The Bridgehampton Killer Bees advanced to the B-C-D game of the county boys basketball tournament by defeating Stony Brook 47-42 in the C-D game at Suffolk Community College-Brentwood Tuesday night.
Stony Brook was missing its 6-foot-6-inch senior center, Jyles Etienne, who was visiting his family in Barbados (after having led the Bears to a win over Greenport in the Class C championship game), but Bridgehampton was, likewise, missing its leading scorer, J.P. Harding, who has a broken wrist.
"That about made us even," said Carl Johnson, the Bees' coach, who brought Nykell Dean off the bench to play on the wing and moved Elijah Jackson down low. Jackson was shadowed throughout in a box-and-one defense, but while he finished with 9 points, 7 of them came in the all-important fourth quarter that the Bees, after trailing 42-41, capped with a 6-0 run.
Dean, who did not begin the season with Bridgehampton (though he had played for them last year), returned in mid-January, from Riverhead. When he had first learned of Harding's injury following the regular-season finale with Greenport, Johnson said his sixth man would have to step up, and his game-high 16 points, which went along with 11 rebounds, attested to the fact that he has.
Bridgehampton now is to face Center Moriches in the county B-C-D game tomorrow at Suffolk Community College-Selden at 5 p.m.
It will be a reunion for Johnson and the Red Devils' coach, Nick Thomas, who played the point for the Johnson-coached Bees team that won a state championship in 1996 — the first of what were to be three straight.
Center Moriches defeated Bridgehampton 70-60 in a nonleague game at the Beehive on Dec. 12, and then swept to a 10-0 record in League VII play.
"It will be fun," said Johnson. "Nick and I talked about meeting each other in the B-C-D game earlier in the season. With J.P. out and with Elijah playing with an ankle sprain, we're not at 100 percent. If we were, we'd match up very well with them."