Victor Olawoye has the green light to shoot, until he enters the intersection of Bad Shot Avenue and Too Many Dribbles Street.
“I give Vic free reign, but if it gets ugly, the red light goes up for a while,” Elmont coach George Holub said.
It was ugly for Elmont early Saturday as it fell behind Brentwood by nine points at halftime. But when Olawoye sank consecutive three-pointers from Deep Downtown Drive to begin the third quarter, the caution flag was lifted and away the Spartans raced.
Using timely shooting and high-pressure defense, Elmont, the 2016 defending state Class A champion, held Brentwood, the 2014 and 2015 Long Island Class AA champions, to three points in the third quarter and accelerated to a 60-51 victory in Game 4 of the Nassau-Suffolk Challenge at Uniondale.
Olawoye scored 12 of his 28 points in the decisive third quarter, when Elmont outscored the Indians 23-3 to take a 45-34 lead into the final period. “We calmed down a little and did what we wanted to on defense,” Holub said.
According to Olawoye, a 5-11 junior, that meant “pressuring the ball and not giving them any easy passes. We face-guarded and double-teamed Zed [Key].” The Spartans scored 10 straight points during one stretch, including consecutive layups by Ismael Astasie and Olawoye after Brentwood turnovers.
They held Key (17 points), a freshman, and Rahmel Allen (15) scoreless in the third as Brentwood fell to 10-2. Elmont, playing without its top scorer, K.C. Ndefo, for a third straight game [coach’s decision], improved to 9-2.
The Spartans got a nice boost when the third quarter ended on freshman Jevon Santos’ desperation four-point play. Santos made a steal, took a couple of dribbles past midcourt and launched. The shot swished at the buzzer and then Santos banked in the free throw. “After that I just threw up my hands,” Holub said.