On Saturday afternoon, nine seniors played in their final game as members of the Eastport South Manor boys basketball team, and while the outcome of their final game was not a positive one, their coach couldn’t be happier with the careers his players had.
“There is one word that comes to mind right now and that’s proud,” ESM coach Chris Carlson said. “The amount of time you spend with your team is sometimes more than you spend with your family, so you become a sort of a family. I’m proud of not only what these guys have done on the basketball court but of the people they are.”
The 18th seed Sharks were dominated by second seed William Floyd, 62-42, on the higher seed’s court on Saturday afternoon.
The loss came less than 24 hours after a nail-biting victory over 15th seed Connetquot. While the disparity of skill level between the two teams was evident in the teams’ seeds, coach Carlson felt that the short layoff between games contributed to some of his team’s inabilities that day.
“The way the outbrackets are set up is that we had that game last night and then had only this morning to prep for one of the best teams in the county,” he said. “To have to do morning prep like that is tough but to do it for a team of this caliber was worse.”
During the first eight minutes, it looked as if the Sharks were continuing the momentum from the win the night before and led 14-10 after one quarter of play.
But from there on out, it was all Colonials.
Floyd ran off a 23-7 run in the second quarter to jump out to a 33-21 edge at the half and continued to build on its lead for a 20-point victory.
During the final minutes of the game, coach Carlson removed each starter, all of whom are seniors, one by one to a standing ovation by the ESM fans.
“Overall, I couldn’t be more happy,” Carlson said. “We set goals at the beginning of the year and we reached those goals. It would’ve been nice to go further but I still have to go back to that word proud.”
Graduating from this year’s squad are Dalton McCarthy, Ryan Curley, Sean Karl, Logan Frati, Anthony Annunziata, Darien Cummings, Sean Doyle, Billy Goncalves and Joe Amendola.
Floyd earned the second seed after capturing the League I title with a 13-1 record in league play while going 16-2 overall. ESM finished 8-4 in League V and 13-5 overall. The two teams did not face off during the regular season.