Despite finishing with a losing record in League VIII games, the Bridgehampton boys basketball team earned a spot in the Class D playoffs and will have a chance to defend its Suffolk County Class D title via a successful petition to Section XI, the governing body of high school sports in Suffolk County. The Killer Bees (7-9 in league, 8-10 overall) played in what is known as a “mixed classification” league because it includes both Class C and Class D schools. Because Bridgehampton had a winning record (5-3) against its fellow Class D teams within League VIII, it was given a spot in the playoffs. Over the course of the regular season, Bridgehampton beat every Class D team at least once, which strengthened its case for inclusion.
The Killer Bees were slated to go on the road to face top-seed Greenport (8-8, 8-10) in the semifinals on Wednesday, February 12, at 6 p.m. The winner will advance to the Class D county final and face the winner of Shelter Island vs. Smithtown Christian.
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Bridgehampton ended the season with a pair of tough losses, falling 68-65 at home to Greenport on Friday after losing, 49-47, to Shelter Island on February 4.
Against Greenport, foul trouble was the main culprit in the loss for the Killer Bees. Bridgehampton lost its two leading scorers—forward Josh Lamison and point guard Tylik Furman—in less than a one minute span in the fourth quarter, and had to play without both of them for the remaining five minutes of the game. The rest of the team held it together for a while and looked poised to possibly escape with the win after Henry Kotz snagged an offensive rebound and kicked it out to Jerome Walker for a three-pointer that put the Bees up 63-58 with three minutes left. Bridgehampton hung on to a 63-61 lead until Greenport hit a three with 1:33 left in the game that proved to be the game-winner.
Furman finished with 25 points and Lamison added 19 to lead Bridgehampton.
Head coach Carl Johnson explained that he didn’t take either Lamison or Furman out of the game when they picked up their fourth fouls because he felt his team’s chances to win would be jeopardized if he took them off the floor for even a short break, due to having only a few inexperienced players on the bench.
“We just have to roll the dice and hope they play smart down the stretch, knowing their importance to the team,” Johnson said. “With our bench, if we take Josh out, do we have the firepower to come back? I don’t feel like we have enough firepower.”
Johnson said he was impressed with the team’s effort late in the game after Lamison and Furman went out, but said it simply wasn’t enough to get the win.
Against Shelter Island, Bridgehampton got off to a slow start, going down 16-4 to start the game, and never quite got over the hump. The Killer Bees had a few chances to tie the game or take the lead in the final two minutes, but failed to execute.
Furman and Lamison each scored 19 points in the loss.