Pregame warm-ups for West Hempstead and Floral Park ran longer than usual when one of the referees was a half-hour late for Wednesday's game. Once the ref finally showed, Tyree Glascoe put him right to work.
When the West Hempstead point guard wasn't taking his man off the dribble for easy lay-ins, he was knifing through the lane and drawing contact to get to the free-throw line. Glascoe's ability to get to the rim helped set the tone and West Hempstead protected its lead with shutdown zone defense en route to a 59-49 win over host Floral Park in Conference A-III.
Glascoe, who went 7-for-12 from the line, finished with 23 points, including a pull-up jumper with 2:53 remaining in the third quarter that gave West Hempstead a 43-41 lead and ignited a 13-0 run that carried into the fourth quarter.
Pat D'Haiti closed the third with a putback off his own missed floater with seconds left to give West Hempstead a 49-41 lead heading into the fourth.
D'Haiti drained a corner three to open a 54-41 lead with six minutes remaining to cap a run in which West Hempstead held Floral Park scoreless for nearly 5:30.
"Defense is what won the game," West Hempstead coach Ed Cosgrove said. "They're such a good shooting team that we had to make sure we got out and challenged shots."
Floral Park's GK Klaum had 12 of his 13 points in the first quarter, including three three-pointers, and Lloyd Wheeler scored 11 of his 16 points in the first half as the two teams entered halftime tied at 29.
To combat Floral Park's outside shooting, West Hempstead (2-2) went with a 3-2 zone defense in the second half that made it tougher for the Knights (2-2) to get open shots around the perimeter. During the final 11:22 of the game, Floral Park was held to just eight points.
Raymond Alexander had 16 points and Darren Davy scored nine for the Rams. Perhaps the extended pregame shootaround actually benefited Glascoe, who scored 16 points in the first half.
"We were a little bit tired," Glascoe said of the extra warm-ups. "But we were ready to play."