Last-minute yearbook pictures delayed the Wyandanch boys basketball team's arrival for Friday night's game at Miller Place. But once the game started, they were right on time.
Wyandanch scored the game's first 12 points and never looked back in an 89-51 Suffolk League VI win that increased its winning streak to six games.
"We’re just jelling now and the chemistry has gotten so much better," Wyandanch coach Karvardas Robertson said. "We’ve been practicing a few new full-court presses and that helped today."
Wyandanch, which is 4-1 in league play, went on a 15-5 run to open the second half and blow the game open.
Deandre Smith scored six points during the opening 12-0 run and finished with 25 points. He was difiicult to contain in the post.
"Deandre is such a hard worker," Robertson said. "I’m so proud of that kid."
When Wyandanch needed a spark to open the third quarter, Smith was there again, getting a steal and a fast-break basket and grabbing two big offensive rebounds that he converted for layups to restore the big lead.
"Instead of just coming out with one defense, we have multiple," Smith said. "We’ve had to adjust all season and improve on our mistakes. The season started rough but we went and watched film and made sure we made the right adjustments against all teams."
After the game-opening run, Miller Place (0-6) played Wyandanch even for the rest of the first half. It pulled to within 29-23 after Alex Strickland got a steal at midcourt and went in for a layup to cap an 8-0 run with 3:10 left in the first half.
Strickland finished with 17 points for Miller Place. Nick Frusco added nine points for the Panthers.
When Wyandnach increased the pressure to start the second half and went on its run, Frusco answered with a basket but the combination of a quick putback for Smith and two transition layups for Noah Green gave Wyandanch a comfortable cushion the rest of the way.
Green finished with 18 points and Harold Cunningham added 14.
Wyandanch is 6-3 overall after an 0-3 start against upper-echelon teams in Kings Park, Southampton and Mount Sinai. Smith and Green are ready to keep the team rolling toward potential playoff rematches.
"We feel more confident now that we’re winning and playing more as a team," Smith said. "I feel like they would all be good games and we lost because of our mistakes and not just because they’re better than us."