Long Island Lutheran’s VJ Edgecombe dunks the ball on a...

Long Island Lutheran’s VJ Edgecombe dunks the ball on a fast break against Chaminade on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023. Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.

When the Long Island Lutheran boys basketball team took the floor for the first time on Long Island this season Wednesday night, it was as celebratory as it was dominant.

The night opened with a banner reveal to honor LuHi’s 2022-23 state championship-winning boys and girls teams. It continued with an electric performance that featured high-flying dunks, long three-pointers and authority in the paint on both ends. It closed with a 113-45 non-league win over Chaminade, improving LuHi to 2-0 overall.

All 10 Crusaders scored, including Kiyan Anthony with 25 points, Farmingdale native Kayden Mingo with 20 points and VJ Edgecombe with 17 points.

“Extremely [pleased],” LuHi coach John Buck said. “Played really hard, played really unselfishly, a lot of assists, a lot of enjoying seeing each other’s success, and that’s what we preach at LuHi.”

LuHi entered the game with the No. 1 spot in the MaxPreps national high school team rankings, and it will carry momentum into Thursday’s game against Sunrise Christian (Kansas) in South Carolina.

Facing LuHi is a daunting task for any opponent. Chaminade (2-1), one of the only local foes on the Crusaders’ non-league schedule, held its own early. The Flyers, who play LuHi annually, continued to attack the rim and play confident basketball. Kyle Dillon paced Chaminade with 18 points.

“Listen, they’re not the best team in the state, they’re one of the best teams in the country,” Chaminade coach Dan Feeney said. “So we say all the time, we tell our guys, ‘Come play for us, we’ll play the best teams we can.’ We’re not looking to win games in December, we’re trying to win games in March.”

“I have tremendous respect for Coach Feeney and [assistant] coach [Robert] Paul,” Buck added. “They’ve competed against us for years. They perennially are a team I root for, love seeing them have success.”

LuHi ended the first quarter with a 29-12 lead, highlighted by Mingo’s 11 points in the frame.

“I know some kids on [Chaminade], so it’s good to compete against each other,” Mingo said.

Kiyan Anthony put the exclamation mark on the second quarter, hitting an NBA-range triple at the buzzer to give the Crusaders a 57-23 halftime lead.

It was much of the same for LuHi in the second half, including a 15-point quarter for Anthony and a 16-point quarter for Dylan Mingo in the fourth.

“I think the depth is even more profound than I might have imagined,” Buck said. “There’s not much drop-off when we’re subbing. Everyone’s playing at an extremely high level.”

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