Port's JV took down East Meadow's junior squad the old fashioned way - they earned it. In the modern state of the hardwood, most clubs look to isolate one or two players and set up a hokey pick-and-roll or a three-point jumper with little or no weak side help. This particular aspect has led many critics to examine the downward slope of the professional game. Albeit unlikely, some of the pros should examine the acute fundamentals and keen awareness exhibited by some of our local younger talent. The local boys outplayed their East Meadow counterparts with a patient half-court offense, offensive rebounding, and sound free throw shooting.
The JV exploited their hard nose approach from the opening tip as they outran a seemingly war wary Jet club. The Vikings are not a big unit, but what they lack in size or overwhelming basketball skills, they more than make up for in guile and hustle. Brian Rosenburg and Ira James were the primary go-to-players in a slightly less than gallant effort from both sides. Neither team could establish a rhythm, but with fastidious inside work from Andrew Levy and an omnipresent press, the Vikings held the home court down with a 36-25 first half advantage.
The second half showed a more relaxed, contemporary approach if not in style than certainly in maturity. The Vikings forced the hands of the Jets by driving the lanes and attacking the offensive hoop. It was not just a question of blistering through an open defensive seam (a concept closely resembling a football approach) but rather it was the "no-let-up" attitude when a shot didn't fall and a continuing resolve to convert the bucket. It has become fashionable for younger players to sit back and watch the high arc of their shots, but these boys took no lay-up or jumper for granted. Their mission was simple: 1) penetrate the lane hard 2) lay it up soft 3) crash the boards with the assumption of a miss.
Port showed great patience in their half court game by not resorting to the quick equalizer or over-passing on the perimeter. Conversely, their defensive arsenal led to a run-and-shoot attack that invariably resulted in a basket or a trip to the foul line. The Vikings took 30 such trips to the lie and converted 22 of them. Ira James, who finished with 23, made an impressive 11 of 14 attempts and although the Jets made a late comeback 9-0 run, the Vikings' contingent proved to be too resilient as they held on to a 75-62 win.