November 22, 2006

Hoops Teams Begin To Take The Floor

With the arrival of Thanksgiving brings the vision of basketball hopes and dreams for many of the area schools and no team has higher hopes than East Hampton's boys' varsity squad.

They had to invent new awards for guard Mikey Russell to win last season as the lightning quick scoring machine was named to the All-State, All-Long Island, All-County, All-Conference and All-League teams as well as being named an alternate to the distinguished Long Island Metro Classic team; a team that saw more than 120 of the top players on Long Island vie for just 30 spots. He was also Suffolk's Player of the Year in 06.

With returning All-Leaguers Marcus Edwards (All-Conference selection) and Zach Brenneman in the fold, the Bonackers are once again the favorite to win the League V championship for a second straight season (East Hampton shared the title with Huntington in 2005-06). It wouldn't surprise many to see the Bonackers return to the Suffolk Class A finals this February.

Bridgehampton (12-2, 14-4 overall) should once again be in the hunt for the League VIII and Class D titles this winter although it will be a tough road for the Killer Bees now that their All-State forward/center Corey Morris is playing high school basketball back home in North Carolina.

Look for sweet-shooting perimeter ace Irving Fayman to play a pivotal role in Bridgehampton's offense this season as the Killer Bees look for players to step up in a league that will be dominated by Greenport's Ryan Creighton. Creighton, a junior forward, is the top player in League VIII by far . . . though the Porters, last season's Class D champions, also took some big hits on graduation day including the loss of center Kyle Charters and shooting guard Matt Duell.

Stony Brook (10-4) should also be in the mix and Pierson (9-5) is another team that overachieves for coach Fred Marienfeld.

The Southampton boys' varsity has every opportunity to improve upon its 8-6 record in League VII last season, especially after Class C champion Southold graduated all five of its starters last spring. With only a tough Wyandanch team the heavy favorite to win League VII, the remainder of the division appears to be fairly wide open.

Southampton's girls' varsity is another bright spot for East End hoops fans after the Lady Mariners silenced their few critics by winning the League VII title for the second straight season last February.

Southampton (13-5 overall) lost a heartbreaker to Wyandanch 43-41 in the Suffolk Class B championship game and coach Richard Wingfield, one of the premier girls basketball coaches in Suffolk County and a superb motivator, will likely have his team thick in the fold of the championship hunt once again.

The Westhampton girls' basketball team is another heavy favorite to get back to the Class B championship game after recording a splendid season in 2005-2006. Despite losing Kelly Cavallo to a season-ending ACL tear late in the schedule, the Lady Hurricanes still managed to reach the B title game before losing to John Glenn.

Cavallo had been Westhampton's top interior player, averaging better than 25 points and 12 rebounds per game. Now a junior, Cavallo is expected to once again be a force in League VI while senior guard Jen Polan is poised for another huge season. Westhampton (11-3) returns nine of its 11 players from last season and much like Southampton will be a team to keep an eye on in mid-February.

Hoops Teams Begin To Take The Floor

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