Godwin Eyiuche of Valley Stream North looks back to pass...

Godwin Eyiuche of Valley Stream North looks back to pass during a Nassau boys basketball round of 16 playoff game against host Lynbrook on Friday. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

One point can be the difference between the total elation of advancing to the next round with the teammates you fought with all year or going home disheartened in defeat.

On Friday night it was elation for Valley Stream North.

No. 10 Valley Stream North (14-6) went into Lynbrook’s home gym and escaped with a narrow 47-46 win in a Nassau Class A first-round matchup, beating the No. 7 seed to keep their championship hopes alive.

In the final minute the Spartans’ Malcolm Harrington drove to the rim and found Brian Farrell on a cut to score the winning basket for a 47-45 lead.

Valley Stream North will face No. 2 Sewanhaka (16-4) Wednesday night at Sewanhaka.

The game started out tough for both teams, with each adopting a zone defense as their primary strategy to slow down the other. Lynbrook went to a 1-3-1 zone while the Spartans adopted a 2-3 defense which proved effective in slowing Lynbrook’s offense.

"We just played hard and together and stuck to the plan," said the Spartans’ Godwin Eyiuche, the leading scorer with 20 points.

Valley Stream found their spots within the zone to penetrate and kick out to open shooters and knocked down three three-pointers in the first half, two of them coming from Eyiuche on the left wing. Valley Stream North ended the first half trailing 22-20, with nine points from Eyiuche.

"He’s an all-county player and he’s a college basketball player," said head coach Michael McVeigh."He knows that we look to him to lead us offensively, shoot the ball and be aggressive."

The second half was even more competitive with Lynbrook’s Elias Sherman-Murphy driving deep into the paint to find his big men open and dumping the ball off to them for easy scores. Peter Donnarumma and Harris Cekic each scored nine points for Lynbrook.

Key to Valley Stream North’s win was Harrington dominating the paint in the offensive zone, grabbing a bunch of key rebounds and ultimately delivering the game winning pass. Harrington finished with 14 points.

"We have battling all year so this isn’t anything new to us," Harrington said.

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