The Great Neck North Blazers boys’ basketball team continued their roll through the A-III conference last Friday, with a 72-53 win over the Falcons of Valley Stream South.
The win boosted the first place Blazers’ record to 8-1 in conference play and 12-2 overall, while dropping the Falcons to 2-8 in the A-III, 6-9 overall.
Alec Ludwig led Great Neck North with 15 points, while Evan Dorman and Allen Shirian also came up with double-digit points for the Blazers, who utilized strong rebounding and defense to convert defensive plays into a counter-attack.
Great Neck came out strong from the very start, stifling the Falcons’ offense in the first quarter to allow just six points. The Blazers challenged nearly every Falcon pass, coming away with a number of steals in the period.
As good as the Blazer defense was however, it was aided by the Falcons’ unwillingness to take shots. The team from Valley Stream South was marked tightly in the key, but they refused to change their plan of attack from charging the basket to taking the jump shot, even when they were given the space.
Great Neck North also showed off an effective transfer play to send the ball back down court for an easy lay-up following a rebound. At the end of the period, the Blazers were leading the Falcons 26-6.
The second quarter saw the Falcons out score the Blazers 15-10, but the effort was not enough to get the team back in the game. While the Falcons began to find the net more easily, their cross-court lobs were slow and gave the Great Neck defense ample time to shift and pressure the ball. When the buzzer sounded to signal the end of the half, the Blazers managed to still hold a 36-21 advantage.
The second half began in much the same fashion as the first. Ludwig kept his team on top, contributing a number of assists in the final quarter. The Falcons’ athleticism was beginning to surface, but the Blazers were more aggressive on the defensive end, attacking every drive and rebound to take a 57-33 lead by the start of the final quarter.
Though they gave up 20 points in the fourth quarter, the Blazers continued to look in control throughout much of the final eight minutes. The team let up a few easy jump shots, but their defense remained relatively tight, as Valley Stream South players struggled to break free of their defenders.
Great Neck North will look to continue their success as they near the end of their season.
The team will face Floral Park at 4:45 p.m. on Feb. 10 and Manhasset on Feb. 13 at 6:45 p.m.