Valley Stream South overcame an early 11-point deficit to defeat Lynbrook, 72-60, in an overtime thriller in a Conference A-III boys’ basketball game last Friday night at Lynbrook High School.
“Every game we fight, and they showed a lot when it counted,” VSS head coach Matt Johnsen said.
The split crowd was very vocal in the matchup between the neighboring towns, resulting in a high intensity clash at the Barn that didn’t disappoint.
Lynbrook’s dynamic lefties Matt Murphy and Mike McVeigh powered the early attack, the former running the point and contributing 20 points while the latter led all scorers with 29. “He’s [McVeigh] a big point scorer with Murphy and they really play well together,” Owls head coach Chris Rube said of the guards.
Indeed they were until midway through the fourth quarter when Murphy fouled out, giving Valley Stream South the opening it needed. With five minutes to play, the Falcons converted on two technical-foul free throws resulting in a 45-45 tie.
South then took its first lead of the game after a basket by Diego Maldonado. The guard led the Falcons with 23 points and showed the offensive prowess to drain threes while simultaneously being able to finish in the post.
“He’s our best offensive threat,” Johnsen said. “He’s as good a shooter as anyone and that’s why he’s an all-county player.”
The Falcons clung to a three-point lead as the final seconds ticked off the clock. McVeigh dribbled the length of the floor, came off a screen to his left and unleashed a deep and well contested three that miraculously went it as the horn sounded, sending the crowd into frenzy and the game into overtime.
“He hasn’t shot well recently but he’s one of the better shooters in the county,” Rube said. “I knew he’d turn the corner. He wants to take the shot which is half the battle; he’s the hardest worker I ever coached.”