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Malverne's Moorer learns lesson after 56-point game

Maybe this isn't the typical place to begin a story about a rare 56-point game, but Malverne's DaShawn Moorer said the consequences from a mistake he made the day after it - he skipped practice - had the largest impact on him, more than the memories from the game itself.

Twelve hours after he had one of the higher individual scoring performances in Long Island boys basketball history in a four-overtime, 92-89 win against West Hempstead on Dec. 27, Moorer didn't show up for a two-hour practice the next morning, saying he was too sore to play.

My knees hurt, Moorer told teammates, which was understandable following the three-hour game at Malverne's home gym in front of an estimated 300 people at the Hank Williams Tournament.

Moorer, an athletic 6-2 senior with a good outside shot and dunking ability, played most of the way and not only scored 56, he had the important winning points in the fourth overtime. He made a pair of free throws with 33 seconds left to break a tie, and got a bucket eight seconds later to make it 92-88. "He wasn't chucking," Malverne assistant coach Walter Aksionoff said.

If Moorer was hurting physically afterward, it was expected, but so, too, was coming to practice the next day at 10 a.m., about 12 hours after the game ended at 10 p.m. the night before. Everyone showed except him. For breaking team rules, Malverne coach Darrol Lopez held Moorer out of the first half of the Mules' next game, and he played only six minutes of the second half, scoring six points.

Moorer went from a 50-point scorer to basically on the bench in a span of back-to-back games.

"That was the mistake of my lifetime," Moorer said before a recent practice. "I really didn't play [the next game] because I had to serve the consequences. That's something I will never do again."

Speaking with Moorer about the 56-point game, his stat line - 15 two-pointers, three three-pointers and 17 free throws - good for more than double his previous career high of 27, almost seems secondary to the benching that followed.

"You can be sore and stand on the sideline," Moorer said his coach told him. "Next time you miss practice, you might have to get off the team. I took that to heart. I'll practice every day, even if I'm hurt."

Nevertheless, the scoring performance from the night earlier stands as a unique achievement. The Long Island and Nassau boys record for points in a game is 76 by Mike Milligan of Long Island Lutheran in 1978. After him, there are only a handful of players who have scored above 60 and more than Moorer and Roslyn's George Beamon, who also had 56 last year in a standard four-quarter game.

"He was scoring in bunches, but I didn't know he had 56 until someone told me at the end of the game," Lopez said of Moorer. "He did it in the flow of the game and the way we play. We weren't isolating him against somebody. He was just playing, stealing the ball, going to the basket, and making shots."

Moorer had 32 points in regulation and the extended game provided an opportunity to set the Malverne record. Scorekeeper Joe Eaderoso searched for blank areas in the scorebook to record information from the extra periods. "I had to be inventive because I was running out of columns," he said.

About three hours after the 7 p.m. tip, Moorer provided the last four of his 56 to lift the Mules, who are mainly a young team trying to find their way back to win a fifth straight Class B county title and beyond.

Moorer is one of the few upperclassmen. He started playing basketball in fourth grade, transferred to Malverne from Hempstead as a freshman, and was called up to varsity as a sophomore.

"He knows where the basket is," Lopez said. As for missing practice, the coach said: "He's a good kid, but you have to keep track of him."

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