The game already had turned sharply in Central Islip's favor by the time the McKenzie brothers raced downcourt on a fast break midway through the third quarter. It was time for a little sibling showtime.
David, a sophomore point guard, tossed up an alley-oop pass to Tim, a senior forward and the Musketeers' best player. Tim couldn't convert and though his team was in the midst of a game-clinching 14-0 run that produced a 60-39 Suffolk II victory over host Lindenhurst Tuesday night, he knew he was in for some sibling razzing.
"When I get home, I know he's going to get on me," Tim McKenzie said with a huge grin. "Sometimes I get on him to get me the ball at the right time. Now he'll be all over me."
Tim scored 13 points, despite missing much of the first half with foul trouble, and made five steals as Central Islip (5-0 overall, 2-0 in league) used a smothering press and an aggressive 2-3 zone to bottle up the Bulldogs (2-3, 0-2). "We're active and we apply ball pressure," C.I. coach James Mott said. "That's the No. 1 ingredient in our defensive stew."
And Tim McKenzie is the one who stirs the pot. At 6-4, with long arms and a nose for the ball, McKenzie is the main reason the Musketeers are considered one of the leading contenders for Suffolk AA honors.
He had plenty of help Tuesday night, with David contributing eight of his nine points in the first half and Ishiah Booker adding 12 points. David Brzozka scored all 11 of his points in the first half for Lindenhurst, sinking three three-pointers.
The elder McKenzie was at his best during the third-quarter blitz. A driving layup by Jack Sumski (eight points) brought Lindy to within 30-23. Then Tim turned a steal into a conventional three-point play, made two more steals, and scored another three-point play on a slithering reverse layup.
When the run was over, the Musketeers led 44-23. McKenzie put some icing on the cake with a steal and breakaway dunk to open the fourth quarter. "I'm always looking for the skip pass," he said of his defensive awareness.
He's also aware of where his brother is at all times. "He fed me from up top for a baseline dunk against Connetquot [Monday]," Tim said. "But it wasn't an alley-oop. We do it in practice."
Now they're looking to do it in a game. That would be a sibling slam.