After a rough start to the season, the Bridgehampton boys basketball team seems to have found its stride, winning two straight games to improve to 2-4 in League VIII, 3-5 overall. The recent wins were particularly crucial as they came against fellow Class D teams, which could be potential playoff opponents for the Killer Bees.
On Friday, Bridgehampton edged rival Greenport, 54-50, on the road in a comeback effort. The Killer Bees were trailing by as many as 13 points in the second half, but steadily chipped away at Greenport’s lead.
Forward Josh Lamison came up clutch late in the game, hitting a pair of free throws with less than two minutes left to break a 50-50 tie that gave Bridgehampton the lead for good. Lamison finished with 15 points and 18 rebounds, while point guard Tylik Furman added 11 points and six assists.
Head coach Carl Johnson was happy with his team’s effort and said persistence and patience paid off for his team.
“We just chipped away at the lead, slowly but surely,” he said.
Johnson was particularly pleased with his team’s effort on defense, pointing out that the Killer Bees held Greenport’s leading scorer, Gavin Dibble, to just 17 points, while also getting its second-leading scorer, forward Austin Hooks, in foul trouble.
In a 60-41 home win over Shelter Island, another Class D rival, on January 7, the Killer Bees took control early on and cruised to the win. Elijah Jackson led Bridgehampton with 21 points, while Furman added 20 points and Lamison had 13 points and 20 rebounds.
Johnson said his team was strong on defense, and added that he’s seen an increase in productivity on the defensive side of the ball in recent games, particularly since Furman got back on the court after missing the early games of the season due to injury.
“We jumped out on them pretty early and maintained the lead,” Johnson said. “Our defense is improving and the return of Tylik has made a big difference.”
Before the wins over Greenport and Shelter Island, Bridgehampton lost, 56-47, at Southold on January 6. The game was closer than the final score indicated, as the Killer Bees were forced to foul the Settlers with less than two minutes remaining.
“It was a game I thought we should have won, but we just couldn’t get over the hump,” Johnson said.
Furman finished with 21 points while Lamison added 15.
Bridgehampton was missing starting shooting guard Jerome Walker for both the Shelter Island and Southold games, as he was out with an injury.
Johnson said that when it’s at full strength, his team can compete with anyone in League VIII. He’s hoping injuries aren’t as much of an issue in the second half of the season so his team can move up in the standings.
“If we have a full squad, are chances are very good,” Johnson said.
ON THE SCHEDULE: Tuesday, 1/14, vs. Knox, 4:30 p.m.; Thursday, 1/16, vs. Ross, 6 p.m.; Saturday, 1/18, at Pierson, 2 p.m.; Wednesday, 1/22, vs. Stony Brook, 6 p.m.