After their latest 77-71 victory at Islip on Friday night, the Eastport South Manor boys basketball team is just two League V victories away from clinching a spot in the Suffolk County Class AA playoffs.
With four league games remaining on their schedule, the Sharks (4-4 League V, 8-5 overall) have a prime shot at clinching this week. They hosted Sayville on Tuesday night, and play at Rocky Point tonight, Thursday, at 5:45 p.m.
“This will be a tremendous week for us,” ESM head coach Chris Carlson said. “Our destiny is in our own hands. By the end the week we could be in the playoffs, we could be out of the playoffs or, if we split, we could still be battling.”
ESM got out to as big as a 17-point lead on Islip last week, but the Buccaneers used three pointers to get back into the game. Islip made 18 three pointers throughout the game but ESM went 7 of 8 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter to preserve the victory.
ESM senior Dennis Sullivan scored 26 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and dished out six assists, while senior Chris Goncalves scored 25 points and grabbed 15 boards.
The Sharks also won a non-league game, 55-53, at home over Miller Place on Saturday. After Sullivan hit a free throw to put ESM up by three points late in the game, the Sharks committed a foul on a three-point shot, giving Miller Place three free shots. The Panthers made two of three shots to pull within a point, but with .5 second remaining in regulation, senior Mike Cestare hit one of two free throws to make up the final score.
Goncalves finished up with 17 points and 15 rebounds. Cestare scored 10 points and also had five assists.
The ESM girls basketball team lost, 56-36, at home to Islip on Friday night, making its chances of clinching a postseason berth that much harder. The Lady Sharks (2-6 League V, 5-9 overall) need to win their final four games to get into the playoffs and still need to play Harborfields and Comsewogue, two of the better teams in League V.
ESM led Islip 17-13 after the first quarter last week, but the Lady Buccaneers came back in the second to outscore the Lady Sharks 10-3 to make it a game by halftime. Then Islip used an 18-8 third quarter to take things over.
ESM junior Samantha Giacolone scored 15 points in the loss.
ON THE SCHEDULE: Boys—Tuesday, 1/28, vs. Sayville; Thursday, 1/30, at Rocky Point, 5:45 p.m. Girls—Tuesday, 1/28, at Sayville; Thursday, 1/30, vs. Rocky Point, 5:45 p.m.