The first official game of the season for both Malverne and Wheatley high schools' varsity boys basketball teams was a tight one Friday night. That is, until the fourth quarter, when the Mules were able to pull away in the fourth quarter to defeat the Wildcats, 60-46.
Junior center Andre Berry used his towering 6'6 frame to dominate in the low post. The Wildcats could not find an answer for the big man as he went on to score 22 points in the game.
Senior guard Tim Prewitt also had quality minutes for the Mules in the second half, scoring 11 points.
The game was close through the first three quarters as Wheatley relied on their outside shooting to keep them in the game. Brothers Christian and Josh Hyon combined to score 26 points for the Wildcats. Josh had three 3-point shots to even the score at 23-23 at the half.
"They were shooting well in the first half but their legs got tired in the second," said Malverne associate head coach Walter Askinoff. "I thought our defense really picked up in the second half as well."
Prewitt and forward Aaron Jackson, who scored 13 points in the game, helped give the Mules a five-point edge in the third quarter, 40-35. After that it was the 'Berry Show,' as the junior proved to be an unstoppable force late in the game.
"He was the difference-maker for us tonight," said Askinoff of Berry. "He helped us pull away from Wheatley, particularly in the fourth quarter."
The Mules next game will be at home against Cold Spring Harbor on Tuesday at 6:45 p.m.
Scoring 1 2 3 4 F
Malverne 13 10 17 20 60
Wheatley 13 10 12 11 46