Long Island Lutheran is on quite a roll to start the 2012-13 campaign. Four games played and four wins.
Kentan Facey and Mical-Ryan Boyd each had 19 points as Long Island Lutheran defeated Burke Catholic, 56-37, in the Upstate/Downstate Tournament hosted at Uniondale High School on Saturday afternoon.
After Long Island teams South Side, Harborfields, and Baldwin each lost their matchups against upstate foes, LuHi was able to bring home the lone victory for the downstate contingent.
Lutheran jumped all over Burke Catholic from the get-go. With the game knotted at four very early on in the first quarter, the Crusaders fueled by Facey would go on an 11-0 run that would set the tone. Long Island Lutheran used their well-known athleticism around the hoop to combat the undersized Eagles.
“Our team is extremely balanced, there is not one guy that we look to in every situation,” says Facey. “Everyone chips in from 1-to-13, everyone has their role.”
Those chipping in a big way were Tiquan Garner who had 3 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists off the bench and junior guard Tim Quashie who provided 9 points. Though it was Facey who was a force defensively, as he had a game-high 6 rebounds and a pair of blocks, not to mention the mere intimidation factor of his 6-foot-9 frame inside the paint.
“They rely mostly for me on defense and make sure that I hold down the middle,” said the senior forward.
Burke Catholic would cut into the Crusader lead with a 9-4 run in the second quarter to make it a 23-17 advantage. Stan Buczek led the charge for the Eagles with 10 points in the game, while Kyle Smith scored 8 of his 10 in the first half.
The third quarter started well for LuHi, but six straight points for Burke would make it a three-point game at 33-30. In response, Head Coach John Buck called timeout to discuss with his team a new strategy.
From that point on it was as if a light bulb turned on.
The Crusaders would go on a 14-3 run that would break the game wide-open.
“We knew we were making plenty of mistakes, so we just said let’s just play hard through the rest,” said Boyd. “That’s what our coach kept saying, we just have to push through.”
Facey agreed with his teammates assessment, “We played good defense in the first two and a half [quarters], but then our coach realized that we were lacking defensively so he just made us came out with much more defensive intensity.”
Following the 14-3 run, Burke would go on to score only four more points in the game as Lutheran would remain a perfect 4-0 to start the season.
“We can go pretty far, but we just have to stay level-headed, stay mellow and keep pushing hard,” says Boyd. “Coach always says that we can be special, and we just have to believe it.”
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