Brentwood High School defeated Northport High School 76-61 Friday night at Farmingdale State College to advance to the Suffolk County Section Class AA Basketball Championship.
The Indians of Brentwood won the opening tip, and didn’t look back. In front of a raucous crowd of about 1,000 fans, Brentwood came out very aggressive on both sides of the ball.
Brentwood was sparked by an 11-0 run in the second quarter that led to an early 21-10 lead. The Northport Tiger’s offensive drought lasted over half a quarter and they could not recover as they found themselves trailing 36-25 at halftime.
The deficit was hardly insurmountable, but the 2013 Long Island Class AA Champions had difficulty holding on to the ball the face of swarming pressure, turning the ball over 14 times, which led to a number of easy fast break opportunities for Brentwood. Northport’s failure to make shots only exacerbated the problem.
The third quarter was played at a frenetic pace as the teams traded both turnovers and buckets. Austin Marchese kept the Tigers in the game, scoring the last seven points of the quarter.
But Sophomore point guard Michael Almonacy came out strong in the fourth quarter and led the way for Brentwood scoring 23 points on the night. Senior forward Marcus Hall and 6-foot-8 senior Femi Olujobi provided a strong, physical frontcourt, something that Northport lacked all night. Their rebounding and defensive presence stifled Northport.
Northport battled to within 8 points in the final quarter, but Almonacy sealed the deal with a layup to put the Indians up 13 with just over two minutes left in regulation.
Brentwood will now face Deer Park High School in the Suffolk County Class AA Championship on Feb. 25, at 6 p.m. at Farmingdale State College.