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Shomari Redd leads Uniondale to win over Syosset

Uniondale's Shomari Redd catches a pass during a

Uniondale's Shomari Redd catches a pass during a Nassau County Conference AA-I varsity boys basketball game against Syosset at Uniondale on Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015. Credit: James Escher

Shomari Redd, with his mouth open and eyebrows raised, looked shocked.

The Uniondale guard had just been beaten off the dribble and scored on by Dan Albernas, the Syosset guard who entered Tuesday's AA-I game averaging 24 points, third in Nassau boys basketball.

That happened in the second quarter. And it happened fast. Albernas received a pass and within two dribbles he had blown past Redd for a pretty reverse layup.

Here's an example why Uniondale coach Tom Diana said Redd is the most competitive player on the team: Redd made sure it never happened again.

"It's just how I am as a competitor. If a kid scores on me, I'm coming right back at him. I'm not going to let anyone take my heart from me," Redd said after host Uniondale defeated Syosset, 48-45.

Redd had 20 points, eight rebounds and four steals. He was tenacious on the perimeter, especially when defending Albernas, who was held to 10 points and only two in the second half.

"I thought Redd played good defense and he's a great player, but their team defense, overall, is really what helped them," said Albernas, who was double-teamed whenever he attempted to drive.

Syosset (0-1), led by Grant Burg's 11 points and 12 rebounds, had a chance to tie it with 2.6 seconds left.

Redd said one thing ran through his mind at that point: "Don't let [Albernas] get the ball."

Albernas did, anyway. But he was met by Redd and other Uniondale defenders one second later near halfcourt and couldn't get the shot off.

Najee Peters (eight points, 10 rebounds) gave Uniondale (2-0) the final three-point margin when he made a free throw with 4.6 seconds left.

He had missed three of four foul shots. Ah, redemption.

"I was very nervous," Peters said, "but a weight was lifted."

For Redd, too.

"I knew what I was coming into," Redd said. "I've been in the spotlight, so I couldn't fold."

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