Written by Vinny Messana Thursday, 27 March 2014 00:00
After capturing their first Nassau County ‘AA’ Boys Basketball title since 1980, the Farmingdale Dalers made it difficult for anyone to count them out. With a team that arguablely has the most tenacious defense on Long Island, the Dalers put the community on their collective backs for an incredible playoff run. But, ultimately, the Dalers were cut short in the Long Island Championship game agains the Brentwood Indians, by a score of 61-41.
“Basically it’s the little end of an era,” said Head Coach Jim Pastier who helped guide the Dalers to this point.
The initial sentiment regarding the season-ending loss was disappointment. “Obviously, everybody is crushed and devastated from this loss,” Pastier said. When the team takes a step back, however, they will appreciate how incredible their season was. From feeling that “nobody gave us a chance in the beginning,” according to Malik Seelal, to the team cutting down the net on their home court, to hoisting the county championship at Adelphi University, this was a team that thrived on adversity and played up to its competition.
“These guys drove themselves to winning the county title, every time they mentioned it I had to tell them ‘alright relax yourselves,’” Pastier said. “Over the past 34 years there have basically been three teams that have won county, so you’re chasing something that is not really attainable.”
The players proved to be prophetic and made their dream a reality. But, in their fourth loss of the season, after an incredible 18 wins, the Dalers were pit against a team that rivaled some NCAA programs. Pastier acknowledged the difficulty of matching up against a team with three Division I prospects in athletes Allen, Almonacy and Olujobi.
The Dalers got off to an uncharacteristic slow start, giving the Indians an early lead. By the second quarter, the Dalers would find several offensive chances. Yet, despite the effort, the offense went stagnant as they entered the half trailing by eight points.
The third quarter also featured more scoring, but unfortunately, that was as close as the Dalers would get, letting the game to slip away in the fourth. Despite the loss, the Dalers look to pick up where they left off this season, next year, when a new team will defend the county title.