By Gavin Menu
Three more years of Josh Lamison and Class D opponents from across New York State might start running for the Catskills.
Lamison, the Bridgehampton basketball team’s ferocious freshman forward, led a spirited second-half charge during last Thursday’s Suffolk County Class D final and the Killer Bees claimed their second consecutive county title with a 53-40 win over Shelter Island.
Bridgehampton trailed the Indians by three at halftime and the game was tied at 30 late in the third quarter when Lamison and his fellow freshman, Tylik Furman, took over to lead the Killer Bees on a 17-0 run deep into the fourth to lock up the win.
Lamison finished with 16 points and 15 rebounds while Furman scored 15 points, seven of which came in the decisive fourth quarter.
Nathan Mundy led Shelter Island with 13 points and was the only Indian to score in double figures.
“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 a state regional semifinal and will play the winner from Rockland County (Section IX) on March 5 at a site in Suffolk County to be named later. The winner from that game will advance to a regional final to be played on March 10 in Westchester County, where one team will advance to Glens Falls and the state Final Four the weekend of March 15-17.
“We’re trying to go all the way this year,” Bridgehampton senior Jason Hopson said while clutching the championship plaque. “It’s my last year and I want to go all the way.”
Both teams got off to a slow start in last week’s game with Hopson, Bridgehampton’s leading scorer, held without a field goal the entire first half. Shelter Island’s Myles Clark hit a three early in the third quarter to push Shelter Island’s lead to six at 24-18, putting the school’s first-ever boys basketball championship squarely in sight.
Two minutes later, Hopson made his first basket of the game and knocked down a free throw to complete a three-point play to pull Bridgehampton within three. Another three-point play by Anaje Lamb and two three-pointers from Jerome Walker and Furman were followed up by two baskets from Lamison and, seemingly in an instant, the tide of the game had turned toward the Killer Bees.
Shelter Island did not score again until the 2:46 mark of the fourth quarter, at which point they trailed by 15 points. And now the Killer Bees, who have been absent from the state championship conversation for more than a decade, once again have the grand prize in sight.
“It’s been too long,” said Johnson, who has led Bridgehampton to three state titles as a player and three more as a coach. “It’s been since 1998, so I’m due.”