It was a potential battle of the three-pointers. Ryan Beckles, Central Islip’s leading scorer, and his South Side counterpart Patrick Basile can usually be found past the arch, tranquilly throwing threes.
It was different Saturday at the Richard Brown Nassau-Suffolk Challenge at Uniondale. Beckles hit a three early in the first but was heavily guarded for most of the game and couldn’t maintain momentum.
But Basile was on it, hitting four threes, giving South Side the win against Central Islip, 67-61, in non conference.
“My teammates do an excellent job of finding me and getting me the ball when I’m open,” Basile (17 points) said. “I just let them fly.”
South Side (9-2) soared, driving hard toward the basket. The Cyclones capitalized on steals and free throws, especially Brandon Grayson.
“I just go and do anything I can do . . . getting the open shots, going for the steals and loose balls. Anything to get the W,” Grayson (9 points) said. “Knock down the free throws and worry about the next play.”
It was hard for Central Islip to move on to the next play. Between conscientious cover and numerous foul calls, they couldn’t get consecutive runs.
Until the fourth quarter. The score was 52-36. Seemingly, South Side had the game locked. Move the clock off the bench and let it work.
But that isn’t what happened.
Another three-point star emerged, Central Islip’s Ty-Shon Pannell. The number “3” on his chest compelled him. Pannell (21 points) was 6 for 6 on his three-pointers hitting four of them in the fourth quarter, as the Musketeers tried to trudge their way out of the deficit.
Pannell was also 3 for 3 from the line in the fourth, ultimately scoring 15 of Central Islip’s 25-point fourth quarter.
“I give them a lot of credit. They built up the pressure on us . . . we had moments when we weren’t really good and CI took advantage of that to get back in the game,” coach Jerry D’Angelo said.
Eventually the clock came through for South Side ending Central Islip’s attempt to come back. Ryan Prendergast scored 15 points, hitting three three-pointers. Dami Awosika scored 11 and James Testa scored 10.
“It’s good to build a win momentum off [non-conference] games,” said Basile.
“It’s a good win for the team,” Prendergast said.
“We all played good and we’re bringing a plaque to Nassau,” Grayson said.