Revenge Factor

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Revenge Factor

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It was clear from the opening tip-off of Saturday’s key Conference A-IV boys’ varsity basketball game between Floral Park and Valley Stream South that the Knights were intent on proving that the previous contest was a fluke.

“We were upset with our performance last time and wanted to walk into their gym with a different mentality,” said senior Jayson Delgado.

Well, Delgado certainly got his wish.

Senior Matthew O’Donnell hit a layup and three pointer on the first two possessions, setting the tone for what was a dominating 69-56 victory for Floral Park. The win helped avenge a disappointing 70-38 defeat three weeks earlier, a game the Knights played without senior Michael Matich.

“How about that,” said an elated senior Matthew Felicetti following Floral Park’s most impressive performance of the season.

Even though the Falcons had a significant size advantage at every position, Floral Park’s defense and rebounding were relentless. There was a playoff intensity to the game, which was halted momentarily in the first half while the officials waited for a Valley Stream South fan to leave the gym following his ejection.

“We were confident that if we could stop (Aaron) Davis from getting to the basket, we’d have a good shot at getting defensive stops,” said Delgado, referring to Valley Stream South’s senior point guard.

Delgado led all scorers with 32 points, his fifth time this season scoring at least 30. Matich finished with 19 points and ten rebounds while O’Donnell added 16 points and 11 rebounds. Key contributions from Jim Ollen, Deschanel Chery, Thomas Freely and James Jounakos also contributed to the victory.

“We all stepped up our defense and limited their second chance opportunities,” said Matich.

Coach Boyle did a great job preparing his team for this game against one of the top teams in Nassau County. The decision to take ball handling responsibilities away from Delgado helped the senior to save some energy as he simply dominated the 4th quarter.

“We were confident that Matich could run our offense effectively,” said Delgado.

The win lifted Floral Park to 7-3 in the conference, with a pivotal game against the first-place Lynbrook Owls on Wednesday at home. Valley Stream South now sits in second place with an 8-2 record. The game against Lynbrook will see the two top scorers in Nassau County – Delgado (25.2) and Rylan Blondo (24.7). Along with Valley Stream North’s Carlton Parris (24.2) and Lawrence’s Keaton Goldsby (23), four of the top five scorers are all in Floral Park’s conference.

Shane Palma will be back on the scene for what should be an electric environment at FPM on Wednesday.