Rahmel Allen is embracing his new role.
After being a complementary piece as a sophomore during a Long Island championship season and in a similar position as a junior when the Brentwood boys basketball team lost in the Suffolk Class AA championship game, Allen is taking over not only as a go-to scorer but as a finisher.
And that was on display Sunday in Brentwood’s 65-61 victory over Copiague in the Gary Charles Hoop Classic at Adelphi.
After Brentwood’s 56-44 fourth-quarter lead shrunk to 60-59, the Indians were in desperate need of a big play. Kenny Lazo brought the ball up from midcourt, dribbled behind his back and past a defender, and found Allen open in the corner. Allen caught the pass, faced the basket all in one motion and drilled a three-pointer to give Brentwood a 63-59 lead with 30 seconds remaining.
“I felt like time was ticking, it was low,” said Allen, who had 16 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. “We had to take the shot. Kenny was looking for me after that move he had and I kind of just took the shot.”
“As soon as he let it go, I was like, ‘This is as good of a shot as any,’ ” coach Anthony Jimenez said. “It was the right possession for us with the right shot and the right shooter in the right spot.”
Allen wasn’t the only star for Brentwood. Zed Key, a 6-6 freshman center, has blossomed into one of the best players in the county in his first season on Brentwood’s varsity. He had 26 points, nine rebounds and three blocks and was named the game’s MVP.
“I was nervous in the beginning,” Key said about playing at Adelphi, “but then I got my butterflies out of my stomach and I was good to go.”
If there’s one play that best showed how polished Key looks, it was during Copiague’s late 15-4 run. He scored both Brentwood baskets on dunks, including one in which he received a pass at midcourt and, without any hesitation, dribbled all the way to the basket with a defender on his back and finished the play.
“There was a wide-open lane,” he said, “so I just went up and dunked it.”
Rigaud Destime led Copiague (5-4) with 21 points, including 13 of the Eagles’ 17 in the fourth. Terry Roberts added 12.
Tyler Carey scored 11 points and Karis Watson had five assists for Brentwood (8-1). Lazo handed out six — none bigger than his final look for Allen.