By Gavin Menu; photography by Michael Heller
The Suffolk County Class D playoffs were scheduled to begin last night, February 12, with a veritable frenzy of competition compared to years past as four teams including Greenport, Smithtown Christian, Shelter Island and Bridgehampton kicked off the 2014 boys basketball postseason.
The top-seeded Porters were scheduled to host Bridgehampton last night in a game that occurred too late for this edition. The Killer Bees successfully petitioned Section XI, the county’s governing body of athletics, for a berth despite finishing the regular-season with a sub-.500 record against League VIII competition.
Coverage from last night’s game is available at sagharboronline.com. The winner will have advanced to play either Smithtown Christian or Shelter Island for the Class D Championships at Longwood High School at noon on Saturday.
In recent years, only two Class D schools have faced off for the county championship. But parity ruled the ranks this season, with Greenport, Smithtown Christian and Shelter Island all finishing with 8-8 records in league play. Bridgehampton finished 7-9, but was 5-3 against Class D schools, which was the determining factor in Section XI’s decision to let the Bees compete.
“Right now, we’re all the same, and anyone can beat anyone on any given night,” head coach Carl Johnson said on Monday after the Section XI brackets were announced. “Whoever is playing and executing the best is going to win the game.”
Bridgehampton had a chance to stamp its own ticket to the postseason last week, but suffered a 68-64 loss to Greenport at home on Thursday, February 6. The Bees led by as many as 17 points in the first half, but Greenport’s Angel Colon emerged from halftime on fire, scoring 10 straight points to trim Bridgehampton’s lead to 40-37 in a matter of minutes.
Foul trouble was a major factor all night as well, with both Josh Lamison and Tylik Furman, Bridgehampton’s top two players, fouling out in the fourth quarter. The Bees have a short bench and regularly play their starting five the distance when foul trouble is not a factor.
Furman finished with 25 points against Greenport, while Lamison had 19.
“We’re going to have to re-think our strategy, and try to keep the game close while they’re on the bench with foul trouble,” Johnson said on Monday.
Gavin Dibble, who also fouled out in the fourth quarter, led Greenport with 25 points while Colon finished with 16.
The Killer Bees’ role players, including Henry Kotz, Kevin Feliciano, Matt Hochstedler and Max Cheng, played hard down the stretch alongside regular starters Anaje Lamb and Jerome Walker, but the team lacked the offensive firepower to hold a three-point lead when Furman joined Lamison on the bench with 5:04 remaining. Greenport closed out the game with a 9-0 run.
The Bees finished the regular season with a 53-30 win over Knox on Friday.