Tough losses for Hampton Bays hoops teams

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Hampton Bays girls basketball head coach Dave Goodman was feeling pretty disappointed after his team suffered a 45-42 loss at Babylon on Friday, but he didn’t have to wait too long to feel better, thanks to a last minute scheduling change.

The Lady Baymen rescheduled their game against Southampton to Sunday at the request of Southampton head coach Richard “Juni” Wingfield, who planned to attend the inauguration of President Barack Obama on Tuesday, when the game was originally scheduled. Goodman said he was more than happy to reschedule, so Wingfield could attend the historic event, and after his Lady Baymen defeated the Lady Mariners 50-28, Goodman said it made the loss to Babylon easier to get over.

“I told him of course I would move it for something special like that,” Goodman said. “I didn’t want him to miss it. It was pretty depressing losing to Babylon, but I felt better about that after we won.”

Everything the Lady Baymen (3-4 in League VII, 5-11 overall) did well in the win over Southampton was absent in the loss to Babylon, a team Goodman thought his players would handle. Against Southampton, the Lady Baymen took a 29-9 halftime lead after holding the Lady Mariners scoreless in the second quarter., setting the tone for the rest of the game. Rachel Tufano led Southampton with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Marissa Raimo finished with eight points and 15 rebounds.

But in the loss to Babylon, intensity and a sense of urgency was lacking until the fourth quarter, when Hampton Bays made a run that came up just short. Goodman was so disappointed with his team’s intensity against Babylon that he took out all five of his starters at once in the third quarter, going to the bench to try and erase a 16-point deficit. The substitute players put forth the kind of effort Goodman was looking for but only managed to cut the lead to 14 points heading into the final period.

“I asked the starters, ‘Do you want to try and quit feeling sorry for yourselves?’” Goodman said. “They said, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah’ so we put on the press as hard as we could and to make a long story short, with 12 seconds left, we were down two and had the ball.”

During that crucial final play, Hampton Bays guard Sam Carey threw a long pass to senior forward Kait Cooper, but her attempt to score was blocked by Babylon’s MacKenzie Vickers, sealing the win for Babylon.

Goodman said that he was surprised by his team’s lack of firepower through the first three quarters of the game.

“We won the first quarter 11-10 but we were underachieving and it was making me really unhappy,” he said. “This is a team I feel we should flat out handle. But I’ll hand it to Babylon, they came out with superior intensity and we didn’t bring it until the fourth quarter.”

Rachel Tufano finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds to lead Hampton Bays, while Raimo continued what has been strong play of late, finishing with 12 points, eight rebonds and four steals.

In a 41-35 home loss to Mattituck on January 14, an injury to Tufano in the first quarter disturbed Hampton Bays’ rhythm and resulted in a tough defeat.

Hampton Bays got off to a good start against a talented Lady Tuckers team, but toward the end of the first quarter, Tufano hit the deck after a hard foul by Mattituck’s Emily Ianno and ended up with a large lump on her head. At halftime, it was determined that Tufano did not have a concussion so she re-entered the game but was still too shaken up to be effective and quickly went back to the bench, where she remained for the rest of the game.

“That hurt us,” Goodman said of losing Tufano, especially considering that Mattituck does not possess a post player to match up with her. “She said she still wanted to play, but she was all groggy and I said, I’m not playing the kid if she doesn’t look right.”

Hampton Bays saw its two-point halftime lead disappear in the second half as Mattituck guard Stephanie Pisacano got hot, scoring 11 of her 17 points in the third quarter.

Raimo had a strong game in the loss, finishing with a career-high 17 points as well as nine rebounds and three assists. She scored eight of her team’s 12 points in the first quarter.

“She kept us in the game,” Goodman said. “She was unbelievable.”

With five games left in the season, the Lady Baymen must go 3-2 in order to finish with an even record in league play, which is the requirement for making the playoffs. That stretch will begin on Friday when the Lady Baymen travel to Port Jefferson for a 6:15 p.m. game. They will host Center Moriches and visit Wyandanch—the league leading teams—and will also face Mattituck and Babylon again before the regular season comes to a close.

Boys Drop Two of Three

The Hampton Bays boys basketball team fell to 2-5 in League VII after losing two of its three games last week. The Baymen began the week on a bright note, beating Southold 52-43 at home on January 12 before losing 50-41 at Mattituck on January 14 and losing 54-36 at home against Babylon on Friday.

In the win over Southold, the Baymen owned a 23-11 edge in the fourth quarter, which was the difference in the game.

“We had a real efficient and crisp quarter at the right time,” Hampton Bays head coach Pete Meehan said. “We made some good decisions.”

The Baymen had been shooting poorly from the free throw line for three quarters but turned it around in the fourth, hitting 11 of 12 shots from the line. Sophomore guard Cameron Booth finished with a game high 18 points, seven of which came in the fourth quarter. Senior forward Chris Rydberg finished with 12 points, eight of which came in the fourth. He also added 11 rebounds. James Pace chipped in with eight points and nine rebounds while Davi Assis had six points, seven rebounds and three assists.

The fourth quarter was also the difference maker in the game against Hampton Bays, although this time it was the opposing team that came up with the strong effort, with Mattituck outscoring Hampton Bays 16-6 to take the win.

“We had some open looks that were given to us and we didn’t take advantage,” Meehan said of his team’s play in the final period.

Mattituck’s defense forced the Baymen to take outside shots and they could not connect, hitting just one of 16 three point attempts.

“Mattituck did a good job of forcing us away from the basket,” Meehan said.

Assis finished with a season high 16 points, while Booth had 12 points and four assists. Rydberg scored four points and had 11 rebounds.

Against Babylon, one of the tougher teams in the league, the Baymen were in the game throughout the first half and were down by just six points with under four minutes left in the third quarter, but the Panthers went on a 10-0 run the end the quarter, taking a commanding 42-26 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Baymen turned the ball over 20 times, which Meehan said is too high.

“It’s a number we’ve been battling all year,” he said.

Rydberg finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds while Booth had 10 points, four assists and five rebounds.

Babylon’s standout guard JP Pate—a sixth-year varsity player—finished with 24 points, 17 of which came in the second half.

“They’re good and they wear you down,” Meehan said. “We need to be real good and real efficient to compete against the better teams. We have to shoot well and limit turnovers and we weren’t able to do that.”

The Baymen were scheduled to visit rival Southampton on Tuesday and will host Port Jefferson on Friday at 7 p.m.

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