Bonackers Prevail In Defensive Battle

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Scoring only 42 points normally won’t lead to a victory for a varsity boys basketball team. But when the other team can’t break the 20-point plateau, it’s more than sufficient.

That’s what happened for the East Hampton boys basketball team in a 42-19 win over Miller Place at home on Thursday. That win, combined with a 60-56 triumph at Mount Sinai on January 7, moved the Bonackers to 2-3 in League VI, 4-5 overall with only one game remaining before the official halfway point of the league season.

Fans of high-scoring offenses wouldn’t have had much to cheer about in Thursday night’s game, particularly after the first quarter, where the teams were knotted in a 4-4 tie. Throughout the rest of the game, however, East Hampton managed to improve its scoring output to respectable levels, while the Panthers simply never got into a rhythm on offense. East Hampton head coach Bill McKee acknowledged that his team didn’t have its best effort on offense that night, but overall was happy with the victory.

“It was a really good defensive effort, we just didn’t shoot very well,” he said. “I thought Miller Place played good defense also. You have to attribute some of our poor shooting to their defense.”

McKee said he’s been pleased of late with the play of forwards Thomas Nelson and Brendan Hughes, in particular. Nelson had 18 rebounds and Hughes added 12 rebounds in the win, and he said their collective presence on the boards and their tenacity on defense have been key to his team’s success.

McKee also pointed out that while his team didn’t score a ton of points, it was productive with the chances it had, with assists on 12 of the 17 baskets it scored.

“So we are starting to move the ball better,” McKee added.

Hughes led East Hampton with 13 points in the win while Kyle McKee added nine, and both Brendon Kennedy-Gay and Nelson had eight.

In the win over Mount Sinai, there was much more scoring for both teams, and East Hampton took a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter. The Mustangs hit three-pointers on their last three possessions to make the final score close. The Bonackers were on target from the free-throw line in the win, hitting 17 of 19 shots from the stripe in the game, including 10 of 12 in the fourth quarter. Kyle McKee led East Hampton with 19 points, hitting five three-pointers. As a team, the Bonackers hit nine shots from beyond the arc. McKee’s brother, Danny McKee, hit three three-pointers for nine points. Hughes finished with 11 points while Kevin Fee and Nelson each had eight.

ON THE SCHEDULE: Tuesday, 1/14, at Bayport/Blue Point, 4:30 p.m.; Friday, 1/17, at Shoreham/Wading River, 4:30 p.m.; Thursday, 1/23, vs. Amityville, 4:30 p.m.

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