The Manhasset Indians put the smackdown on 15-seeded Hewlett, advancing to the Nassau County Semi-finals after a 87-58 win. Head Coach George Bruns’ team came out firing on all cylinders in the first quarter, going up 30-10 with four 3-pointers from swingman Joe Busch.
“We exploded,” Bruns said. “I knew this team could do this, but I didn’t know when it would happen.”
Manhasset was without their dynamic frontcourt player Ahmed Crowell for the second straight playoff game, but it made no difference for the Indians. Cole Zaffiro lead the scoring barrage with 25 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists and freshman Liam Connor stepped up in Crowell’s absence with 20 points of his own. Sharpshooter Busch put together an easy 18 points to help the cause.
“I think the team has stepped up as a whole,” Bruns said.
Hewlett’s 2-3 zone was shredded by the Indian’s offense, often finding Zaffiro in the high-post and slashing through the zone. The zone also helped Manhasset find open shots for shooters on the perimeter, like Busch.
Crowell is expected to rejoin the team this week as they prepare for their matchup against the third-seed South Side Cyclones at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 29 at SUNY Farmingdale’s arena. Bruns said they will try to ease Crowell back in the rotation, but he will most likely not start v. South Side.