The Westhampton Beach boys basketball team built a 31-14 halftime lead on December 2 against Bridgehampton and never looked back, as it defeated the Killer Bees 60-36 at home in its first non-league game of the season.
Senior guard Tyler Jones led all Westhampton Beach players with 14 points and also had five rebounds. Sophomore guard Tyus Gholson had six points and six rebounds and junior center Troy Vetter had 10 points to help out in the win. Bridgehampton’s Ainsley Wyche led all scorers with 19 points.
Hurricanes head coach Bill Hempfling said he was proud of the way his team played.
“We came out with great defensive intensity,” he said. “We hit them hard in the first quarter, and I just think they had a hard time recovering from that.”
Westhampton Beach had a 20-4 lead after the first quarter. After an even second quarter, in which the Hurricanes outscored the Bees 11-10, Westhampton Beach turned it on again in the third quarter, outscoring Bridgehampton 11-5.
Hempfling liked the balanced attack of his team and appreciated the play of Jones whom he said should be one of the team’s more consistent players this season.
Toward the end of the third quarter, Westhampton Beach got into some foul trouble, and Hempfling said it was because of a lack of defensive intensity.
“We need to have a full game of defensive intensity,” he said. “It’s still very early in the season, but our offensive unit needs to execute in the half court. We had a lot of transition baskets, which is good, but we need to get better in the half court.”
Hempfling, who creates the non-league schedule along with other coaches around Suffolk County, said he liked the defensive game both Bridgehampton and Eastport South Manor, whom the Hurricanes played on Tuesday, bring to the court. He said both Bridgehampton head coach Carl Johnson and ESM head coach Chris Carlson preach defense, and in a tough League VI this season the Hurricanes will see a lot of defensive-minded teams.
“You want to play teams like that,” he said. “They’re not going to be pretty games, but you have to find your way to grind through some of them. We’re in a brutal League VI this season so we’re hoping to be able to face some adversity and learn from that.”
Westhampton Beach will play its first league game of the season Friday at home against Mt. Sinai at 4 p.m. The Hurricanes will be in Amityville on Tuesday for another league game which will start at 4 p.m.
Westhampton Beach Girls
The Lady Hurricanes’ season did not start off the way head coach Mike Polan would have liked as his team dropped two games at their own Larry Makransky Tournament. The Lady Canes lost the first game 47-32 to Southampton on Friday and fell 36-31 to East Hampton on Saturday.
Comsewogue won the tournament, defeating Southampton 54-36 in the final. Hurricane freshman forward Kristen Polan was named to the All-Tournament team for her efforts during the two-day event, averaging 13.5 points per game.
Coach Polan said turnovers and poor shooting were the main culprits in the two losses.
“We probably shot about 20 percent from the floor and averaged 20 turnovers. That’s a combination for failure,” he said. “Defensively I thought we did a nice job.
“I need some other players to pick up that scoring slack we’re missing right now,” he continued. “It’s early in the season. This was a learning lesson for us. The league season is the one that matters. Our job right now is to get better and better each week.”
Westhampton Beach suffered another loss over the weekend as the team learned that sophomore guard Meagan Johnson decided to leave the team indefinitely to focus her attention on volleyball. Instead of playing basketball this winter, Johnson, who was an All-League volleyball player this past fall, will compete on a club volleyball team to strengthen her volleyball skills.
Coach Polan was a little discouraged with the news but was thankful that the decision came at the beginning of the season.
“It was a tough decision to make for her and her family,” he said.
The Lady Hurricanes had a non-league game Tuesday at Eastport South Manor and another non-league game on Wednesday against Center Moriches. They will play their first league game Friday at Mt. Sinai at 4 p.m.