White, Floyd top Musketeers in 'AA' final
Anthony White almost took this whole teamwork concept a bit too far. In an effort to get his teammates involved, Floyd's 6-3, do-it-all guard wasn't getting himself involved enough in the offense.
So when Central Islip went on a 13-0 run to start the third quarter and grab its first lead in last night's Suffolk AA championship game, Colonials coach Bob Hodgson briefly pulled White from the game.
"I was concerned with his mind-set," Hodgson said. "I emphasized to him that if he got it close to the basket, he couldn't pass up shots."
White responded by scoring 11 second-half points, nine in the fourth quarter as Floyd pulled away from stubborn Central Islip, 53-45, before a crowd of nearly 3,000 at Farmingdale State.
The Colonials (20-2) will face the winner of Saturday's Nassau AA title game between Uniondale and Baldwin on March 10 at 2 p.m. at Hofstra.
"I knew I had to make big shots and make big plays," said White, who has earned a scholarship to Division I St. Francis (N.Y.), which had two of its coaches at courtside. They had to like his stat line: 15 points, 23 rebounds, 7 assists, 7 blocks.
"That's Anthony,'' Hodgson said. "He's played inside-out [at forward] and outside-in [at guard]. He plays all aspects of the game."
White's myriad skills were on display, beginning with a putback that ended a scoreless drought of 4:18 by Floyd that allowed Central Islip (20-2) to take a 38-31 lead midway through the third period behind Ishiah Booker (12 points), Jasean Percell (11) and Brandon Hornedo (10).
White really dazzled in the fourth quarter.
He was a rebound machine at both ends and either blocking or altering most shots but had been contained well by Central Islip's defense. Then, in one critical sequence, White scored on a pull-up jumper in transition, hit two free throws and then brought the huge crowd to its feet by blocking a shot, grabbing the ball and driving coast-to-coast for an acrobatic scoop. That put the Colonials ahead 45-40.
The Musketeers scored five straight points to tie it with 1:44 left, and that's when White got some much-needed help. He drove the length of the court and tossed up a floater in the lane that bounced left. LaShon Washington (17 points, 12 rebounds), a righthanded shooter, came flying to the rim, reached out with his left hand and tipped in the shot.
That put Floyd on top to stay at 47-45 with 1:08 remaining. Washington and White each hit three free throws in the final 40 seconds to close it out.
"No matter whether Anthony's shot went in or missed, I was going for the rebound," said Washington, a 6-3 senior forward.
Of his timely tip, Washington could only laugh and say, "Luck, man, it's all about luck."