What a difference a week can make.
After a blowout loss to rival Pierson on January 11—which came on the heels of a forfeit to Class D rival Shelter Island, due to a lack of players—the Bridgehampton boys basketball team had hit what could certainly be called a low point of its season. The Killer Bees had only two league wins, and barely any players on their bench, due to illness and other issues.
But things turned around for the team last week, as it picked up a pair of league wins to get back to a .500 record and keep its playoff hopes alive.
Bridgehampton opened last week with a 67-53 win over Class D rival Ross at home on Tuesday, January 15, before beating longtime rival Greenport—a Class C school this year—48-38 on the road on Friday night. That win was particularly satisfying, as the Killer Bees had lost to the Porters by a wide margin in the league opener back on December 14. The teams also have a longstanding rivalry due to the fact that Greenport is often a Class D school and the squads have met many times in the county “D” championship, which Bridgehampton won last year.
Most importantly, however, the Killer Bees were able to end a losing skid and get back to 4-4 in League VIII, 5-6 overall. A non-league game with Wyandanch (League VII) that was set for this past Saturday was postponed, and a makeup date had yet to be set by press time.
Bridgehampton battled Ross with only one sub on the bench, and without the services of starting forward Josh Lamison, who was serving a mandatory one-game suspension after getting a flagrant foul in the team’s loss to Pierson. While Ross is struggling this year, Bridgehampton head coach Carl Johnson said he was concerned about the game, mainly because he was missing Lamison, one of the team’s top scorers and rebounders, and because he only had one sub available. But the Killer Bees eased their coach’s mind right away, jumping out to a 24-4 lead in the first quarter. Ross battled back and played the Killer Bees fairly evenly throughout the rest of the game, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the wide deficit in the first quarter.
Senior Jason Hopson had a monster game, leading all scorers with 27 points to go along with 13 rebounds and six assists. Tylik Furman added 17 points, while Devin Brevard had 11, and Anajae Lamb had 10. Jerome Walker added two points.
“I thought we were going to struggle a bit with Josh out,” Johnson said. “I thought, we at least have homecourt, and if we can jump on them early, that would be a plus. I thought if Ross had started out fast, it would be a long night.”
In the win over Greenport, the Bees never jumped out to a huge lead but just stayed ahead of the Porters on a consistent basis throughout the game. Johnson said it was one of his team’s best efforts of the season.
“From the beginning to the end, we were in control of the game,” he said. “We played our game and we didn’t rush anything, and we sustained it for four quarters, which we haven’t done all year. From start to finish, it was our best game all year.”
Hopson led the team with 16 points, 13 rebounds and five assists, while Furman had 15 points and Lamison had 11. Greenport cut the lead to two points at 38-36 with four minutes left in the game, but Bridgehampton outscored the Porters 10-2 over the final stretch to hold on.
Johnson said he was proud of the way his team responded after what was a tough stretch with the loss to Pierson and forfeit to Shelter Island.
“We talked a lot about character and where do we go from here,” he said, referring to how he addressed the losing streak. “Do we just give up or do we come out fighting? So far, they’re responding in a positive way, and I’m very pleased with that.”ON THE SCHEDULE: Tuesday, 1/22, vs. Southold, 6 p.m.; Friday, 1/25, at Stony Brook, 7:30 p.m.; Tuesday, 1/29, vs. Smithtown Christian, 6 p.m.