By Dylan Butler
Hill scored 26 points against the VeeBees, but it was Dimitris Dimitropolous' 18 points – all from beyond the arc – that put away Van Buren.
“That's why I'm out there, to take shots,” Dimitropolous said. “Their coach knew me, but I was still able to get the open shot.”
Van Buren head coach Perry Dortch warned his team about Dimitropolous, who scored 11 points in the Judges' 93-89 overtime win over Van Buren earlier in the season, going as far as to play the role of Dimitropolous in practice, but his threats apparently fell on deaf ears.
“We let the kid shoot and he hurt us,” said Dortch. “He's a good spot up shooter.”
Cardozo head coach Ron Naclerio was pleased with someone other than Hill stepping up their game.
“That's the thing we've been harping on – we need more than Darryl,” he said. “A lot of days we need more than Dimitris. Dimitris has had his ups and downs. Last year he didn't play much. But since a 92-68 win over Columbus Dec. 23], he's had a lot more ups than downs.”
Leading 21-20 midway through the second quarter, Cardozo (13-4, 11-2) went on a 12-2 run, including two wide-open three pointers by Dimitropolous, to take a 33-22 lead with 2:45 left in the first half.
In the third quarter, the Judges went on another run, this one 15-3, capped by another Dimitropolous three on a two-on-one break when Hill dished it to him on the left wing. The sharp-shooter took a couple of seconds, set his feet and nailed the triple as the Judges took a 48-31 lead.
“He really can shoot, he just doesn't think he can sometimes,” Hill said of Dimitropolous. “I just kept feeding him the ball and he kept hitting.”
Hill, who scored 40-plus points in three consecutive games in December, said he has begun to focus more on distributing the ball rather than just scoring. It is something he did as a 6-year-old playing ball in Lincoln Park in South Ozone Park.
“When I used to play in Lincoln Park, I didn't really shoot because we had a lot of scorers,” Hill said. “Here, I have to do more, but I have to remember to get everyone involved.”
“He's a special player,” Naclerio said of Hill, who is being recruited by St. John's, Hofstra and Northeastern. “He can carry us, but we don't want to rely on him all the time. But if we have to rely on one guy, he's the guy.”
And if scoring less translates into more wins, Hill is fine with that.
“If you score a lot and lose, it doesn't mean anything,” he said. “I'd rather score less and win. I'm always looking for balance.”
Darryl France had 12 points for Van Buren (18-4, 10-3), Josh Puello, who was battling the flu, had 11 and John Darby added 10 points.
Aviation 60, Cleveland 51. Pete Carsis' 11 points paced Aviation (18-3, 11-0 Queens B-I).
Campus Magnet 60, Beach Channel 49. Mark Arrington had 14 points, eight assists and six rebounds for Magnet (16-4, 12-2 Queens A-I).
Van Buren 52, Francis Lewis 37. Puello had 20 points and seven assists for the VeeBees.
Cardozo 82, Bayside 59. Hill had a triple-double with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the Judges.
Francis Lewis 89, August Martin 57. Damien Herard's first triple-double of the year led the way for the Patriots (12-8, 7-6 Queens A-II). The St. Francis College-bound forward had 43 points, 20 rebounds and 11 assists. Jermaine Johnson chipped in with 20 points for Lewis.
Hillcrest 63, Edison 45. John Caban led four players in double-figure scoring with 18 for the Hawks. Wayne Innis had 13 points and Mike Thompson and Marquis Reid each added 12 points for Hillcrest (15-4, 11-1 Queens A-I).
Jamaica 61, Springfield Gardens 53. Nathaniel Parker (18 points and 10 rebounds) and Darryl Eilam (16 points and 10 boards) led the way for Jamaica (12-7, 8-4 Queens A-I).
Newtown 60, Forest Hills 32. Johnny Carter had 21 points and 15 rebounds and Tamer Gabriel added nine points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Pioneers (13-8, 9-3 Queens A-I). Forest Hills falls to 7-13, 3-9.
Bryant 83, Cleveland 57. Diego Aguiar had 28 points and 10 boards and Fleans Dervishi added 18 points and eight assists for the Owls (19-3, 10-2 Queens A-I).
Townsend Harris 69, Renaissance 44. Thomas Loheide (14 points) and Ezra Cooper (11 points) helped pace the Hawks (17-4). Gerald Shaw had 16 points and Isaac Curry grabbed eight rebounds for Renaissance (2-11, 2-9 Queens B-I).
Bayside 61, Beach Channel 56. Lance Hazel led the way for the Commodores (8-9, 7-7 Queens A-II) with 17 points, 12 rebounds and five steals while C.J. Okogeri added 17 points and five steals and Raymond David had 13 points.
Aviation 56, RFK 50. Alex Stephenson (17 points) and Robert Rivera (six assists) led the Flyers.
John Adams 86, Richmond Hill 64. Adrian Smith had 24 points and Taylor Murphy added 18 points for Adams (15-7, 10-2 Queens B-I).
Robert F. Wagner 58, Newcomers 50. Keenan Holder had 25 points and 14 rebounds while Adrian Rosales had 20 points and 13 boards for Wagner (8-9, 6-5 Queens B-I).