SHRUB OAK, N.Y. — Sometimes a team can set the tone of a game early and never look back.
That was the case for Yorktown’s boys basketball squad when it traveled to take on rival Lakeland, getting off to a 14-7 first-quarter lead and continually added to it in a 51-38 triumph against the Hornets in the Dec. 15 contest.
“This is a huge rivalry game, so this win means a lot,” Yorktown’s Tanner Dyslin said. “Our high schools are so close in proximity. A lot of people know each other so it’s so good to beat the other high school.”
Helping the Huskers get off to their fast start was Dyslin, who scored nine of his 17 points in the opening quarter.
“We were getting stops on defense and when we get stops on defense we can run,” said Dyslin, who recorded five rebounds. “We were getting up and down the floor. People were finding me and I was able to get some open shots and make them.”
Making shots for Yorktown (3-2) as he always does was Nick DeGennaro, who scored a game-high 23 points. He scored seven of those points in the second quarter, including a layup that finished a fast break, putting the Huskers up 26-15 at halftime.
“It started with stops on the defensive end and my teammates were finding me,” DeGennaro said of his scoring prowess.
DeGennaro’s sharp shooting continued in the third quarter, with a trey from well-beyond the top of the 3-point line that gave Yorktown a 31-17 lead with 5:20 to go in the third quarter.
“It’s a good feeling,” said DeGennaro, who tallied four rebounds and four assists. “I worked on my range a lot in the offseason so it was good to see it pay off.”
Having DeGennaro and Dyslin play as well as they did brought a smile to Yorktown coach Kevin Downes’ face after the game.
“Those two have been playing really well all year,” Downes said. “They get into a rhythm offensively early and if they can do that, they can usually sustain it for the course of the game.”
Lakeland (2-4) received a strong performance inside from Nick Fazio, who scored 14 of his team-high 16 points in the second half.
“Just trying to get the team back on board, trying to get a little momentum to win,” said Fazio, who grabbed 10 boards.
Unfortunately for Lakeland, Fazio’s second-half scoring was not enough to overcome the hole it got itself into in the first half.
“The game comes down to this, foul shooting and layups and that killed us,” Lakeland coach Steve Fallo said. “We missed nine, 10, 11 free throws, we didn’t make layups when we had the opportunity. To their credit, they did it on their side. Dyslin was great, DeGennaro was great, they put the ball in the basket and we didn’t do the job. We had plenty of opportunities. We had nobody to blame but ourselves.”
Lakeland guard Eric Pombo agreed with his coach.
“If we made free throws and layups, we execute down the stretch, we would be in the game,” Pombo said.
Pat Morelli added eight points and Jaz Burton had six points and six rebounds for the Hornets.