The Hewlett Bulldogs took a much-needed 71-63 win against the Glen Cove Big Red with a large contribution from Brett Karkus, putting forth a 26-point performance last Saturday in a Nassau Conference A-III boys’ basketball game.
All but eight of Karkus’ points came from behind the three-point line. Hewlett’s Darren Spencer finished with 7 points and 10 rebounds. “I thought we did a pretty good job sticking to our gameplan,” Hewlett head coach Bill Dubin said. “Offensively we were able to hit our shots against their man to man. Defensively, we knew who their offensive weapons were and we tried to stick to the gameplan to keep them in check.”
Glen Cove’s Michael Vaughan finished with a team-high 23 points with nine of those coming from behind the arc. Milton Foster (11), starting point guard Dejour Gibson (9) and Matt Graf combined for 28.
Although Hewlett held a 32-26 lead at half, Glen Cove started to fight back while the Bulldogs had start to succumb to some late foul trouble. One of Hewlett’s glaring issues, according to Dubin, started to rear its head in the matchup. “Glen Cove had outrebounded us by 14. Giving up offensive rebounds, specifically, has been a big issue for us all year long,” Dubin said. “We have confidence in our guys coming off the bench, though, and we were comfortable playing 10 guys.”
Glen Cove did, at one point, cut the lead to just a point but failed to capitalize.
“It is hard when you’re playing from behind the whole game to try and claw back in to it,” Glen Cove head coach Peter Falen said. “We finally cut it to one, but couldn’t bring it home. It was a tough game to lose because now we have to win our next two. Our guys know there is no margin for error.”
Glen Cove (5-7) must now win both of its remaining games (at Bethpage and at Roosevelt) to avoid missing the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.
“Bethpage is a top-four team in conference and is already in the playoffs. We have to win. In a weird way, I think that favors us,” Falen said. “The last time we played Roosevelt, we were up by 9 at half and ended up losing by 5 and missed 13 free throws. Our key to win is that we have to protect the ball.”
Hewlett (6-6) now positions itself with a solid shot to secure a playoff position by obtaining a .500 or better record with two games remaining. The Bulldogs rallied back from a 2-5 season start to go 4-1 in their last five. “We didn’t believe 2-5 was indicative of what team we are,” Dubin said. “We still need to rebound better and play physically.”
If Hewlett can beat Roslyn or Division, it will make the playoffs for a 14th season in a row. “We’re a young team, the players just need to do their job and just keep playing,” Dubin said. “I’m confident. We just have to make adjustments, the other teams have made adjustments, now it’s time to play.”