January 14, 2014 | 695 views
Depth carries South Side
Less than 24 hours after South Side raced to an 18-point first-quarter lead in a convincing victory over visiting Conference A-I boys’ basketball rival Wantagh, the Cyclones produced their biggest quarter of 2013-14 on the way to avenging last season’s setback at Garden City.
Seniors Paul Pandolfi (13), Pace Shaw (six), and Erik Shirland (five) combined for 24 of South Side’s 29 third-quarter points in last Saturday afternoon’s 74-46 victory at Garden City. Shaw and Shirland finished with a game-high 15 points apiece — off the bench — and senior Keith Ruiz added 11 as the Cyclones (7-1 overall) improved to 5-0 in conference games and kept pace with Westbury atop the standings.
“We had a little bit of a letdown in the second quarter and found ourselves behind by a point,” South Side head coach Jerry D’Angelo said. “We went up by four at the half and talked about some things we needed to do better.
“We switched some screens and did a good job denying their passing lanes,” he added. “We created some turnovers, got out in transition and shot well. Our depth showed in the second half.”
D’Angelo said he used the same starting lineup for a fifth straight game — Pandolfi, Ruiz, senior Keith Phifer, junior Garrett Gallego and sophomore Alex Sorensen — but called on the reserves early and often once again. Junior Jon Cheslock chipped in five points and junior Tim Kelly had a basket as the reserves accounted for more than half (38) of the Cyclones’ offense.
“I compare this group to our team from five years ago,” D’Angelo said. “We lost to Roslyn in the county final that season but we were incredibly deep. This team isn’t exactly like that team, but it’s pretty comparable. We rely on just about everyone and I’ve made a commitment to playing our depth.
“Having this kind of depth makes for quality practices,” he added. “Our first five against our second five is fun to watch.”