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Jan 16, 2018 1:21 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Killer Bees Are 3-0 Heading Into Important Three-Game Stretch

J.P. Harding had 28 points, 22 rebounds and five assists in the win over Smithtown Christian last week. DREW BUDD
Jan 16, 2018 1:32 PM

After losing all six of their non-league games the first month of the season in December, the Bridgehampton boys basketball team has turned things completely around by winning its first three League VIII games and, as of Wednesday morning, the team has a flawless record in 2018.

While last week’s pair of victories improved the Killer Bees to 3-0 in league play, they did not come all that easy.

Clinging to a five-point lead over Smithtown Christian at home on January 10, the Bees eventually lost that lead in the third quarter to an inspired Knights team. Bridgehampton head coach Ron White said he and his players could hear Smithtown Christian pumped up, yelling and screaming in their locker room after it had a strong second quarter to make what was a 10-point game after the first quarter a five-point game at halftime. Coach White said he was quiet for much of the halftime break to let his players hear how pumped up the Knights were.

“I let them hear that because we left the door open for opportunity for them, and I don’t care who you are, when you’re playing at this level and a team sees an opportunity they’re going to take it,” he said.

Smithtown Christian seemed to be feeding off the absence of sophomore guard Elijah White, the coach’s son, who had to sit out much of the game after committing a third foul early on. Already down a player with sophomore Will Walker unavailable for the game, the Bees relied on junior Jahqur Carr, who hit some big shots, and sophomore Miguel Maradiaga provided good defense as the lone player available off the bench for Bridgehampton.

Smithtown Christian overtook the lead in the third quarter, but Bridgehampton rallied a bit toward the end of the third to keep it a five-point game heading into the fourth. Then Elijah White was able to return to the game and help the Bees keep the Knights at bay en route to a 76-65 victory.

J.P. Harding, a junior, finished with 28 points, 22 rebounds and five assists, while junior Jonny Degroot had 18 points and 20 rebounds. Smithtown Christian was fueled by the sharp shooting of Jesse Borgia, who hit seven three-pointers and finished with a game-high 35 points.

Bridgehampton faced some adversity early on at Ross on Friday night, trailing the Cosmos by a point after the first quarter. But the Bees outscored Ross, 53-35, the rest of the game to go on to win, 63-46. Harding and Elijah White each scored 17 points while Harding brought down 18 rebounds. Degroot and junior Nat Depasquale each scored 13 points.

“We suffer from a lack of maturity,” coach White said. “Sometimes when you know you should beat the team you’re facing, it’s hard for some guys to pay attention to detail, because no matter what, they know they can rebound from it. As coaches, we keep stressing to lock in, focus, don’t take things for granted and to keep building to be the best version of us.”

The next three games will be a good benchmark, coach White said, of where the team is at this point in the season. After hosting cross-town rival Pierson on Wednesday night, the Bees will play at Shelter Island on Friday night at 5:45 p.m. and will then host an undefeated team and favorite to win this year’s Class C county title in Greenport on Wednesday, January 24, at 6 p.m.

“Guys are playing well and they’re starting to move the ball, they’re shooting the ball better, but it’s all about defense now,” White said. “Not a lot of teams can stay confident when there’s a lot of lead changes, so I’ve been challenging the guys to understand that there will be lead changes where we’ll be going up and down so they need to be prepared for that. I think the Pierson and Shelter Island games this week are going to be a good test.”

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Who feeds you your information — you should really get things how they really are
By Jpjuno29 (1), Bridgehampton on Jan 17, 18 10:26 PM
Is there something factually incorrect in the story? I would be happy to correct it if there is.
By Drew Budd, Sports Editor (7), Southampton on Jan 21, 18 2:38 PM
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