Written by Vinny Messana, firstname.lastname@example.org Friday, 14 February 2014 09:31
The Trojans of Garden City are still holding onto control of their own playoff destiny, even after a tough loss to Westbury 62-45.
“We got some good shots, we just didn’t finish,” said Garden City Head Coach Larry Steiner. “Westbury did a job on defense,” he added. Westbury chose to play a 1-3-1 half court trap to limit the effectiveness of Garden City’s strength, which is its outside shooting. The Trojans struggled to get through the trap.
In defeating New Hyde Park in the previous game, the Trojans had hit a program-record 12 three-pointers, four of those by Joe Leighton. It was a different story in this game, as the team forced some bad passes and was unable to complete some baskets from close range. “We missed a lot of layups and easy shots in the beginning,” Steiner acknowledged.
Westbury head coach Dave Graff had nothing but praise for his team’s opponents, noting that he and his team and pointedly chosen a strategy to defeat this strong team.
“They are an excellent outside shooting team, they have demonstrated it all year long,” Graff said. “We wanted to make sure we picked them up as soon as they crossed over half court and trap the corners.” Graff felt that the team did a good job in executing the 1-3-1 trap.
The key to the game was the third quarter. The Trojans were outscored 16-6, which essentially put a stamp on the game. At halftime, the team was down 34-24 a sizable but certainly surpassable margin. Westbury’s Shakel Cafield led the game in scoring with 21 points, and also played strong defense. In the fourth quarter, Westbury seemed to take its foot off the gas pedal. They did allow a 15-point quarter and were outscored by three points. But by that time, the game was out of reach and Westbury was simply looking to run out the clock.
The Trojans were led in scoring by David Butler and Matt Kelly, both of whom scored seven points. The team remains in playoff contention with three games left in the season.