By Gavin Menu; Photography by Michael Heller
The fate of two championships swung in the balance in the third quarter of both the Suffolk County Class C and Class D boys basketball finals Thursday evening at Westhampton Beach High School. And in the end, only one local team took home a trophy.
The Bridgehampton Killer Bees, who trailed Shelter Island by three at halftime and were tied, 30-30, late in the third quarter, took a 17-0 run deep into the fourth and easily downed the upstart Indians, 53-40 to win their second consecutive Class D crown.
Freshman Josh Lamison was a beast on the boards and finished with 16 points and 15 rebounds to lead Bridgehampton. Tylik Furman, the team’s other freshman starter, scored 15 points, seven of which came in the decisive fourth quarter.
“In the second half, Josh Lamison was the key,” Bridgehampton head coach Carl Johnson said. “And once one guy gets going, it’s contagious.”
Bridgehampton advanced to the state regional semifinals to play the winner from Rockland County (Section IX) on March 5 at a site to be announced later.
Pierson was not so lucky in the Class C final, which tipped off an hour later on the same floor. The Whalers stayed with top-seeded Stony Brook through halftime, trailing by only four, but were blown out in the second half and lost, 57-27.
Stony Brook advanced to the Long Island Championship on March 5 and will also play Bridgehampton in the Suffolk C-D game this Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Patchogue-Medford.
It was the best form of revenge for the Bears, who watched Pierson celebrate a year ago after Forrest Loesch’s buzzer beater sent the Whalers home with their first county title in 18 years.
“We were thinking about this game since the summer,” Stony Brook head coach Mike Hickey said. “Pierson is a terrific team. Normally when you play someone in the playoffs, I would go and scout the team. We didn’t have to do that with them. We know them very well so it just came down to execution.”
Pierson scored just 5 points in the second half, its lowest total of the season. Loesch, a junior, led Pierson with 16 points and senior Jake Bennett, playing in the final game of an outstanding season, scored seven points and fouled out with 4:27 remaining.