Kings Park guard Jack Garside drives the inside lane for...

Kings Park guard Jack Garside drives the inside lane for two points against Hills West on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 in the Class A Semifinals at Kings Park High School. Credit: George A. Faella

Kings Park's Jack Garside didn’t even know he was within 14 points of scoring 1,000 for his varsity career earlier this week.

The junior point guard had bigger things to ponder as far as he was concerned.

“Coach [Chris Rube] told me I was close, but at the end of the day all that mattered was to win this game,” Garside said. “We just wanted to execute our game plan and continue our great season.”

Garside and the Kings Park boys basketball team were successful on all fronts. Garside ended up with 36 points to lead No. 2 Kings Park to an impressive 90-74 home win over No. 3 Half Hollow Hills West in a Suffolk Class A semifinals on Wednesday before a crowd of 800.

Kings Park (20-2) faces top-seeded Amityville at Whitman High School, 2:30 p.m. on Saturday for the Suffolk A title.

“He only takes shots he can make — he rarely forces shots — and he’s so poised,” said Rube about Garside. “So many point guards are scorers now, but I say Jack is a point guard who can score. He elevates every game and makes everybody around him better.”

That was on full display against a talented Hills West squad. Kings Park jumped out to an early 10-2 lead and ended the first quarter ahead 27-10. Garland had 11 points in the opening period, and had seven assists for the game. He later added a steal and layup with 4:43 left in the first half to surpass the 1,000-point mark. He now has 1,022 for his varsity career.

“He’s our MVP,” said senior forward Matt Wolf about Garside. “When the ball is in his hands, we have confidence we can score.”

That confidence, and scoring, continued throughout the evening for Kings Park, which led 49-33 at halftime. The Kingsmen stretched the lead to as much as 28 early in the fourth quarter. Jordan Colby had 23 points and Brent Bland added 16 for Hills West (18-4).

Nick Svolos scored 15 points. Wolf added 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Jon Borkowski came off the bench and had 12 points for the Kingsmen.

Garside, who has now scored 74 points in his team’s last two playoffs games, didn’t feel anything special in warmups.

“I just take the shots as they come,” Garside said. “Whatever happens, happens.”

And usually when Garside has the ball, great things happen for Kings Park.


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