The Hampton Bays boys basketball team went 1-17 last season, so the only way is up for the Baymen.
There are multiple reasons, though, for the Baymen to be optimistic going into this season.
For starters, they now have a year under their belt of facing League VI/Class A competition after making the jump from League VII/Class B. Hampton Bays head coach Pete Meehan said each team in the league last season brought something different to the table and his team was consistently out of games by the first half, sometimes even after the first quarter.
But many of the league’s top teams from a year ago have graduated quite a bit, Meehan said. Bayport/Blue Point, East Hampton, Elwood/John Glenn, Mount Sinai and Shoreham/Wading River have all lost something, and Miller Place has moved up to League V. Southampton and Wyandanch have now made the move up to League VI/Class A, and while both teams should add some intrigue to this upcoming season, they will be learning about their new competition much like the Baymen did last season.
“It was the wrong year to make the jump up in class and leagues,” Meehan said of last season. “There were no soft games. But graduation has leveled the field. I thought last year was super, super tough, and it’s still competitive, but it’s a pretty balanced league right now.”
Three of the Baymen’s five starters are returning in senior Andrew Hafemeister, junior David Krieg, the team’s lone returning All-League player, and sophomore Antonio Scotto. Seniors Josh Aube and Armin Bandic are filling the other two open starting positions and logged plenty of minutes last season.
Junior guard Andrew Calderone is up from junior varsity. Meehan said he can fill in for both Hafemeister and Scotto, giving the team some depth at the guard position. Also up from JV are senior Juan Arango and juniors Tyler Gaffney, Jack Sheridan, Riley McNamara, Christian Ottati and Sage McMorris. Ottati and McMorris provide good size, standing 6-foot-3 and 6-foot-5, respectively. Tyrese McRae, a senior, has transferred to Hampton Bays after playing at Southold last season, and junior Jeremy Bradley is still rehabbing from a torn ACL suffered last year and is practicing on a limited basis.
“We have competition for playing time. We have depth, more so now than any of the last few years,” Meehan said. “We’re going to compete. I expect this team to show a lot of fight. These are all high-character, high-energy kids who I think will give us the opportunity to get better.”
The Baymen have already matched last year’s win total after their 50-24 non-league victory at Shelter Island on Monday. Aube led the way with 12 points and nine rebounds, Scotto had 11 points, six steals and four assists and Krieg chipped in with nine points and nine rebounds. Hampton Bays will play another non-league game at Port Jefferson on Thursday, December 1, at 6:15 p.m. and will host Mercy on Tuesday, December 6, in another non-league game at 6:15 p.m. The Baymen play their first league game of the season on Tuesday, December 20, at home against Shoreham/Wading River at 6:15 p.m.
There will be a much different look to the Lady Baymen basketball team this season.
The team graduated two of its best players in Alexis Fotopoulos and Hannah Reed, leaving new head coach Vinny Russo with the task of replacing the majority of the team’s offense. Niamh Cantwell and Liz Ottati, two regulars, also graduated, along with Jen Sullivan, Jamie DiPierdomenico and Fran Friscia. Russo is taking over for John Paga, who resigned after last season, when Hampton Bays lost in the Suffolk County Class A semifinals.
Hampton Bays will play its second season in League VI/Class A, against Bayport/Blue Point, East Hampton, Elwood/John Glenn, Mount Sinai, Shoreham/Wading River, and two newcomers, neighboring district Southampton and Wyandanch.
The Lady Baymen start their season on Thursday, December 1, at Rocky Point in a non-league game that’s scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. They begin league play on Tuesday, December 20, at Shoreham/Wading River. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
Additional information was not provided.