In front of a packed house, the Bridgehampton boys basketball team delivered on February 5, beating rival Pierson, 82-71, to even the League VIII season series with the Whalers and, more important, officially clinch a spot in the Class D playoffs.
The Killer Bees finished the regular season with an 8-6 record, 9-8 overall, good enough for fourth place among the eight teams. Bridgehampton capped the season with a 60-30 win at Ross on Thursday, February 7.
Pierson, meanwhile, rebounded from its loss to the Bees with a 57-45 home win over first-place Stony Brook on February 7, handing the Bears their only loss of the regular season. The Whalers finished second in League VIII with an 11-3 mark, 11-7 overall. Stony Brook won the league title with a 13-1 record, 14-3 overall.
Bridgehampton was slated to play Shelter Island (7-6, 7-9) for the Class D championship on Thursday, February 14, at Westhampton Beach High School at 4 p.m. The Killer Bees will be looking to take home their second straight county title.
Pierson earned the second seed in the Class C bracket and was slated to host Greenport on Tuesday, February 12, at 5:30 p.m. The winner of that game advances to the county championship to play top seed Stony Brook on Thursday, February 14, at Westhampton Beach High School at 6:30 p.m. Check 27east.com for the latest playoff results.
Killer Bees Win Rivalry Game
Bridgehampton senior Jason Hopson made his Senior Night one to remember,
scoring 32 points to lead his team past Pierson, avenging a loss to the Whalers from earlier in the season, while also clinching a playoff spot. Hopson got off to a rough start, going scoreless in the first quarter, but he found his rhythm and was off to the races after that. While Hopson filled up the stat sheet, also adding 14 rebounds, he had a lot of help from his teammates. Forward Josh Lamison finished with 21 points and 15 rebounds, while Devin Brevard added a career-high 19 points. Anajae Lamb and Jerome Walker each added five points.
Bridgehampton head coach Carl Johnson was happy with the efforts of all his players in the win.
“I have to give credit to the entire team, especially Anajae, Jerome and Devin, who really stepped up,” he said. “That’s what we’ve been looking for them to do. I also have to give credit to Jason for hanging in there. He was the focus of [Pierson’s] defense and he struggled in the first quarter, but kept at it.”
Johnson said that the win was just what his team needed, in more ways than one. He said that in addition to avenging the loss to a rival and clinching a playoff spot, the win also helped boost his team’s confidence after what was a disappointing 39-34 loss at Shelter Island on February 1.
Johnson said he was happy with his team’s effort defensively in the loss to Shelter Island, but said his team would need a much better effort on offense—more like what he saw in the win over Pierson—in order to defend its county title.
Pierson head coach Dan White said that the loss to Bridgehampton was disappointing, even though it didn’t affect his team’s playoff positioning. His team got off to a good start, leading 14-11 after the first quarter, but things went south after that. White said that when Jake Bennett, tasked with guarding Hopson, got into early foul trouble and had to head to the bench, it made it tougher for his team to stop Hopson.
Forest Loesch led Pierson with 33 points in the loss, and Pat Sloane added 13.
Whalers Beat Stony Brook
The Whalers were able to head to the postseason on a winning note by beating Stony Brook, although the victory came with an asterisk. Stony Brook’s head coach elected to rest four of his starters because his team had already clinched the league title and top seed in the postseason. White thought it was a curious move, but said he wasn’t unhappy about it.
“I would never do that because I’d be terrified that my team would come out flat in the next game,” he said. “But he did us a favor in my eyes. We hadn’t been shooting the ball well at all, and because we knew we were going to go out there and win, it was kind of the best shooting drill you could have. A couple of guys who haven’t been hitting shots did, so it was a good thing for us.”
Senior Liam Doyle led Pierson with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Loesch, Bennett had nine points. Ian Barrett, Pierson’s point guard who missed a big chunk of the season with an injury, found his shooting touch again, finishing with 10 points.
Bees Dominate Ross
The Killer Bees were dominant in their regular-season finale win over Ross. Hopson was hot again, leading the team with a career-high 36 points. Lamison had 21 points, 18 of which came in the first half. Ross finished the season with a 1-13 record, 1-17 overall.