Coming into the 2013-2014 boys’ basketball season, West Hempstead figured to be the team to beat in Nassau Conference A-IV. Thus far, the Rams are meeting all expectations. With a convincing 79-32 road win over Clarke on Jan. 16, West Hempstead improved to 7-0 in league play and 11-1 overall. Senior Anthony Beaubrun scored 15 points to lead all scorers.
The Rams got off to an explosive start and outscored Clarke 36-9 in the opening eight minutes of the contest. Senior Darren Davy, who has been a double-double machine for West Hempstead, scored 12 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. The Rams, who held opponents under 40 points in four consecutive games, had 13 players find the bottom of the net.
Head coach Ed Cosgrove likes the defensive intensity he’s getting from his team. “We have guys who are really getting after it and setting the tone on defense,” Cosgrove said. “Other guys see teammates diving on the floor after loose balls, and it becomes contagious. We score a lot of our points off transition. It’s volume. We just have so many more possessions than our opponents.”
The Rams, whose only blemish on their record is a loss to Class AA power Farmingdale, had its way with conference opponents the first time through the schedule. In a 76-57 victory over Roosevelt, junior Dimitri Joseph poured in 23 points and dished out four assists. Senior Donovan Steele added 10 points and nine rebounds.
Seaford figured to be one of the teams to challenge West Hempstead for the league title, but the Rams took care of business with a 61-37 triumph when the teams met. Junior Derick Joseph had 11 points and six assists, but, as usual, it was Davy who was the difference maker with 19 points and 14 boards.
Davy, who scored a career-high 27 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in a 67-62 non-league win at Hewlett, has been the team’s most consistent performer. “Darren has been our rock,” Cosgrove said. “Some guys will have a night where they score a bunch and then struggle the next night. Darren is a very steady player. He’s averaging a double-double, and playing solid on defense.”
With road games at Roosevelt and Seaford still to be played, running the table in the conference will not be easy. Cosgrove expects to be challenged in the second half of the season, and knows the margin of error is not that great.
“I have told the guys that no team is untouchable, and everybody is capable of being beaten,” Cosgrove said. “We really have to execute better on offense, and value every possession. The ball movement isn’t what is should be every night. We’re getting better, but all it takes is one bad night and a team can knock us off. We have some real tough games coming up. It should be fun.”
West Hempstead will travel to Roosevelt this Friday for a 6:30 p.m. meeting with the Rough Riders.