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Beacon Times coverage of Longwood game

Posted Friday, February 26, 2010 by Louis Gambeski
Longwood knocks Bulls out
Boys basketball
February 25, 2010 | 11:53 AM
In the Class AA playoff quarterfinal the young Smithtown East Bulls ran into a well-seasoned home team on Feb. 19 at Longwood. Longwood, the second-seed, went undefeated in League I and has rung up over 100 points several times this season. Against Smithtown East their two great guards Darien Davis and Tajric Boggs combined for 54 points, and 6-7 pogo-stick center Patrick Piasecki made the paint a very difficult place to do business. The combination was crucial, and the Lions, with an 80-58 win over Smithtown East, face the Walt Whitman Wildcats next.

Despite the gap in physical size and game experience the Bulls played the Lions tough, falling behind early but crawling back into the game by halftime, cutting the Longwood lead to five points with three minutes to play.

With Bulls senior guard Andrew Castello in early foul trouble, senior guards Alex Gray and Adam Hull, sophomore forwards Jon Feiler and Dan Thixton, and junior forward Dan Walsh led the Bulls back into the fight when they could have easily folded. The Longwood press is ferocious, their made-treys come in bunches and everybody has the green light.

Gray was able to match speed with the Lions' backcourt and scored 19 points to lead the Bulls on offense. Feiler, a tall player with tremendous upside potential, poured in a dozen points on a variety of mid-range jumpers and bank shots. Thixton and Walsh were rugged rebounders, not at all intimidated against the taller front line of the Lions. Adam Hull was solid with the ball against relentless pressure.

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Smithtown East head coach Lou Gambeski was pleased with his young club's effort. "At times we had four sophomores out there together, so we're not discouraged," said Gambeski. "And we played hard the whole game, which is the MO of this program. We're very proud of their effort and hope they learn from this experience. We're building Smithtown basketball back to where it was before the district divided, when we were usually a playoff team."

Gray was typically gracious about the winners after the game. He said, "They're good. But we put up a good fight since it was our last game. I wish them luck. I hope they go all the way."

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