January 29, 2013 | 8 views
East Meadow needs strong finish
Playoff berth still within reach
As the end of the regular season hits the horizon, East Meadow knows what’s needed to earn a berth in the upcoming Nassau Class AA boys’ basketball playoff tournament, and in many respects, the Jets can control their own destiny.
After falling at Baldwin last Saturday, East Meadow (7-6 overall, 3-5 in Conference AA-II) likely needs at least two wins, and possibly three to grab the fourth and final playoff slot.
Trailing by nine after the first quarter against the Bruins, East Meadow struggled to get into the game thanks in large part to a suffocating defensive effort that slowed down junior guard Cody Zafran, and two quick fouls on senior forward Joe Campay that further disrupted the Jets offensive rhythm. “They took our guards right out of the game and we didn’t run our offense,” coach Barry Dickson said.
Zafran, who scored a game-high 24 points in an earlier loss to Baldwin, became the No. 1 target of the Bruins’ defensive attention and managed just six points in the rematch. “We felt like he was beating us off the dribble too much [in the first meeting],” Baldwin coach Darius Burton said, of the adjustments his defense made.
The extra attention focused on Zafran isn’t necessarily something new, as both he and Campay, East Meadow’s top offensive weapons, are routinely at the top of the list when it comes to game-planning against the Jets. But if East Meadow is going to make a late run at the postseason, the two are going have to fight through the growing roadblocks. “It’s going to have to come from our offense,” Dickson said of a rebound in the standings. “We have to get big performances from our two best down the stretch, but do it within the framework of our team offense.”