Nathaniel Song of Wheatley, right, drives to the net during a...

Nathaniel Song of Wheatley, right, drives to the net during a Nassau Conference B1 boys basketball game against Locust Valley at Wheatley on Saturday. Credit: James Escher

The Wheatley basketball players walked into their Old Westbury gym on Bacon Road Saturday nearly perfect at 15-1. Locust Valley was the team that handed the Wildcats the “1” at its gym back in December.

Now the Falcons were dressed in the away uniforms for the rematch.

“We looked at our record and it said we have ‘1’ in that loss column, and that’s what really motivated us,” said Wheatley’s sharpshooting senior guard Michael Santarelli. “We didn’t want to have a ‘2’ there . . . We couldn’t let this team beat us twice.”

Locust Valley were right there again, trailing by three with under a minute to go. But junior guard Nate Song delivered a three-point play and two more foul shots to cap a 20-point effort and clinch a 63-57 Nassau B-I win for first-place Wheatley — its 10th straight victory.

“I know our whole team has been waiting for this game ever since we lost,” Song said. “I think that loss helped us grow as a team and we’ve been way better since. 

“This is great. Payback.”

The Wildcats, who are 8-1 in conference play, fell in the Class B semis at Hofstra last season.

“The difference is our culture is way better,” Song said. “Our team chemistry is off the charts … I told my teammates, ‘I think we’re going to win the whole thing.’ ”

The Falcons were also ousted in the semis, then had all five starters graduate. But they didn’t look like a team that’s now just 5-11 and 4-4 in the conference on Saturday.

“I definitely think we’re better than our record,” coach Andrew Siegel said. “We’ve had some injuries all season. We’ve happened to be healthy when we’ve played Wheatley.”

Siegel thinks Locust Valley can make it back to Hofstra, too.

“Absolutely,” he said. “We can play with anybody.”

Bryan McCleary added 18 points for Wheatley. Santarelli, the Long Island leader in three-point makes, hit three more to give him 70. He scored 13. And Grant Callahan contributed 12. 

Mike Hancock scored 13 to pace the Falcons.

Kyle Brown scored six of his 11 for them on two late threes. The second cut the Wildcats’ lead to 58-55 with 56 seconds remaining. Then Song drove, hit a layup while being fouled and made the free throw for a six-point advantage with 33.8 seconds left.

“I just wanted to attack and finish the game,” Song said.

Wheatley began a 10-2 run late in the third. It was capped by a McCleary layup for a 54-44 lead with 4:48 remaining in the fourth.

“In the fourth quarter, I think our defense really picked it up,” Santarelli said.

It was a tight game most of the way, including a tie at 18 after one quarter and at 28 at halftime. 

But the Wildcats showed their grit and got the redemption they wanted.

“We say it every day in practice: ‘Easy Street bus isn’t stopping on Bacon Road,’ ” coach Rich Slater said. “. . . We try to be tough in everything we do. We’re getting there little by little.” 

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