The East Hampton boys basketball team ended the regular season by handing out a nice dose of revenge.
The Bonackers beat Bayport/Blue Point, 46-45, on the road on Thursday, avenging an overtime loss to the Phantoms from earlier in the season. Coupled with a 58-46 home loss to first-place Amityville on February 5, East Hampton finished tied for second in League VI with a 7-5 record, 12-6 overall. Amityville won the league title with a 12-0 mark, 16-2 overall.
The Bonackers earned the sixth seed in the seven-team Class A playoff bracket, and will visit third-seed Islip on Thursday, February 14, at 5 p.m. Islip finished third in League V with an 8-4 record, 10-8 overall.
The winner of that game will take on the winner of the No. 2 Harborfields/No. 7 Mount Sinai matchup in the semifinals at the higher seed’s home court on February 19. The Class A county championship will be played at Longwood High School on Saturday, February 23, at 2:30 p.m.
Check 27east.com for the latest playoff updates.
The Bonackers advanced to the postseason last year, getting in by winning their final regular season game, but it was a one-and-done experience after a 51-40 loss to Shoreham/Wading River in the opening round. Before that, East Hampton had missed out on the playoffs for two consecutive years.
This year, East Hampton enjoyed a little more breathing room at the end of the regular season, wrapping up their spot in the playoffs with an 80-75 overtime win over Elwood/John Glenn on January 31, with two games still remaining.
In the win over Bayport, Thomas Nelson scored for East Hampton with eight seconds left to lift his team to the win. He finished with six points and eight rebounds. Danny McKee led the Bonackers with 19 points, while Rolando Garces had 11 and Thomas King had 10 points and eight rebounds.
East Hampton led by 10 at halftime, but the Phantoms got back into the game by outscoring the Bonackers by nine in the third quarter.
The Bonackers were no strangers to close games this season. They were involved in seven games that were decided by five points or less, four which were decided by two points or less.
In the loss to Amityville, East Hampton kept pace in the first quarter, falling behind by just four points, but the Warriors steadily increased their lead, going up by 10 at halftime and 13 going into the final quarter. King led East Hampton with 17 points while Garces had 12. Nelson had eight points and McKee chipped in six.