After splitting its two toughest and most important Conference A-II games of the season’s first half, Hewlett’s boys’ basketball team was in cruise control last Friday when it tipped off the second half with a runaway 61-27 victory over visiting Plainedge.
Senior Weldon Irvine (19 points, 10 rebounds) and junior Avery Feldman (11, 10) each posted a double-double as the Bulldogs upped their record to 6-1 in conference play and 7-2 overall. Junior Dimitri Baptiste and senior Nico Leguillow chipped in nine and eight points, respectively, in a game that saw the hosts roll to a 38-10 halftime lead.
“The biggest things we need to do are beat the press and cut down on turnovers,” Hewlett coach Bill Dubin said. “We just changed what we’re doing with our press-break, and hopefully that’s something we’ll do better the rest of the way. We were throwing the ball to space instead of to each other.”
The Bulldogs didn’t face much resistance from the struggling Red Devils, who were led by John Danielo’s eight points. Dubin was able to give his reserves considerable playing time, and Zach Metz (five points) and David Perkins (four) both hit a couple of field goals.
Hewlett was coming off a 55-44 home victory over Great Neck North three days earlier, despite a mediocre shooting game. Irvine and Feldman dominated inside, combining for 38 points and 24 rebounds. Irvine had 22 points and 17 boards, while Feldman produced 16 points and seven rebounds. “Weldon had a big second half and helped us seal it with a couple of three-point plays in the fourth quarter,” Dubin said. “We didn’t shoot the ball the way we’re capable, but our defense was great and we rebounded well.”
One of the keys was Leguillow’s ability to contain Blazers’ standout Alec Ludwig. Though Ludwig finished with 20 points, including seven free throws, he had only 10 after three quarters and the defense made him work for everything. “Ludwig got his points in the end, but he really didn’t hurt us,” Dubin said. “Nico did a very good job locking him down.”
Beating Great Neck North allowed the Bulldogs to bury their poorest effort of the campaign, a 46-45 setback at Bethpage that saw them commit 27 turnovers. “You can’t throw away 27 possessions and expect to win,” Dubin said. “For whatever reason, we haven’t played well in that gym. We’ve won one and lost two in three years.”
Hewlett’s frontcourt of Irvine, Feldman and junior Bryan Eckerle all scored in double figures, but it wasn’t enough. The trio has carried the offense all season and combined for all but nine of the team’s points in a 74-60 win over Glen Cove. Feldman hit for 30 in that one. “They can all play inside or outside, and they’re all doing a nice job staying out of foul trouble,” Dubin said.
Bethpage visits Hewlett for the rematch on Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. It’s also the annual Hoops for Hope fundraiser game to benefit SIBSPlace and Long Island Cares Food Bank.