Written by Peter Cappiello, firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 04 January 2013 00:00
It was a tale of two halves for the Farmingdale boys basketball team. Carrying momentum after topping Syosset 60-42 on Friday, Dec. 14, the Dalers (3-1, 2-0 Nassau Conference AA-I) danced past Hempstead 71-43 in a return to their home court on Tuesday, Dec. 18, but not without some growing pains.
Senior guards Dalique Mingo and P.J. Spadalik led the Farmingdale side in scoring with 21 and 14 points each, but the Tigers (2-2, 0-1 AA-I) got off to the stronger start in the matchup, applying an early pressure that forced 12 turnovers.
Dalers coach Jim Pastier cited a lack of focus that contributed to his team’s early struggles.
“We still haven’t played a complete game,” Pastier said. “We had a bunch of turnovers in the first half that kept Hempstead in the game, and we weren’t able to expand our lead. Second half, we came out a little more focused, didn’t turn the ball over at all, and that’s what created the difference in the game.”
Spadalik, along with junior guard Curtis Jenkins, controlled the pace of the game for Farmingdale in the first half, combining for 14 points with 12 of them coming from three-point land, while Mingo quietly added five boards and four assists before halftime.
Senior forward Tidell Pierre powered Hempstead’s offense, earning 20 points, including 10 from the charity stripe. Pierre’s 12 points through two quarters of play was followed closely on the scoreboard by senior guard Tywan Watson, who put away six points in 16 minutes en route to 10 points overall.
Although outscoring the Tigers 31-24 at the half, Mingo said a shift in mindset propelled the Dalers moving forward.
“In the first half we had 12 turnovers and that equals 12 times where we’re not able to shoot the ball,” Mingo said. “Our coach said we warmed up lackadaisical, so we were probably walking through the motions at first, but we just tried to limit the amount of turnovers that we had and keep on going forward.”
Pastier noted the resiliency of his squad after missing junior guard Jack Burke for most of the contest due to flu-like symptoms.
“There was no fire to be lit underneath these guys—these guys are very explosive as is—they’ve just got to come out more focused and not give up easy buckets,” Pastier said. We were without Burke, he was sick with the flu so we had to rest him for a half. We didn’t really have a true point guard out there and it took a little while for these guys to gel together, but they came back in the second half and they answered the bell.”
Farmingdale charged out of the gate as Mingo and Spadalik teamed up to record eight unanswered points, just one minute, 13 seconds into the third quarter. Six minutes later, the Dalers found themselves on the right side of a 57-29 tilt after outscoring Hempstead 26-5 in the third frame.
Despite an offensive surge by the Tigers in the final quarter, matching Farmingdale’s output at 14, it was too little too late as Hempstead suffered its first division loss of the year.
Spadalik acknowledged the stronger offensive play, but said his team’s second-half defense was the key to success.
“We picked up a lot more defensively in the second half,” Spadalik said. Shots weren’t falling down in the first half and [in the second] we came out with a lot of energy and knocked down big shots. We’ve just got to go out with the same mindset that we’re going to win every game that we can.”
The Dalers went on a brief hiatus following a Christmas tournament held at Amityville High School, but return to action on Friday, Jan. 4 as they travel to Freeport for a 4:30 p.m. tip-off.