Senior Diego Maldonado scored 26 points, and junior Will Knight added 22 to lead No. 11 Valley Stream South to a 72-64 road victory over No. 6 West Hempstead in the opening round of the Nassau Class A boys' basketball playoffs last Friday. Freshman point guard Dana King had 18 points and nine assists for the Falcons.
With the win, Valley Stream South (10-8) advanced to the quarterfinal round where it will meet No. 3 Hewlett. West Hempstead, which finished at 14-4, was led by senior Tyree Glascoe’s 22 points. In the third quarter, Glascoe became the fifth player in program history to score 1,000 points. Junior Darren Davy had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Rams.
Valley Stream South’s shooting was off the charts. The Falcons hit 12 three-point baskets, with many coming as the shot clock was winding down. Knight, who displayed his shooting ability when he knocked down seven threes in an overtime win over Glen Cove early on in the season, buried six from downtown to lead the outside shooting barrage.
West Hempstead head coach Ed Cosgrove was impressed with the Falcons. “We knew what they were capable of, but didn’t expect them to shoot like that,” Cosgrove said. “They just had more weapons than we could handle. When we changed things up on defense, they adjusted, broke down our defense, and found other ways to score.”
The Rams found themselves down by as many as 14 points in the opening half, but every time it looked as if South could breathe easy, Glascoe, Davy and company would get West Hempstead back within striking distance.
Late in the third quarter, Davy scored on consecutive possessions to cut South’s lead to 49-44, but as he had done all afternoon, Maldanado hit a clutch shot, burying a 15-foot jumper as the buzzer sounded. King, who scored 10 points in the final quarter, hit a long three to give the Falcons a commanding 62-49 lead with just under five minutes to play, but back came West Hempstead.
The Rams went on a 14-5 run to cut the lead to 67-63 with 1:34 to go, but they never got closer. Maldanado, King and Knight each hit a pair of free throws to put the game on ice.