West Hempstead forward Isaiah Blunt drives the baseline with the...

West Hempstead forward Isaiah Blunt drives the baseline with the reverse layup against Pierson in the Long Island Class B final, Monday, March 4, 2024 at Center Moriches high school. Credit: George A Faella

From one win to Long Island champions.

After improving from one victory in the 2021-22 season to a playoff team last year, the West Hempstead boys basketball team continued the ultimate turnaround Monday.

Isaiah Blunt scored 25 points as the Rams defeated Suffolk champion Pierson, 75-54, to win the Long Island Class B championship/Southeast Regional semifinal at Center Moriches High School.

“It feels unreal,” Blunt said. “Last couple years, our school hasn’t been that good, really. Now that this year we made it to the [Long Island championship game], that just shows you all the hard work we put in this season.”

West Hempstead (19-4) claimed the first Long Island title in program history after winning its first Nassau title since 2003 on Friday.

“I’m so happy for the kids because the program was down for a long time,” West Hempstead second-year coach Eric Rubin said.

“They had glory days not too far in the past, but more recently it’s been struggles. So I’m just really happy because when these kids entered high school, I think the expectations were so low. The wins weren’t coming.

“I don’t think anyone would have believed that they would have been Long Island champions a couple years later. So I’m really both proud and happy for the kids.”

Anthony Graffeo-Jackson had 17 points, Chris Young 11 and Evan Wilson 10 for West Hempstead.

The Rams will play Section I champion Woodlands in the regional final Saturday at Yorktown High School at 3 p.m.

If West Hempstead wins this weekend, it will play in Glens Falls in the state semifinals on March 14.

Pierson (15-7) led 21-17 with 6:28 left in the second quarter, but Blunt took matters into his own hands.

He scored 16 second-quarter points, including a three-pointer at the buzzer, to power the Rams to a 42-30 halftime lead.

“My mindset is just stay in the game and just let the game come to me,” Blunt said of his second quarter.

Luke Seltzer had an explosive 28-point showing, including 17 first-half points, for Pierson. It was Seltzer’s sixth game with at least 25 points this season.

“All [my] guys are awesome,” Pierson coach Dan White said.

“They’re all Sag Harbor kids, they’re unselfish. They play hard. They’re talented, and they have a bright future, too.”

So do the Rams. They celebrated a December 2022 regular-season win over Oyster Bay, their first after an 0-5 start last season, with championship joy. Now they have two titles, and they still can pen an even better story.

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