Dix Hills, NY - Five Towns College will be hosting the 2019-20 Men's & Women's Basketball Tournament, with the host team entering as the #3 team on the men's side.
Finishing conference play with a 5-2 record, the Sound will face #2 Albany Pharmacy (6-1) on Saturday at 7:00 pm. The two teams met twice during the regular season, with the Panthers coming out on top each time. In the first meeting on November 10th, Albany defeated Five Towns 82-64. Albany's Nate Beltran scored 38 points, including five from behind the arc; Five Towns' Kyree Sawyer scored 20 points. In the second matchup, Sawyer scored 21 points for the Sound and Damani Merritt added 20 of his own, but a deep buzzer beater from Panther Nate Beltran put Albany on top 72-71.
Sawyer enters the tournament as the conference leader in scoring with 24.3 points per game. Merritt sits at number four in the conference with 19.6 points per game. Senior guard Lloyd Middlebrooks stands atop the conference leaderboard in assists with 8.3 per game.
Both meetings between Five Towns and Albany came in the first half of the season, but Five Towns has added some depth to its lineup since then. Freshmen Taevon Bazemore and Letrell Ward have both provided quality minutes off the bench for the Sound in the second half of the season.
Ward (Mastic, NY) has averaged 13 minutes per game with three points, 2.6 rebounds, and 2.1 assists. Bazemore (Mastic, NY) has averaged 19.7 minutes with 14 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.9 steals, and 1.4 assists.
The winner of #2 Albany vs. #3 Five Towns will play the winner of #1 Berkeley vs. #4 SUNY ESF on Sunday at 3:30 pm. #1 Berkeley enters the tournament undefeated through conference play, and has won the last five HVIAC Championships as well as 11 titles in the past 14 years. The Knights have also recently been four-peat USCAA Champions from 2015-2018.
Click here to visit the HVIAC Tournament Central to view the full bracket and matchups.
All games of the HVIAC Men's & Women's Basketball Tournament can be viewed through the Five Towns College Stretch Live website.