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February 12, 2014

Hoop Playoff Picture Crystallizes


By Rick Murphy

When the Section 11 powers that be sit down to finalize the upcoming boys basketball playoff seedings they may need to call in a couple of the brainiacs from "The Big Bang Theory."

That's because the Class D playoff picture is so impossibly close that choosing a Number One seed is as onerous a task as the committee has ever undertaken.

Consider: Shelter Island, Smithtown Christian, and Greenport all finished with identical 8-8 records in League VIII. To further confuse matters, the teams each split their two encounters with each other. Shelter Island has a 9-9 overall record, and the others finished 8-10.

But wait a second – Bridgehampton also finished 8-10, but although the Bees finished 7-9 in League VIII, they won seven of the 10 games they played against Class D opponents.

That, the governing body ruled, was good enough to earn the Bees a Number Four seed – they play this evening at Greenport against the top seed. Shelter Island travels to Smithtown Christian for the other semifinal. The Class D final is scheduled for Saturday at Longwood – tip off is at noon.

Stony Brook, the League VII champion, will enter the Class C playoffs as the Number One seed, sporting a 16-1 overall record: Pierson, 13-5 overall, is the Number Two. The two will vie for the title Saturday at Longwood High School.

Two local teams will compete in the Class B playoffs. Southampton, third in League VII with a 10-4 mark, will likely get the third seed – the Mariners finished up the season on a high note (see accompanying article) and sport a 14-4 record.

Center Moriches will be the second seed. The Red Devils, 14-2 in the league, are coached by the former Killer Bees' great Nick Thomas, who went on to star for NYU and, yes, the Red Devils share the characteristics of Thomas's championship teams – they run, gun, and play stifling defense. The team to beat, though, is first place Babylon (13-1). Southampton plays at Center Moriches tomorrow at 7:45 PM.

Both Westhampton and East Hampton pulled off late season heroics to earn Class A playoff bids. They will be hard pressed to contend with Amityville, though, 12-0 in League VI and 16-2 overall. The Warriors are legitimate state title contenders.

East Hampton plays at Harborfields tomorrow at 6 PM, weather permitting. Westhampton plays at Bayport/Bluepoint tomorrow at 4 PM.

The Class AA tournament is chock full of outstanding teams. The contenders include North Babylon, which features the top scorer in the county, Terry Harris.

It was an off year for local girls' hoops teams, but not in Hampton Bays. The Lady Baymen are looking to capture the Class B title and earned the top seed on the basis of a 16-2 overall record and a League VII championship. They play tomorrow at home at 6 PM

Mattituck also earned a berth and may capture the third seed. The Lady Tuckers play at Center Moriches tomorrow. Hills East and Brentwood are also in the mix.

Pierson once again is a Class C contender, sporting a sterling 9-1 record, good for the League VIII championship. It looks like the Lady Whalers will face Southold/Greenport on the North Fork Tuesday for the title. Visit www.NETPLAY.com for game dates and times.

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