By Sophia Ricco
The Cold Spring Harbor boys basketball team will have a shot at the Long Island title after beating Malverne last Saturday in the Nassau Class B championship game.
This is the Seahawks first time winning the Class B County Championship in school history. They were previously Class C county champions in 1995.
The game was a hard-fought, back-and-forth battle between the top two teams in Class B. Head coach Jason Mercurio knew Malverne had a great team, but was confident his boys could defeat them. The Seahawks handed the Mules their only loss during the regular season.
“They were playing well, but our kids showed a lot of resiliency,” Mercurio said. “Malverne tied up the game on multiple occasions, but we were able to answer every time they gained some momentum by getting baskets of our own. I’m very happy that we were able to play so well at such a big moment.”
The Seahawks started the game strong and took a 15-9 lead in the first quarter. Each team scored 12 points in the second quarter, sending Cold Spring Harbor into the locker room with a 27-21 advantage at halftime.
This season the team had a mission to play a better defense.
“Our motto this season was, ‘Keep teams to 50 points or under and we’ll never lose.’ This was something we stressed and we held them to exactly 50 points,” Mercurio said.
Cold Spring Harbor point guard and captain Thomas Milana opened the third quarter with two timely three-pointers to expand the lead for the Seahawks. Mercurio feels Milana had his best game of the season, scoring 14 points.
Captain Aidan Adomaites played an important part in the Seahawk’s win as well, leading the team with 18 points.
“It all came full circle for them because they’ve been on the team since they were underclassmen,” Mercurio said. “The experience that they gained by playing in games all those years, really showed at the county championship. They were all really focused on getting the win.”
Malverne battled back from the 11-point deficit to tie the game at 47 with five minutes left in the fourth quarter. That’s when captain Jack Vavassis stepped up.
“He kept the team focused, even when things weren’t looking good and the other team was gaining momentum,” Mercurio said. “He just showed an incredible amount of leadership.”
Cold Spring Harbor would go on a 9-3 run in the last four minutes of the game to secure a 56-50 victory. Kip Dallaris hit a three-pointer for the Seahawks and scored nine points in the game, while Vavassis, Nick Suter, Luca Sanna and Steven Samuels rounded out scoring with six, four, three and two points, respectively.
The Seahawks ace off against the Red Devils of Center Moriches at Farmingdale State College on March 6, 7 p.m. for the Long Island Class B Championship.
“We’re gonna have to do some things differently and make things difficult for them,” Mercurio said. “We’re gonna do everything we can to give them the best game we can.”