The Amityville motto this season is: One
“One more shot, one more possession, one more dive, one more charge,” senior Dejuhan Gray said. “It’s the little things we’re focusing on.”
The Warriors needed one more shot to pull within one possession in the fourth quarter Sunday afternoon, but came up short three times in a 66-51 loss to Burke Catholic in the Upstate/Downstate Challenge at Uniondale HS.
“That was the game right there,” Amityville coach Jack Agostino said. “The game was a lot better than the final score, but when you dig yourself such a big hole, it’s hard to dig out.”
Amityville (1-1) dug itself an 18-point hole in the first quarter alone and it looked like Burke Catholic (1-0) would run away with a lopsided victory.
“I had two fouls, two missed layups, I had a terrible first quarter,” Gray said. “But I realized my team needed me.”
While he said he was shocked his starters came out stale and struggled , when Agostino went to his bench, the Warriors started chipping away and went into the locker room trailing 35-25 on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Richie Hobson.
Hobson scored five straight points to cap an 8-0 run to end the third quarter and the Warriors were within, 50-44 with the ball to start the fourth quarter.
“We wanted to get it down to 10 and we met that goal at halftime,” Agostino said. “By the end of the third quarter we wanted to get it down to five or six.”
But Hobson missed a foul line jumper, Andy Laurent missed a layup and Willie White couldn’t knock down a 3-pointer on three consecutive possessions.
Burke, which lost to Collegiate in the New York State Federation Class B final a year ago, answered with its own 8-0 run capped by Stan Buczek’s bucket inside to take a 58-44 lead with 3:39 left in the third quarter.
“You have to give them a lot of credit,” Agostino said. “[Zach Rufer] is a tough player. It seemed like in the first quarter they hit every shot.”
Buczak scored a game-high 21 points, Billy Garneau had 19 and Lafayette-bound Rufer added 16 for Burke. Gray had 20 points and Hobson added 10 for Amityville, which will look to bounce back Friday night against Wyandanch.
“It’s a long season,” Agostino said. “We didn’t have a great week of practice, there was a lot of distractions. But on Monday we start from the beginning. It’s tryouts all over again.”
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