Angel and Jose Rivera weren’t in their usual spots during second quarter.
Bay Shore’s two most dynamic boys basketball players found themselves in early foul trouble against Elmont — each picking up two in the first quarter of the 16th Holiday Basketball Tournament at Baldwin. They spent more time with Bay Shore coach CJ Leary than accustomed to during play, but like the Rivera twins constantly do for their teammates, the Marauders were able to bail them out.
“You just have to play a little bit harder,” said Lavon Montgomery, who scored eight of his 14 points in the second quarter of Bay Shore’s 68-55 win. “Everybody has to fight for each other and play as a team.”
Montgomery and point guard Kyre Sawyer led the second-quarter outburst, in which Bay Shore turned a 22-17 deficit into a 35-29 lead with tough defense and driving the lane. Montgomery, who was largely responsible for guarding Elmont standout K.C. Ndefo, held Ndefo scoreless in the quarter. Sawyer scored six of his 13 points in the second, and finished with five rebounds, seven assists and fives steals. Montgomery added seven rebounds and four steals in the game.
“I just took my chances,” Montgomery said, “and tried to help the team out any way I could.”
Bay Shore (5-1) plays host Baldwin in the championship game at 7 p.m. Thursday.
The Rivera brothers combined for just seven points in the first half, all coming from Jose in the first quarter. But once the game was on the line, the ball was in their hands.
After Bay Shore extended its lead to 49-42 after the third quarter, Elmont (6-1) went on a 10-2 run, led by Ndefo’s two baskets and Victor Olawoye’s three-point play. But from there, the Rivera brothers combined to score 12 of Bay Shore’s 19 fourth-quarter points, including a thunderous dunk from Jose, who had 18 points and eight rebounds, in the final 90 seconds of a 13-1 run.
“We’ve been in situations like this since we got onto varsity,” said Angel, who finished with 16 points and five steals. “Our team has always been in those types of situations, especially in the fourth quarter, so we got to scrap and fight through and that’s the type of team we are.”
“It actually kind of worked out,” Leary said, “because the kids that came in stepped up and then those guys were fresh for the second half.”
Baldwin advances. Bay Shore will meet Baldwin in the final. The trio of Jabeon Bivins (19 points), Elijah Bovell (14 points) and Norman Wilson (12 points) led Baldwin (4-0) to a 76-54 victory over Hempstead (5-3) in the second game of the tournament.