An all-around solid performance by Lynbrook boys basketball’s Michael McVeigh helped the Owls pull out a 37-34 victory against Nassau Conference A-III opponent Valley Stream North last Friday. The Owls came away with their third straight victory in front of a packed home crowd, on a night in which the team honored their senior players before the game.
“Playing together and playing defense was our main goal,” McVeigh said. “The guys on team really stepped up.”
McVeigh lead the way early for his team, making three first quarter three-pointers, and scoring all of his team’s 11 points over the opening eight minutes. But as the game progressed the defense tightened up on the senior guard, who has also been dealing with a back injury.
In the second McVeigh’s teammates began to take over the scoring load for the Owls. Four different players scored for Lynbrook in the second quarter to help the team take a 22-16 lead into halftime.
Early in the second half, it seemed as if Lynbrook was ready to pull away, as they held a 10-point advantage with 5:12 left remaining in the third. But Valley Stream North would answer with a 9-2 run to end the quarter, led by the scoring efforts of senior Ricardo Richardson.
The Spartans continued their strong play into the fourth, as they held a 32-28 lead with 4:53 to play. But a pair of big three pointers by Owls’ sophomore guard Frank Boni would help Lynbrook regain the lead.
“We needed those threes,” Lynbrook head coach Chris Rube said. “Every time he shoots we believe it’s going in.”
During the final two minutes, with Lynbrook holding a two-point lead, the game came down to the two teams knocking down their free throws. McVeigh, who had not scored since the first quarter, was able to deliver a pair of clutch free throws to give his team a four-point lead.
But, Valley Steam North once again rallied, coming back with a quick basket by junior Mahlik Mcleod, and then a steal on the Owls’ ensuing inbounds attempt. But, the Spartans would fall just short in their comeback, after sophomore Josh Denis was unable to come away with points from the line on the team’s final possession.
“Our offense was sluggish, there were a lot of turnovers, and overall we didn’t execute,” Valley Stream North head coach Dan Achatz said.
McVeigh led Lynbrook with 13 points on the night, and also had four assists. Junior Armin Cekic also had a big game finishing with eight points and seven rebounds.
“I think we did a good job trying to get good shots for everybody,” McVeigh said. “I know I’m probably the first option, but I trust my guys enough to be able to knock down key shots.”
Valley Stream North’s Richardson finished with a game-high 14 points. Senior Aaron Bonitto, and Mcleod each scored five points.
Neither team will qualify for the Nassau Class A playoffs.