Williams, Baldwin head to Nassau 'AA' finals
Where there's a B-Will, there's a way.
Senior point guard Brandon Williams entered the season having watched his county championship hopes die by three points in the final in each of the last two seasons. Now leading a senior-laden team, Williams has willed Baldwin back to the title game.
"His will to win is uncanny,'' Baldwin coach Darius Burton said. "He has two heartbreakers in the county finals and I know he wants to win it really bad.''
He'll get his opportunity to do so. Williams scored 16 points and added 11 assists to lead No. 2 Baldwin over No. 3 Elmont, 60-44, in the Nassau Class AA boys basketball semifinals Monday night at SUNY Old Westbury.
"I definitely think this is our best shot of winning a county title,'' Williams said. "We're united, we're strong. We're going to get it.''
After stealing the ball and going the length of the court for a layup, Williams helped cap a 10-0 run to open the fourth quarter with a no-look dump pass to Andres Gonzales, who drained a deep three-pointer to put Baldwin ahead 54-41 with 4:44 remaining.
It was the fourth three of the game for Gonzales (12 points), who showed no hesitation launching from well beyond the arc.
"The team needed me to open it up a little,'' Gonzales said. "Coach tells me, wherever you are, you've got the green light. I'll shoot anywhere.''
Kyle Richardson and Mykeil Tzul each had seven points.
Williams scored 11 points in the first half and Gonzales hit two threes late in the second quarter as Baldwin closed the quarter on an 8-0 run and took a 30-25 lead into halftime.
Marc Campbell led Elmont (17-2) with 11 points. Daniel Alexander added nine and hit a three with 30 seconds left in the third quarter to pull Elmont within three.
But Baldwin (17-2) held the Spartans to three fourth-quarter points to advance to its sixth straight county championship game. The Bruins face unbeaten Uniondale at 5 p.m. Saturday at Hofstra University.
"They bleed just like us, they're human,'' Burton said of Uniondale. "They're a very good team. But I think we can play with them.''