By Steven Zaitz
It has been almost a full 12 months since Tristan Davis, and the Smithtown East boys varsity basketball team, have taken to the hardwood in a game that actually counted.
Despite the layoff, Davis showed not one bit of rust.
The 6’5” junior forward led all scorers with 16 points in the Red Bulls 49-43 victory over the Huntington High School Blue Devils on Wednesday, Feb. 10 at home. He also dominated on the glass and around the rim with 12 rebounds and 7 blocked shots.
“It feels great to be out here again,” Davis said. “It was great to start the season with a win.”
Two of his points came on a monster slam dunk in the second quarter.
“That dunk was fun,” Davis said. “I hope it’s the first of many.”
Smithtown East Coach Al Chandler was pleased with Davis’ offensive output. But he was even more impressed with how active he was in disrupting Huntington’s attack.
“Tristan has worked really hard to get where he is,” said Coach Chandler, who has been part of the Smithtown East program for close to three decades. “His timing is great when it comes to blocking shots. He took them (Huntington) out of what they wanted to do on offense, and he stayed out of foul trouble. I was really happy with how he played today.”
Senior Forward Tom Berdon chipped in 12 points, shooting 55% from the field and guards Ethan Cain and Jack Melore each sunk a pair of three pointers, both finishing with 6 points. Melore is a freshman. The Bulls opened up a double-digit lead early in the second half and held that lead until the final two minutes. The Blue Devils made a late run by forcing turnovers to cut the lead to six but got no closer.
“We need to protect the ball better there and finish,” Chandler said. “We have some work to do, but we’ll get there.”
Kevin Drake led Huntington with 14 points and was 3 for 5 from three-point range. Point guard Adrian Brooks had 13.
The Bulls go on the road to take on Copiague Friday, Feb 12, then play host to William Floyd Feb 14 and rival Smithtown West Feb 16. Unfortunately, no fans are allowed to attend games at this time.
As per the Section XI website, “Due to safety concerns outlined by the Suffolk County Department of Health and physicians on our safety committee, having no spectators at contests will give us the best chance for schools to complete their upcoming seasons,” said Tom Combs, executive director of Section XI. “The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches and support staff are paramount in this endeavor of returning to play.”