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J'Den Lloyd, Kamren Denhart lead Sewanhaka to thorough win over Westbury

J'Den Lloyd had 22 points and 16 rebounds

J'Den Lloyd had 22 points and 16 rebounds to lift Sewanhaka to victory in the non-conference opener against Westbury and Jamie Roberts on Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

The final seconds emptied from the clock in Sewanhaka’s gym. The home team couldn’t have asked for a better way to start the season.

"We played great," J’Den Lloyd said. "Extremely great."

The senior forward/guard was at the forefront of the greatness, delivering 22 points and 16 rebounds. Senior point guard Kamren Denhart was also rather visible with 15 points and five assists. The aggressive defense held up its end, too.

So Sewanhaka emerged with a resounding Nassau non-league win over Westbury, 78-42, Thursday.

"Listen, it’s a long season; it’s just the first game," Sewanhaka coach Jay Allen said. "But all the credit is to my kids. They came out and they just played hard defensively, especially at the start of the game."

The team went 11-9 two seasons ago, then 5-3 in the pandemic-shortened season last winter. Sewanhaka, from Conference A-II, is hoping to make a leap forward.

"Our program, over the last couple of years, has taken a turn in a great direction," Allen said, "I do think this team is ready to take the next step. But it’s going to take a lot of work. I have the coachable kids to do it."

His kids held Westbury to two field goals in the first quarter on the way to a 14-5 lead. Now Sewanhaka forced eight turnovers, and Lloyd and Denhart came through with six points apiece.

"We’re going to lean hard on Kamren Denhart," Allen said. "He’s one of the best players in the county. And J’Den is one of the most selfless players that I’ve ever coached."

The Green Dragons, from AA-II, were missing four players with injuries. Coach Jason Bryant is hoping to have them all back within two weeks.

Anthony Todd carried Westbury in this game, scoring 23. The senior guard/forward went on his own 5-0 burst in the second quarter, cutting the lead to six.

But Denhart followed with a foul-line jumper, and Sewanhaka was off on a 13-0 run to close the half, good for a 38-19 cushion.

"Layups and foul shots," Bryant said of the main problems. "From what I saw, the offense is beautiful. It’s clicking. We just have to finish at the basket.

"Based on the people that I have, we should be able to surprise the league — as long as we can hit layups and foul shots."

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