January 03, 2007
Although it's far too early to begin hitting the panic button, the Bridgehampton boys' basketball team's 56-41 loss to Bishop McGann-Mercy on December 21 was a strong indicator that there might be a mighty tough season ahead for the Killer Bees.
The League VIII loss on Bridgehampton's season schedule dropped head coach Carl Johnson's team to 1-4 overall and immediately put up red flags around a team that was believed to be a league title contender at the start of the season. Unfortunately for the Bees (1-1 in League VIII), nobody told that to the Monarchs (1-0), who jumped out to a 16-7 first quarter lead and increased it to 31-16 by halftime.
Mercy's Darryl Smith was a constant thorn in Bridgehampton's side throughout the game, finishing with a game-high 23 points, nine of which came in the opening quarter. When he wasn't filling up the basket, he was dominating under it, grabbing a game-high 16 rebounds to go along with his four blocked shots which were also tops in the game.
The Bees fell even further behind after the third quarter as the Monarchs increased their lead to 47-25 and only a strong effort by junior Terrence Hires who scored a team-leading 18 points, allowed Bridgehampton to finish the game on a 16-9 run. Senior Max Spooner scored 9 points for the Bees while talented shooter Irving Fayman was held to 8 points before sitting down with a sprained ankle.
Hires 18 points came on the heels of a 24 point, 10 rebound performance in Bridgehampton's League VIII opener against Ross, a game that saw the Bees win 63-54. Brandon LaPointe also had an outstanding game, scoring 21 points.
The lopsided loss to Mercy is cause for concern considering that League VIII rival Greenport (3-2 overall, 2-0 in League VIII) easily disposed of the Monarchs 65-34 on December 19. With Southold (3-3, 2-0) and Stony Brook both looking like solid teams and the Porters boasting the league's top player in sophomore forward Ryan Creighton, there will be plenty of difficult obstacles in the path of Bridgehampton's pursuit of a Class D championship later this winter.
The Bees defensive play has been less than stellar in the early goings of the non-league and league season with Bridgehampton allowing 72 points to Riverhead, 64 to Center Moriches and 95 to Wyandanch. Even a 27-point fourth quarter effort from a Ross team that has averaged only 28 points of offense in its previous four games cannot be ignored.
Bridgehampton hosts Pierson (1-5 overall, 0-1) this Friday and the Southold First Settlers next Tuesday.