The Southampton boys basketball team qualified for the Suffolk County Class B postseason after a 72-43 victory over Mattituck at home on Friday night.
Having only missed the playoffs once in Herm Lamison’s 28-year tenure as head coach—and he’s quick to point out that it was by one game—making the playoffs is not as much as a goal as it is an expectation. Lamison would take that one step further.
“What we really strive for, at the very least, is to win a league championship every season, if not a county championship. That was an expectation that was put in place well before I got here,” he said.
To win at least a share of the League VI title this season, Southampton needed a win over Center Moriches, the undefeated league leader, on January 22. That game occurred too late to appear in this week’s issue.
The Mariners (6-1 League VI, 10-2 overall) took care of business in their game against Mattituck, and Lamison said it was a good bounce-back game after a somewhat poor performance in a 64-54 victory over Elwood/John Glenn on January 15. Southampton made nine three-pointers against Mattituck, three each from Sincere Faggins and Kristian Wheeler. Faggins led all scorers with 17 points, Marcus Trent had 14 points and six rebounds, Wheeler finished with 13 points, and Dakoda Smith had 12 rebounds.
It was a much improved showing, particularly from Southampton’s starting five, which had a lax offensive game against Glenn. Faggins scored a game-high 20 points while the rest of the starters scored a combined 14 points throughout the game against the Knights.
That meant the reserves were going to have to come up big and that they did. Lucas Bontempo, LeBron Napier and James Malone combined for 13 of the Mariners’ 20 points in the second quarter which allowed them to take a 27-19 lead into halftime. Bontempo led that trio with seven points. Artemi Gavalas was the catalyst for the bench throughout the night. He finished with 14 points in the game, scoring five of Southampton’s seven in the first quarter and then six in the fourth. Overall, Southampton’s reserves chipped in with 30 points.
“That’s huge,” Lamison said. “Not too many benches can do that in what was a competitive game.”
The Mariners’ victory ended what was a six-game winning streak for the Knights. During that span, the Knights had outscored their opponents by an average of nearly 27 points per game. They were without arguably their best player in Josh Fenner, one of the top scorers in the county.
After playing Center Moriches on Tuesday, Southampton will play at Hampton Bays on Thursday, January 24, at 6:15 p.m. and will host Greenport in a non-league game this Saturday at 2 p.m.
The Southampton girls basketball team won the Wyandanch Annual Classic, 58-44, over host Wyandanch on Saturday afternoon. Taylor Pike was named Most Valuable Player, scoring 28 points, 20 of which came from the free throw line. Maddie Taylor scored 14 points and had 10 assists, and Allysha Thomas had eight points and 12 rebounds.
Saturday’s victory increased the Lady Mariners’ win streak to three games, its longest of the season, starting with a 47-25 victory at Babylon January 11, followed by a 46-39 victory at home over Greenport/Southold on January 16. Pike led the way against Babylon with 13 points. Cristine Delgado finished with nine points, and Caraline Oakley had eight points and 13 rebounds.
Southampton (4-6 League VI, 6-7 overall) flipped what had been a loss to Greenport earlier this season. Taylor led the offense with 15 points while Pike had 12 points and eight assists and Delgado had nine points. In what was an even game throughout, an 18-11 second quarter wound up being the difference for the Lady Mariners.
Southampton played at Mattituck on Wednesday and will host Center Moriches on Friday at 6 p.m.