Despite starting the fourth quarter down 12 points, the (4-2) rallied to secure a 57-56 win against the Garden City Trojans (2-2) away Tuesday night.
The Gladiators' and Trojans' offenses seemed completely opposite. The Trojans favored a calculated approach in the first half, working the ball around the key and drawing fouls on drives to the net. The more explosive Gladiators, on the other hand, often took advantage of fast breaks and well-placed outside shots.
After the Trojans came out of the first two quarters ahead, both teams opted for a change of pace. While still aiming to draw fouls in the paint, the Trojans also incorporated some fast breaks and jumpers of their own. Likewise, the Gladiators tried their hand at a slower paced offense geared around center Greg Simeon on the inside.
Heroes: The aforementioned Simeon was a huge asset to the Gladiators. His 15-point-contribution came mostly in the fourth quarter, when his team needed it the most. Simeon proved to be a deadly force close to the basket. He utilized his height, reach and power to make sure that his drives and fed passes hit home.
Turning Point: The Trojans gave up the ball too much late in the game when they could not afford to. Traveling violations marred the team and modestly increased the Gladiators' possession time. That and their inability to effectively neutralize Simeon in the fourth quarter spelled doom for the Trojans.
Quotable: New Hyde Park Head Coach Don Rood said the following of the game, "We are two very equally matched teams. Garden City is a very well-coached team and it took all of our efforts to come out on top tonight. It was a great back-and-forth game. We stepped up our defense and we handled their press a little bit better. I always tell these guys that defense comes first. Giving up 30 points in the first half was too much."
Bottom Line: The Trojans' strategy of drawing fouls was sound in notion, but the Trojans could not capitalize on the accompanying free-throws. As a result, crucial points bounced harmlessly off the backboard.
In addition, while the Trojans managed to tack on some points via offensive boards, they could have performed better in this area.
The Gladiators got into foul trouble relatively early in the first half, but the Trojans' free-throw ineffectiveness limited the damage. Simeon's inside presence was invaluable to the team's victory, but back-to-back three-pointers from Gladiators John Tomasini and scattered three's from Kevin Towey, Dan Justice and Faizal Hussein were key as well.
Who's Next? New Hyde Park will face Seaford away in a non-league game on Dec. 28 away at 6 p.m.1 2 3 4 F New Hyde Park 15 12 9 21 57 Garden City 18 12 18 8 56
Individual players' scores:Faizal Hussein 5 points Dan Justice 7 points Joseph Justice 2 points Mike Justice 6 points Adam Priest 8 points Greg Simeon 15 points John Tomasini 8 points Kevin Towey 6 points