An early holiday season gift ? was offered to local hoopheads on a Monday night in Malverne!
Two of Nassau’s legendary coaches, Daryl Lopez of Malverne and Rory Bloch of BJFK began the evening quietly, seemingly accepting of miscues from their players and not giving any suggestions to the men with whistles. In fact , Coach Lopez, customary towel in hand, sat politely at the end of the bench as a casual observer.
Haha,,,, yea right …… not for long ?
Despite turning the opening tap into an easy opening bucket, the home team Mules were a bit off balance in the first quarter,,,, their aggressive “ in the passing lane defense “ beautifully compromised by Coach Bloch’s insistence on hard back cuts & visionary ball movement.
The Cougars led 22-20 after the first period and pushed up to a 34-27 lead midway through the second. Marco Travaglione (18) and Steven Carlson (22) were a revelation to the Monday night crowd. What nice ? players.
It seemed an odd sight to witness the Malverne Mules in a 2-3 zone in the second half ….. but, credit Lopez for strategizing on the fly. His packed lane stopped the back door layups of JFK. And the Cougars seem to be shy beyond the arc.
Malverne guard, Michael James ( 15pts./8 rbs.) became a force late in this game as the Mules surged back to a tie at 53 ALL with 2:30 remaining. He and his crew were bolstered by a wildly supportive crowd ??
The last two minutes were a deliciously frenzied 6 on 6 ‼️ ( yes, at that point both coaches were on the court, “guiding” the action )
The Mules’ Donovan Ishmael sank the decisive bucket and free throw to give Malverne the 58-55 Win. ?
Malverne 58 – Bellmore JFK 55