Balanced scoring and timely shooting allowed East Meadow to overcome Herricks’ best effort of the season last Friday night and snap a two-game Nassau Conference AA2 boys’ basketball losing streak in the process.
Senior Frank Destefano’s three-pointer in the closing minute of the third quarter accounted for the 12th and final lead change in the Jets’ 66-58 road victory. His 18 points paced East Meadow, which returned to the win column following a pair of hard-fought defeats at Baldwin and Plainview by a combined 10 points.
“We didn’t play as well as we wanted, but we needed this one and it’s nice to get the dub after a devastating loss at Plainview,” said senior Jayden Henriquez, who sealed the deal with two late free throws. “We know we’re a really good team that can compete at the highest level,” he added. “We’re just trying to figure out what works best for us right now.”
Sophomore Izaiah Richards had 12 points, Henriquez 9, seniors Muneer Ibrahem and Manjot Singh 8 apiece, and sophomore Will Casseus 7 in a typical across-the-board offensive performance by the Jets, who upped their record to 9-6 overall and 6-3 in AA2. Josh Socias (game-high 21 points), Aidan Smith (15) and Steve Aulicino (11) scored in double figures for Herricks (3-11), which lost for the eighth time in nine conference games.
“Herricks was playing loose with nothing to lose and shot the ball really well,” East Meadow head coach Tom Rottkamp said. “They gave us a great game. All of our games seem to be this way. It’s such a tough conference.