Hyon brothers lead Wheatley to 'B' finals
Christian and Joshua Hyon, brothers on the Wheatley basketball team, are both accomplished musicians with the school band. But to them, not even their music compares to one very particular sound.
"The sound of the ball going through the net is 100 times better," Joshua Hyon said.
After the two of them shot the ball Saturday, that sound was heard quite often as they helped lead top-seeded Wheatley to a 59-37 win over No. 4 East Rockaway in the Nassau Class B semifinals at LIU Post.
"I think it was our chemistry from the beginning and our unity, we were just clicking right away," Christian Hyon said of leading Wheatley to the county title game. "It all came together in the end."
Christian Hyon had 19 points, including a straightaway three at the buzzer before halftime that gave Wheatley a 21-18 lead it would not relinquish. He added eight points in the third quarter, highlighted by a high-arching pull-up jumper at the free-throw line that increased the lead to 32-22.
Joshua Hyon added 10 points, none prettier than the quick-release corner three he hit as the shot clock was expiring late in the third to build a 15-point advantage.
Kevin Martins added 14 points for Wheatley, which will play for its first county championship since 2001.
"We all knew it was our year because we have great shooters," Martins said. "So we all believed that we could go far and our record in the regular season showed that. We have a good chance in the finals."
The loss brought an end to an adversity-filled season for East Rockaway (8-10), which was displaced because of the destruction superstorm Sandy caused to East Rockaway High School. The Rocks were forced to play all of their home games on their opponent's home court and conduct their practices at various schools. Of the 11 players on the roster, five were without homes after the storm.
They called themselves the Road Warriors and played under the slogan, "Hurricane Sandy took our homes, our school and our gym, but it can't take away our spirit."
David McClure guided the team back to the postseason and scored 16 points Saturday. Kevin Blessington added nine points.
"It's been a difficult year, having to overcome some adversity and not having a home [court]," McClure said. "But I think this year and everything we went through brought us closer and made us want to succeed even more. I really wish we could've gone farther and it didn't have to end here."
Wheatley (14-4) advances to play No. 2 Oyster Bay, the team they shared the BC conference title with, in the Nassau Class B county championship game at 9 p.m. Saturday at LIU Post.
"I've been here since 1997 and this is the best season we've ever had in Class B," Wheatley coach Jim Curcio said. "It's a special group of guys, a special season and I'm just really glad for the guys that we can continue this season for another week."