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Cloudy,60°
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
East Meadow still eyes playoffs
Eric Dunetz/Herald
East Meadow's Damien Sanders gets to the rim during last Saturday's Conference AA-II defeat at Baldwin.

East Meadow found itself in a tough spot last Saturday, as it traveled to Baldwin for a Conference AA-II boys’ basketball makeup game. On top of facing the Bruins, unbeaten in conference play and the two-time defending Nassau County Class AA champions, the Jets (6-9 overall, 4-6 in Conference AA-II) were forced to hit the floor without point guard Cody Zafrin, who missed the game because of an injury.

“We played well in the first half without Cody,” East Meadow coach Barry Dickson said. “We just couldn’t score enough. We [played] tough on the glass because of Joe [Forrler].”

Led by junior Joe Forrler, East Meadow stayed within arm’s length for the first half, but ultimately, Baldwin’s depth and three-point shooting took over in a 75-36 victory. Forrler, who led the team with 14 points, did most of his damage at the free-throw line, converting 10 attempts, as East Meadow trailed by just four after one quarter and 32-20 at the half. “He’s in our scouting report big time,” Bruins coach Darius Burton said of Forrler, who scored 14 points in the first meeting, a game Baldwin won 66-56 on Dec. 17. “You can’t teach his effort. He’s always following his own shot. You can’t teach his heart. I love the way he plays.”

“He’s been doing that all season,” Dickson said of Forrler’s aggressive play in the post. “He’s a tough kid. But it’s hard to win when you’re [team] is playing inside and the other team is [hitting] threes.”

Four different Baldwin players hit double digits in points, led by Shane Gatling’s 13, and the Bruins converted 10 three-point shots. Joining Forrler in the scoring column for East Meadow were junior Brendan Callaghan, who had 11 points and senior Damien Sanders who scored seven.

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