A 60-50 home loss to Elwood/John Glenn on Saturday officially put the East Hampton boys basketball team’s backs against the wall, dropping the Bonackers to 3-6 in League VI, meaning they will need to win all three of their final league games in order to qualify for the Class A playoffs.
The good news for East Hampton is that it has a good chance to do just that. Its final three opponents—Mount Sinai (0-7), Miller Place (2-5) and Bayport/Blue Point (5-3)—are teams the Bonackers either beat or narrowly lost to the first time around. Additionally, two of those last three games will be on East Hampton’s home court.
Those factors, as well as the way his team played in the loss to Glenn (7-2 in league), kept head coach Bill McKee optimistic at the start of this week. The Bonackers were knotted in a 44-44 tie in the fourth quarter of the loss to Glenn, the second-place team in the league, before the Knights went on a 16-6 run to secure the win.
McKee said he wasn’t disappointed with his team’s effort.
“We had some good shots, but we just didn’t make them,” he said. “With the score tied at 44-44, we had three straight possessions where we had good shots that just didn’t go in, and [Glenn] made their shots.
“I think the effort was there,” he continued. “That’s a team we lost to by 25 the first time we played them. It’s obviously disappointing to lose and I think the kids were disappointed, but I don’t think it was for lack of effort or execution.”
Brendon Kennedy-Gay led East Hampton with 17 points while Kyle McKee had 12. Brendan Hughes had 11 points and nine rebounds, while Thomas Nelson pulled down 14 rebounds.
Before taking on Glenn, East Hampton lost, 71-55, at home to first-place Amityville (8-0) on January 23. The Warriors have established themselves not only as the top team in League VI, but also as one of the top small schools in the state this season.
East Hampton was down 10 at halftime and Amityville put the game out of reach by outscoring the Bonackers 28-11 in the third quarter.
“They’re bigger, faster and stronger than us,” McKee said. “We made too many turnovers and at times played tentatively, which led into what they do best.”
Danny McKee led East Hampton with 12 points, while Kyle McKee and Nelson each had 10 and Kennedy-Gay and Kevin Fee each had nine.
The Bonackers were not scheduled to get on the court again for a game until Friday, and Coach McKee said his team would keep its approach simple.
“We’ll just keep plugging away,” he said. “We’re not really looking at the playoff picture, we’re just looking at the next game.”
The Lady Bonackers, who have already been eliminated from playoff contention, fell to 1-8 in League VI after losing 54-31 at Amityville (4-4 in league) on Friday. Merissah Gilbert, Carley Seekamp and Ryann Ward each scored six points to lead the Lady Bonackers.
ON THE SCHEDULE: Boys—Friday, 1/31, vs. Mount Sinai, 6 p.m.; Saturday, 2/1, at Eastport South Manor (non-league), 12:45 p.m.; Tuesday, 2/4, at Miller Place, 6 p.m.; Friday, 2/7, vs. Bayport/Blue Point, 6 p.m.
Girls—Friday, 1/28, at Pierson (non-league), 4:30 p.m.; Friday, 1/31, at Mount Sinai, 4 p.m.; Tuesday, 2/4, vs. Miller Place, 6 p.m.; Thursday, 2/6, at Bayport/Blue Point, 4:30 p.m.