors held the Mustangs scoreless for the final 4:10 on their way to a 60-50 victory that clinched the League VI title.

"I set the goal for this game at 50 points," said Amityville coach Jack Agostino, whose team improved to 10-0 in league and 13-2 overall. "They were happy they didn't have to clean the floor. It's a pretty tough drill."

Agostino said he learned the drill from Bob Hurley Sr., the venerable Hall of Fame coach for St. Anthony of Jersey City.

"Defense was the key to the game," said Travis Dickerson, who scored 12 points and made a couple of key steals as Amityville blanked Mount Sinai down the stretch. "Forcing turnovers is a major part of what we do."

Kavione Green and Sean Walters sparked a 7-0 flurry to start the fourth quarter, turning back-to-back steals into layups as Amityville grabbed a 51-44 lead. But Greg Kopcienski (22 points) and Mike Guzzardi (19) produced the next six points for the Mustangs to make it 51-50. They did not score again.

"We changed things up a little with our defensive pressure," Agostino said.

Green also changed his game. He had a rough first half, scoring only two points and showing some anger when he thought he wasn't getting the ball enough. Agostino benched him briefly and then delivered a halftime pep talk, with Mount Sinai holding a 28-27 lead on Kopcienski's three-pointer at the buzzer.

"I was frustrated and I took it out on my teammates," Green said. "Coach told me to keep my composure. He said that our best players had to step up. I concentrated on my defense and started looking to go to the basket."

That strategy allowed Green to score 15 second-half points. He cleaned up, but Amityville didn't have to.

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