Freeport guard Jere Brown had a team high 17 points, in addition to four critical steals, as the Red Devils (7-2, 12-2) outscored the Dalers (3-6, 6-8) in a Conference AA-1 boys basketball battle on Friday, 65-60.
Freeport started out strong in the first quarter, going 6-0 to start the game off, scoring two buckets off of consecutive take-aways. After a Farmingdale time-out, the Dalers regained their composure, hitting shots, including a three-pointer from Deandre Fogan. The Dalers outscored Freeport the rest of the quarter 17-6, to take a 17-12 lead.
The Dalers continued to pour on the offense in the second quarter, building up their biggest lead of the game - 37-36 - with less than a minute to play, on two foul shots by Dalique Mingo.
The second half turned out to be a different story for the Dalers, as the Red Devils started to unleash their offensive firepower. Freeport reduced Farmingdale’s lead to just two points at the midway point of the third quarter, courtesy of two steals that lead to baskets. Farmingdale valiantly fought off the Red Devil attack, with a three-pointer (with a foul called) at the 5:15 mark, by Kevin Petit-Ferar, bringing the score to 44-39. However, Freeport would end the quarter on a dazzling three-pointer of their own at the horn, by Anthony Durham.
The fourth quarter was characterized by hard play on both teams, with lots of on-the-ground-scrambles, and loud exhortations from the large crowd at Farmingdale’s gym.
Freeport gained the lead the 5:30 mark, 53-52, but had it taken away by a dazzling Dalique Mingo score, which brought Farmingdale ahead 57-55.
The teams fought back and forth, making free-throws, but at 1:49, Cedric Smiley scored on a tough shot to bring Freeport ahead to stay, 62-60. The Red Devils held off a flurry of Farmingdale offense to win the game 65-60.
Heroes: For Freeport, kudos go to Jere Brown, who hit critical baskets, and made timely steals.
Turning Point: With a game this close, it seemed like every basket was a mini-turning point of sorts. But the Smiley whirling-dervish lay-up with 1:49 left sealed the deal for the Red Devils.
Quotables: “Heartbreak. The kids played real hard to fall short like they did," said Coach Jim Pastier. "We didn’t hit the shots [we needed to]. Little things end up being the biggest things at the end of the game. Freeport gets a three-ball up at the end of the third quarter, and they got it off an offensive rebound. If we would have gotten it…just the little things.”
On his belief that his squad can maybe visit Freeport again in the playoffs? “I hope so. We have an uphill battle…the only thing to worry about now is the next game.”
Bottom Line: The Dalers, who came off a hard loss against Uniondale earlier this week, needed a victory against a top conference team like Freeport to regain some momentum, if they are to make the post-season. Unfortunately, they came up just a little short.
Key Stat: Dalique Mingo lead all scorers with a game-high 24 points.
Next Game: Farmingdale at Hempstead, Feb. 8, 5 p.m.1 2 3 4 F Freeport 12 18 18 17 65 Farmingdale 17 22 9 12 60