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Suffolk Slant: Sandler Watch

Harborfields' Matt McLeod drives the ball toward the

Harborfields' Matt McLeod drives the ball toward the basket against Islip in the Suffolk High School League V boys basketball game. (Jan. 6, 2011) Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Here is my first look at some of the top players in contention for the Richard Sandler Award given to the top boys basketball player in each county. Chris Mascaro will be posting his version for Nassau.

Admittedly, I won’t have the opportunity to see every player in Suffolk, so this list is a combination of personal observation, Newsday highlights and boxscores and the opinions of various coaches and other Long Island basketball experts I run across in my travels. The list will evolve throughout the season. Players are listed in alphabetical order, and are not ranked.

Zog’s Top 10 Players

1. Tavon Sledge, Half Hollow Hills West. Even though the Colts have already lost twice, Sledge has been spectacular, averaging 25.4 ppg. The Iowa State-bound guard scored a career-high 35 points in a 70-69 overtime loss at Archbishop Molloy.

2. Paris Parks, Longwood. The only returning starter from the Lions’ outstanding team from last season, Parks has Longwood off to a perfect start as averaging 20.4 as the team’s lead guard.

3. Anthony White, Floyd. A double-double machine for the unbeaten Colonials, White is averaging 19.6 points and 11 rebounds. He had 28 and 11 on Tuesday against Brentwood.

4. Matt Sullivan, West Babylon. This sharpshooter scored 22 of his 24 points in the second half of Tuesday’s victory over defending Suffolk AA champion Hills West and is averaging 20.9 ppg.

5. Darien Croft, Amityville. A combo guard and returning second-team All-Long Island player who thrives on the big shot, Croft leads the Warriors with a 20.3 scoring average

6. Matt McLeod, Harborfields. One of the Island’s most versatile players, McLeod is averaging 19.8 ppg, but is also the team leader in steals. He’s also a skilled rebounder and passer.

7. Myles Jones, Whitman. Another frontcourt player who can be counted on for a double-double almost every night. Jones is averaging 16.7 points and nearly 11 rebounds per game.

8. Dantre Langhorne, Greenport. Also a returning second-team All-L.I. choice, Langhorne has the Porters off to a perfect start and is averaging 22.4 points and has an inside-outside game.

9. Stu Warren, Lindenhurst. One of the most prolific scorers on Long Island, Warren has exceeded 20 points in six of eight games, with a high of 32, and is averaging 24 ppg.

10. Evan Maxwell, East Islip. Suffolk county’s third double-double threat, Maxwell averages more than 11 rebounds and 21.4 points per game.

Honorable mention: Adam Berlin, Bayport-Blue Point; Dan Candemeres, Sachem East; Armand Correa, Bellport; P.J. Page, Copiague; Tim Pandolfi, Stony Brook; John Patron, Huntington; Wilton Wilcenski, Southold.

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