ELMSFORD, N.Y. – In the blink of an eye, Brandon Herring came swooping in to reject a Saul Feliciano breakaway layup attempt Tuesday in the third quarter of Alexander Hamilton High's boys basketball win over Hawthorne Cedar Knolls.
It was one of many excellent defensive plays Herring made as Hamilton ran away from Hawthorne Cedar Knolls, 60-36.
Herring led a defensive effort that held the visitors scoreless for an eight-minute stretch spanning the third and fourth quarters.
“That’s who Brandon is,” said Hamilton coach Keith Wright of the hustle on the blocked shot. “That’s what Brandon gives us all the time.”
Herring filled out the statistics’ sheet for Hamilton. Even though he finished with only four points, he had seven steals, three rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
“I want to play the best defense I can for our team to win,” Herring said. “On the blocked shot, I knew I had to hustle back and either force a turnover or try and block the shot.
“I like being more aggressive on defense," he said. "Defense is important and it wins championships. When you play good defense it can lead to steals and those lead to fast breaks for us.”
Following Herring’s block, Wright called a time out and took the starters out, but left Herring on the court.
Later in the third quarter, the visitors moved to within four points, 36-32, but Herring executed two steals. The first led to an Albert Franco offensive follow, and, on the second, Herring fed Craig Brown, who was fouled. Brown converted the first free throw, extending the lead to 39-32.
“Brandon is at the top of our press because he is a gifted athlete and he always puts forth 150 percent effort,” Wright said. “I will take that every day.”
Wright said Herring, Hamilton’s shooting guard, excelled defensively last year, guarding 2012 graduate Errol Forde every day in practice.
“Last year as a junior and a first-year varsity player, Brandon earned his playing time going against Errol every day,” Wright said. “This year, Brandon has become a more complete player.”
Franco led Hamilton with 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Brown finished with 17 points and five assists.