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Colts Win Semifinals in Heroic Fashion

Josh Koval brings the ball up the court against Copaigue. Credit Ji Hoon Park
Josh Koval brings the ball up the court against Copaigue. Credit Ji Hoon Park
Josh Koval driving the ball up the court against Copaigue.
Credit Ji Hoon Park

The Colts have succeeded thus far in the playoffs, winning their first two games. These wins catapulted the team onto the big stage, the county semifinal game at Farmingdale College. Their opponent? Sixth seed and league rivals Copiague High School. Hills West went 2-0 versus Copiague during the regular season, including a win on our senior day for the league championship. This game, however, was much more highly anticipated. The teams’ previous two meetings were extremely close and that Copiague was coming off an upset win. Hills West’s strategy throughout the season and for this game was to out run their opponents. Copiague, however, was prepared. The game began with each team exchanging basket for basket until midway through the 2nd quarter, when Copiague started to pull away. The Colts were pressured into playing a slower paced game, and it seemed to be very frustrating for them to not be able to play the way that they like to. With the team’s leading scorer, Kian Dalyrimple, out with two fouls, the team had to rely on their bench and important role players for much needed points in the first half. It was evident at halftime that Copiague had the momentum with their 10 point lead, with a score of 27-37. The Colts needed a big spark, which often has come from 3 point sharp shooter Jon Faraci, but Faraci had been contained in the first half. A few minutes into the 4th quarter the game seemed to be out of reach, as Copiague had a 14 point lead. Suddenly, though, Faraci broke free and drained a three pointer from the left wing on back-to-back possessions. At this point the Colt’s Nation fans were on their feet, motivating the team to win. Cameron Jordan made a couple of fast break layups on the next few possessions, and the Colts were on a roll. Steal after steal, layup after layup, and just like that the Colts were in the lead with the clock winding down. Hills West outscored Copiague 21-4 in the fourth quarter alone. This comeback stemmed not only from Faraci’s spark but also from the team’s astounding pressure defense in the fourth quarter. One of Coach Mitaritonna’s sayings is that defense wins games, and this game proved the truth behind that statement. Hopefully it can win the biggest game – Hills West’s next hurdle, the County Championship.