The Bridgehampton boys basketball team took a very important step toward securing a playoff berth in Class D with a 76-59 win over Southold at home on Friday. The Killer Bees improved to 6-7 in League VIII, 7-8 overall with the win, and needed just two more wins to assure themselves of a spot in the playoffs.
Bridgehampton avenged a loss to Southold from earlier in the season by getting off to a hot start, outscoring the Settlers 25-8 in the first quarter. The Killer Bees kicked up the defensive intensity, using a full-court press on their home court, and that made the difference, according the head coach Carl Johnson.
“We didn’t use pressure the first time around, and this time we pressed them in the first quarter and it got us the lead,” he said, pointing out that his team was up by as many as 21 points in the first. “Jumping out on them early was definitely key.”
Southold chose to double-team forward Josh Lamison, who went for 50 points last week in a win over Smithtown Christian. Killer Bee Anajae Lamb benefitted from that approach, scoring a career-high 23 points.
“It opened up a lot of room for Anajae because [Southold] concentrated so hard on Josh,” Johnson said.
Lamison still finished with a game-high 25 points and 12 rebounds, as well as eight assists, most of them to Lamb. Point guard Tylik Furman added 19 points, and guard Jerome Walker, returning from a mild concussion, added eight points.
Before beating Southold, Bridgehampton lost, 55-39, at first-place Stony Brook. The Bears, whose only loss all season came against Pierson in Sag Harbor, got out to a hot start, going up 19-8 after the first quarter, and Bridgehampton couldnt’ recover.
“We didn’t have any defensive intensity, and once you fall behind against Stony Brook, 10 or 11 points seems like 20. He hung in as much as we could, we just couldn’t get over the hump.”
Lamison led Bridgehampton with 23 points and Furman added 11.
The Killer Bees were slated to face Shelter Island, Greenport and Knox this week, all Class D schools and therefore crucial games in terms of playoff standing. Knox is winless in League VIII, but Greenport is 6-6 and also fighting for a playoff spot. The Killer Bees beat Greenport by four points the first time they met and beat Shelter Island by 19 in their first meeting.
ON THE SCHEDULE: Tuesday, 2/4, at Shelter Island, 4 p.m.; Thursday, 2/6, vs. Greenport, 6 p.m.; Friday, 2/7, at Knox, 5 p.m.