The name to know around the boys basketball courts in Central Islip is McKenzie, and on Saturday the brothers once again showed why.
David McKenzie had a career-high 15 points, while his brother Tim scored 13 points and added six rebounds in the second half as the Musketeers edged Kings Park, 50-48, in non-league.
With Tim sitting out the first half due to a coach’s decision, it was David who stepped up in the first quarter. The 5-foot-10 point guard scored nine of his team’s 12 first quarter points. Seven of those nine were during a 9-2 run for the Musketeers (8-1) that tied the game up at 12 after Kings Park had led 9-3 midway through the first quarter.
“I really had to take over because I knew my brother wasn’t on the court,” said David.
The second quarter was a bit more of a full team effort as four different Central Islip players got on the scoresheet. The Musketeers would counter a 15-12 first quarter lead for Kings Park (6-3) into a 13-7 second that gave CI a three-point lead at the half at 25-22. David McKenzie finished off the half with 11 points, while Malcolm Pridgeon was dominant on the boards collecting five rebounds and turning those into four points.
The second half was where Central Islip Head Coach James Mott let his leading scorer Tim McKenzie loose.
McKenzie who came into the contest having scored in double figures each game this year and averaging 16.7 per game clearly must’ve been itching to get into the ball game. So much so that he imposed his will immediately. Tim scored 11 of his 13 second half points in the third quarter, not to mention he also added multiple rebounds and a pair of blocks.
“It really helped in that second half because we weren’t getting as many boards in the half,” said David about his brother.
However, Kings Park would keep this one a game, as they would take a late lead on in the fourth quarter with a 9-0 run that gave them a 42-38 advantage with 2:25 left to go. Craig Jeudy was pivotal in the comeback as he scored five of his game-high 18 points during the run. Johnny Li contributed 13 points, five rebounds, and four assists in the game.
“I didn’t really know [Kings Park] was going to be that tough, but they gave us some good competition,” David says, “I really had to focus and keep my mind in the game. The crowd was real loud and I really just to had to focus.”
This was the point when Coach Mott decided to call a timeout and change their defensive strategy against Kings Park. The decision to go with the full-court press was truly was gave the Musketeers the victory. CI would forces timely turnovers that led to a 10-0 run giving them a 48-42 lead that they would never relinquish.
“I think we can be really great,” says David McKenzie, “What we have to do is work on a few things, and we’ll be back in the championship.”
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