porsche, Hamptons
27east.com

Sports Center

Nov 28, 2017 11:57 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Season Preview: Hampton Bays Boys Hoops Won't Be An Easy Win This Season; Girls Return Starting Lineup

Sophomore Lucas Brown should get some minutes this season for the Baymen. DREW BUDD
Nov 28, 2017 12:47 PM

There are some opposing boys basketball teams this season that are going to put a premature W next to Hampton Bays on their schedule—that could be a huge mistake.

While the Baymen aren’t going to intimidate anyone after their 5-15 season from a year ago, there is a different buzz surrounding the team this season, and many think they won’t be an easy win.

“We’re going to compete,” said head coach Pete Meehan, entering his 23rd season at Hampton Bays. “Our first league game is against Wyandanch and I can’t wait. I’m looking forward to watching us play against some of the better teams. I think the kids have high expectations of themselves, maybe more so than in past years. [They] invested a lot of time out of season. They’re kids that care—high-character kids. All those things are all positives.”

Josh Aube, Armin Bandic and Andrew Hafemeister have graduated and each player started every game for the Baymen last season and will be missed. But the majority of the team is returning, including seniors David Krieg and Sage McMorris. Along with junior Matt Dean, who is up from junior varsity, and returning senior Christian Ottati, the Baymen have good size in the frontcourt, with all four of the aforementioned players standing 6 feet 3 inches or taller.

Junior Antonio Scotto is looking to regain his starting point guard role after missing much of last season with a broken nose. He’ll be pushed by returning senior Andrew Calderone, who filled in admirably for Scotto while he was out.

Hampton Bays has a pair of incoming sophomores who led the JV last season in Lucas Brown and Jaden Otatti. Both have varsity experience in other sports—Brown was the starting quarterback on the football team this fall, Ottati started on the baseball team last spring—and will receive big minutes in their first year playing varsity basketball.

Senior guard Tyler Gaffney also returns, Edvin Srdanovic, a junior, is up from JV, and Lanique Armstrong has transferred in from Longwood.

Hampton Bays will have to compete in a tough League VI this season. Amityville is the early favorite to win the Suffolk County Class A title, but competitive programs such as Bayport/Blue Point, Elwood/John Glenn, Southampton and Wyandanch also play in the league, along with Miller Place, Mount Sinai and Shoreham/Wading River. East Hampton, which the Baymen beat twice for their only two league wins last season, has moved into League V.

Still, Meehan is excited about the upcoming season. “I think we’re in a better situation in November than we have been in quite a while,” he said.

The Baymen hosted Shelter Island in a non-league game on Tuesday and will host Mercy this Thursday, November 30, at 6:15 p.m. before playing their first league game at Wyandanch on December 12 at 4:30 p.m.

Girls

The Hampton Bays girls basketball team is returning all five of its starters this season, and Vinny Russo, entering his second season as head coach, expects that will translate into an improvement over the team’s 6-14 season from a year ago.

Mackenzie Tyler, now a senior entering her sixth season on varsity, averaged 20 points per game last season and is expected to handle much of the scoring load again this season. Russo called Tyler one of the better players in all of Suffolk County.

Anna Rose Dean and Emma Candelaria are also returning seniors and will help out in different ways. Dean is a shooter, landing close to 60 three-pointers last season, and she can also rebound well. Candelaria is the team’s tallest player and will look to play good defense and rebound.

Candelaria’s younger sister, Lily, a sophomore, played well in her first season on varsity last year and is expected to take a step forward this season, along with fellow sophomore Becca Heaney. Senior Elif Kalyoncu and sophomore Pam Grajales are returning as well, and junior Riley Tupper didn’t play last season but is back as a junior. Emily Peyton, Gabby Ruiz and freshman Sierra Gaffney round out the rest of the roster.

Like their male counterparts, the Lady Baymen will play in a tough League VI, which includes Shoreham/Wading River and Mount Sinai, two of the top teams in Suffolk County. But Russo has scheduled games against tough opponents, such as Sayville and Lindenhurst, to help prepare the team.

“We hope to capitalize on our senior leadership and improve upon our record and win more league games this year because we had a number of very close games we lost,” he said.

Hampton Bays opened the season on Wednesday at Babylon in a non-league game and will open their league season on Tuesday, December 5, at Miller Place at 4:30 p.m.

You have read 1 of 7 free articles this month.

Yes! I'll try a one-month
Premium Membership
for just 99¢!
CLICK HERE

Already a subscriber? LOG IN HERE

Harbor Hot Tubs, Holiday Special