By Benito Vila
Won-loss records are often more an indication of the competition than they are the team.
After an 0-2 start, that came against league-leading Southold and Greenport, the Bridgehampton Killer Bees are on a 4-0 run, topping Smithtown Christian and Pierson last week and Shelter Island and Ross this week.
Ross, meanwhile, opened an impressive 3-0, outscoring Smithtown Christian, Shelter Island and Pierson, who are a collective 1-14. Since then they have faced undefeated Stony Brook and the swarming Killer Bees to fall 3-2.
Bridgehampton’s team play proved to be the difference in the Killer Bees’ 83-47 win over Ross Monday. Ainsley Wyche and Nate Hochstedler put pressure on the Raven ball handlers, creating turnovers and extra possessions. Meanwhile, forwards Canaan Campbell, Evan Marzan and Cesar Banados used their size to cut off the passing lanes and control the boards.
Campbell and Banados showed a fine shooting touch from the outside, the big men making six three-pointers and opening up the lane to Wyche, who has the speed to get to the basket. All that solid shooting and impressive quickness helped the Killer Bees build a 14-8 lead in the first frame and a 39-19 margin at the half.
The third quarter scoring was even until the three-minute mark when the Bees went on a 15-4 run to make the score 66-34 and put the game away. Bridgehampton continued to pull away in the fourth quarter after both coaches cleared their benches, a 17-3 spurt closing out the scoring.
Leading all scorers in the game was Wyche, who finished with 28. Banados dropped in 23 and Campbell 18. Hochstedler had nine. Liam Chaskey led the Ravens with 13, Brendan Pettaway adding eight and Lorcan Jowens netting six.
Killer Bees coach Carl Johnson said afterwards, “Our defense was pretty stellar. We did a great job the better part of the game. We came out aggressive and I hope we do that the rest of the year.”
“We changed up defenses on them and gave them different looks and that helped disrupt their rhythm. On offense, we saw their zone, stayed outside and hit our shots. They started to come out and that opened things up. We passed the ball well and then got some easy buckets underneath.”
Raven coach Kelly McKee praised the Bees, noting, “They executed and played the way we want to. We had trouble with their defenses and didn’t match up well.”
It was the second one-sided loss for Ross in four days, Stony Brook storming to a 78-16 win there last Thursday. Coach McKee summarized that loss simply, saying, “We played terrible. We didn’t seem ready to play; we’re young, we’re learning and now we have better sense of how we want to play.”
Ross closes out its first go-round through the league tomorrow hosting Greenport at 6:15 p.m. Bridgehampton, meanwhile, heads to Pierson for a game that occasionally pits one-time teammates against each other, the two schools playing together in football, soccer and baseball.
The match-up at Pierson is typically for more than local bragging rights, playoff eligibility often at stake for both teams. This year though, the Killer Bees are looking to stay safely among the league leaders while the Whalers are looking to distance themselves from a winless start that’s left them out of contention.