Trevor Amalfitano of Port Washington drives to the basket during...

Trevor Amalfitano of Port Washington drives to the basket during a Nassau Class AA boys basketball semifinal playoff game against Syosset at SUNY Farmingdale on Saturday, February 25, 2023. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

The Port Washington boys basketball team might have been the lower seed heading into its Nassau Class AA semifinal matchup with Syosset, but knew if it played the way it has all season, the seedings didn't mean much.

“A lot of people doubted us and said we were going to lose,” Camren Welker said. “Obviously we were the lower seed, but we came to play, and were determined to not let this be our last game.”

Third-seeded Port Washington defeated No. 2 Syosset, 71-44, Saturday night at Farmingdale State. Port Washington (17-5) will face the winner of No.1 Baldwin and No. 4 Hempstead in the Nassau Class AA final March 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Hofstra. Syosset ended its season at 18-4.

The Vikings exploded in the third quarter, outscoring Syosset 26-5 to take a 55-28 lead.

Welker got things started in the third after a basket by Trevor Amalfitano. Welker stole the ensuing inbounds pass and finished an old-fashioned three-point play that caused the Vikings portion of the crowd to erupt. Amalfitano then found Welker on a back door cut for an easy basket.

“I always think the defender in front of me cannot guard me,” Welker said. “If I get to the paint and they converge on me, then I’ll just have an easy pass to an open teammate.’  

The duo of Welker and Amalfitano were the key cogs for Port Washington. Amalfitano had 25 points and three assists and Welker added 18 points, five rebounds and six assists.

Amalfitano scored 11 points in the third quarter, but the 10 points he scored in the second quarter were just as important, as the Vikings led 29-23 at the half.

“It was my first time in this type of big-game environment, so in the first quarter I was all over the place and maybe a little scared,” Amalfitano said. “Once I hit my first free throw in the second quarter, I became looser.”

The junior drew contact and finished a tough jumper in the paint as he was fouled to give Port Washington a 19-13 lead midway through the second quarter. Then in between three-pointers from Amare Jordan and Darian Rahimzadeh of Syosset, Amalfitano made a three-pointer to keep Port Washington ahead.

“We’ve been working hard all season and it has really started to come together towards the end,” Amalfitano said. “We’re a team that sticks together and fights until the end.”

“To play the way we did today was awesome to see," coach Sean Dooley said. “We’ve been working hard all year to play to the best of our abilities, and that second half was probably the best half we’ve played all season.  

ONE-DAY SALE26¢ for 5 6 months