Tristan Brown already had beaten his man downcourt early in the fourth quarter and was in the lane with a good chance to score on one of his signature lefthanded floaters. But at the last instant, the Elmont sophomore guard dropped a pass on the baseline to a cutting Tim Lewis, who snaked under the rim for a flashy reverse layup.
"Team first," Brown said. "I like to get my teammates involved."
One game after coach George Holub said the Spartans had sharing issues, they had no problem spreading the wealth Friday. Eleven players scored as host Elmont defeated Mepham, 80-50, in a Nassau Conference AA-III game.
Mark Campbell scored 11 of his 17 points during a 24-7 first quarter for Elmont (9-1, 6-1), which also got 15 points from Brown and 13 from Lewis. After a scoreless first quarter, penetrating point guard Kyle Wechsler scored 22 points for Mepham (5-4, 2-4). J.T. Elsasser added 14.
"We didn't make the extra pass against Long Beach," Holub said of Elmont's 50-44 victory Tuesday. "We worked in practice on getting better shots. We don't have one go-to-guy, so we stress hitting the open man and always looking for the better shot."
The Spartans used a swarming, all-court pressure defense to create many scoring opportunities, especially during the first half. They used a 16-2 first-quarter burst and closed the half with an 11-4 run to take a 47-32 lead. Brown scored eight points in the third quarter as Elmont pulled away.
"Play defense and push the ball. That's what we like to do," Campbell said. "We got a lot of easy baskets in transition."
Mepham, which prefers a half-court style, was forced to play up-tempo in the second quarter to get back in the game and responded by scoring 25 points in the period. That prompted Holub to growl, in typical coach-is-never-satisfied fashion, "We played well in spurts, but our defensive pressure wasn't as good as it could have been."
It was plenty good enough to rattle the Pirates, however. "After you put on the pressure and they start turning the ball over," Brown said, "you can see it in their eyes."