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Basketball tips off for Lawrence, Hewlett


After overcoming some external and internal obstacles that didn’t seem possible a few weeks ago, Lawrence will participate in the Nassau County high school basketball season starting this week.

The Golden Tornadoes are scheduled to play eight games, one against each opponent, and with no playoffs will just try to be “the best version we can be,” boys’ head coach Lou Robinson said.

“This all happened so fast,” Robinson said. “The kids are beyond excited. They’ve been put through a gamut of emotions. I’m not getting too caught up in the playoff decision because we’ve got eight more games than we thought we were going to get.”

Lawrence has three returning starters, led by senior guard Mikell Henry who averaged 17 points per game last season on the way to earning All-County honors. Also returning is junior point guard Don Smalls III, who enjoyed a breakout All-Conference season averaging 13 points, and sophomore center Dexter Robinson.

Lawrence’s girls’ team will face the same eight opponents — Island Trees, Wantagh, North Shore, Clarke, Seaford, Locust Valley, West Hempstead and Cold Spring Harbor — but could have trouble fielding a JV program due to numbers.

Sophomore guard Andie Adams is entering her third season as a starter and will be the focus of opposing defenses. Senior Amy Sharin and Brooke Ballard also return with starting experience.

“We’re going to mix in a pretty good degree of conditioning and put in limited offensive and defensive sets with such a short time to get ready,” head coach George Klein said. “We can only squeeze in so much.”

Over at Hewlett, boys’ head coach Bill Dubin has introduced a new offensive system, adding to the challenge of preparing for game action with just a few days of tryouts and four days of practice.

“I’m glad we’re able to get on the court,” Dubin said. “We’re going with a system that fits our athletic ability and personality. We’ll see how fast it’ll all come together. Hopefully it’s pretty fast.”

The Bulldogs are facing Roslyn twice and six others (Manhasset, Glen Cove, South Side, Division, Valley Stream North and Mineola) once. Hewlett features a large contingent of seniors, led by returning starters Sam Vanunu, a forward, and Jesse Korkos, the point guard. Also back in the fold is smooth shooting sophomore guard Ryan Weiss, who earned All-County honors while averaging nearly 20 points per game.

Ryan’s twin sister, Riley, led all Nassau girls in total points and three-pointers last season and was also an All-County selection. She’s part of a deep returning group that includes junior center Molly Williams, and seniors Mia Perkell and Alessandro Borsellino.

“Something is better than nothing and we want to build off what we accomplished with a young team last season,” head coach Anthony Scro said. “Everyone has to do their part to assure we can have a safe season and get all eight games in.”