Tag Archive | "Class D"

Bridgehampton Killer Bees: Looking to Improve

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By Andrew Rudansky

The Killer Bees of Bridgehampton have a history of success that few teams in League VIII can replicate. The team has gone to the state championships three times in the 22-year tenure of head coach Carl Johnson, and has been a consistent contender in the Class D playoffs for years.

Not bad for any team, let alone one of the smallest Class D schools in the state.

Last year the Killer Bees failed to live up to their winning history, ending their season with a disappointing 2-14 record. Throughout the entire year they were only able to beat one team, Shelter Island, which accounted for both of their wins.

Johnson explains that a plague of injuries and a thin bench were the cause of last year’s substandard record. With a school population hovering around 50 students, the Killer Bees normally start the year with a small roster, because of this any injury that results in a player missing games is felt double.

“Some of the games we were right there, they could have gone either way…but it always seemed that when we got one kid back [from injury], another one would fall,” said Johnson. “It can be devastating, especially if it happens to a key player.”

This season the Killer Bees will be relying on a corps of talented returning players to help them get back to their winning ways of the past. Johnson said that the height of senior Canna Campbell (6’5”) and junior Jason Hopson (6’3”) will provide them a competitive edge against the rest of League VIII. Johnson said that these center/forwards’ true strength lies in their experience from being four year varsity players and their ability to play the guard position if need be.

Joining these two from last year will be forward Brendan Hemby, guard Zave Brodie and sophomore talent Anajae Lamb.

“[Lamb] was just a freshman last year but he played a lot of minutes and started in half of the games,” said Johnson.

Of Hemby, Johnson said that the toughness and experience he brings to the game creates matchup headaches for opposing teams.

The team will also be drawing talent from Bridgehampton’s JV team, among them Tylik Furman.

Johnson said that his game plan this year is to rely on the height of his team at the post, and to keep the other team guessing with a mixed defense. He added that if his team can avoid the injuries that hampered the team last year he was sure they can make a run at the Class D playoffs.

“We are going to be able to field a team that will be very competitive,” said Johnson about the upcoming season. “Our league is up for grabs as far as I’m concerned.”

The team’s first matchup of the season is a non-league home game against East Rockaway on Saturday, December 10.

Ross Cosmos: Hoping to Repeat

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Ross Boys Varsity Basketball Preview

By Andrew Rudansky

There was a time when the Ross Cosmos boys’ varsity basketball team posed little threat in League VIII. However the winds are changing at Ross, and now more than any other time in their 20-year existence they are becoming a force to be reckoned with.

Just last season the Cosmos finished with a 6-8 won-loss record and went undefeated against all of their Class D rivals. That was good enough to get them the Suffolk County Class D championship and bring them to the Class D Southeast Regional semi-finals, where they finally fell to the Biondi Lions on March 8, 2011.

This was the first time in school history that Ross has reached the playoffs.

Now looking to build on that success, four of the five starters from last year’s playoff team have returned. Kelly McKee, now in his fourteenth year as head coach of the Cosmos, said that these returning starters will be crucial to the continued success of the squad.

Starting at shooting guard is senior captain Liam Chaskey, a fourth year varsity player who is coming off a personally disappointing season, one cut short by a debilitating ankle sprain.

“Hopefully [Chaskey] can get a full year in, he deserves it,” said McKee.

Senior Fuhito Yoshida is returning as the starting point guard. McKee said he will be counting on Yoshida to run the Cosmos offense through distributing the ball.

At the forward position McKee will tap the talents of senior captain Hayden Aldredge and the team’s “big man,” junior Roosevelt Odidi.

Joining these starters will be a number of other returning varsity players and a few new members of Ross’ JV squad. Tryouts for the final team roster began yesterday, November 16 and continue until tomorrow. McKee said that he was excited about the prospects he has in the coming season.

“Because we have so many returning players we should have the experience to be able to do a little of everything on the court,” said McKee.

Not everything is rosy for the Cosmos however, as this year the Class D field got a little bit more crowded.

Smithtown Christian, a Class D school, is the new kid on the block in League VIII basketball after replacing the outgoing Class C Port Jefferson Royals. Last year Smithtown Christian couldn’t field a varsity squad, but now the school provides another hurdle for Ross in their pursuit of a second Suffolk County title in two years.

The Cosmos take on this new competitor two times this season, the first time at home on January 1.

“We always like to play good competition,” said McKee, who welcomed the challenge of another team.

The Cosmos’ first league game is an away game against Greenport on Monday, December 12 at 6:45 pm.