On The Baseline

Julien Hakimian celebrates scoring the 1,000th point of his career with his parents, Coach Linderman and Coach Flood.

What an active week for the Great Neck North Blazers Basketball Teams

The Blazers Varsity and JVA teams had a busy three-game week schedule.

Carey High School in Franklin Square was no match for the GNN Blazers on Monday, Jan 8. Both the JVA and Varsity teams manhandled the Seahawks, as they both continued their winning ways and extended their current winning streaks.

Moving to Wednesday, the JVA controlled New Hyde Park in the second half, sparked by the freshman trio of Luke Hak, Jackson Cronin and Kyle Wu, who has become a notable defensive force in the paint.

Nat Hyman continued to contribute to all aspects of the game. Dylan Namdar broke out, knocking down a couple of deep shots leading the team to its fifth consecutive win.

Varsity was no different.

The team led 20-16 at the end of the first Q, marked by a deep three at the buzzer by Kyle Kamali.

At the half, GNN Varsity led 31-29, led by Sharif with 14 points.

In the third quarter, the Blazers came out shooting, led by Tre’Hak (26) and Sharif (29).

By the end of the third Q, GNN led 54-41 and remained constant throughout the match.

The Blazers eventually won 77-69.

Fans were watching Julien Hakimian, who was only three points away from the 1,000-point career mark. Would the Senior Scoring Sensation topple the milestone on Friday, at home against Southside?

On Friday night, the gym was packed, and spectators could see historic GNN alumni, such as Ben Shokrian, Sari Nathan, Jared Schwartz and Principle Bernie Kaplan.

Although the fan support was boisterous and electric, by the end of the first quarter the Southside team from Rockville Centre led 13-11.

Former GNN basketball three-point specialist Shokrian said, “The Blazers are playing with heart, but need to get Julien the ball.”

The second quarter began with a 9-0 run, led by Slick Shirian who continued to slice and dice his way to the basket. At the half, the Blazers trailed 24-22.

The third quarter was marred by fouls and hustle plays by both teams, as they traded baskets until Julien nailed a deep three to notch the milestone. Congrats to a great scorer and leader whose contributions during the last four years have been nothing short of incredible.

Unfortunately, the night was not all uplifting as GNN fell 40-37. The opponent’s stifling defense was too much for the home team to overcome. Alumni and All-Baseline defensive stopper Schwartz, who’s attending Wisconsin, said, “The boys struggled tonight, but they kept fighting and I know the team will rebound next week and go far in the playoffs.”

The Blazers JV Basketball Team

The JVA played Saturday against Southside and wanted to instill fear about the future.

Trailing by nine at the break, Coach Graham came out pressing. Southside was no match for the versatile defensive schemes being thrown at them and the GNN’s JVA team clawed its way back into the game after trailing by as much as 12.

With five seconds left and trailing by two, Coach Graham called a timeout. Nat Hyman got the ball, drove baseline and dished to defensive specialist Dylan Namdar, who knocked down a three at the buzzer.

The Blazers secured the victory 52-50. This team is riding a six-game win streak and is just finding ways to win.

Spectator and former Holy Cross standout Paul Valenti said, “Wow. This young group is feisty and doesn’t quit.”

This never-say-die attitude is why they’re so successful.

Fans are looking forward to the heart of the season for both teams.

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