Honey Bees Have Buzzing Start

December 26, 1996

Matt White, who plays for the fabled Bridgehampton Killer Bees basketball team, said one day last summer that the time had come for Bridgehampton's girls to play the game that has brought such renown over the years to the boys - the "Hoosiers" of New York State basketball.

In just two days, Matt collected about a third of the 168 signatures on a petition to the School Board that has resulted in the first girls basketball team at Bridgehampton since 1985.

Cheerleading was all right, said Matt, "but if you add sports to your academics, you've got another shot at a scholarship."

The governing body of Suffolk's public high school sports, however, almost forgot the Honey (Lady Killer) Bees when it came time to draw up the junior varsity schedules, an oversight that prevented the team's coach, Otto Marracello, from setting up four of five allotted nonleague games.

The Honey Bees already have been heard from, in a 39-38 nonleague win over Sayville in their recent debut at the Beehive. Next year, a varsity schedule beckons, and, perhaps, in the not too distant future Final-Four trips upstate. We doubt that anyone will overlook the team again.

Matt had observed that summer day that girls of 10, 11, and 12 were able to beat "the boys in basketball camp . . . but something happens at around that age. The boys tease them, they get self-conscious, and a lot of them shy away from sports."

Judging from the large turnout for girls basketball, it seems that the transition from self-consciousness to self-confidence in Bridgehampton is well under way. We're rooting for the Honey Bees.