Story by Gary Simeone
Even though they are not in the same conference, with Mineola and Garden City being neighboring towns, it only makes sense that the two school districts would have some natural rivalry.
The rivalry came to Mineola High School Tuesday for senior night as the two teams squared off against one another in a non-conference matchup.
The Trojans got out to a quick start as sharpshooter Spencer Bais hit two treys to give Garden City an early 14-5 lead in the first while big men Dan Bronchonsky and Ed Blatz were able to muscle inside the paint for multiple rebounds in the second. The Trojans held onto a 10 point lead going into halftime.
An innocuous floater in the lane from Mineola senior guard Mike Waszczuk and a three-pointer from the left side was able to finally spark a Mustang offense that switched from zone to man-to-man in order to match up with the physicality of the bigger Garden City players. Repeated drives in the lane by senior point guard Malcolm Brown cut the deficit to 4 points.
The Trojans gained some of their momentum back to start the fourth quarter as Kyle Skramko hit two early shots from downtown. But Mineola held steady, continuously driving into the lane and drawing fouls on the Garden City big men.
One of them came with about 70 seconds left on the clock on Waszczuk, sending him to the line with the score tied at 57 to put the Mustangs up by two. Another foul on Brown clinched the game when the senior guard nailed the shot with about 24 seconds left in regulation.
“We didn’t come out to play at first maybe because our guys thought it was just a non-league game,” said Mineola head coach Jim Hegmann. “But when we saw how good of a team they were we really stepped up our intensity on both sides of the ball.”