Friday’s boys basketball game here with Mount Sinai looked, for a brief moment, as if it would provide East Hampton fans with the same thrill they’d felt 10 days before when Thomas King’s coast-to-coast layup drove a dagger into Shoreham-Wading River’s heart, sending the stunned visitors home on the short end of a 57-56 score.
This time, however, it was Mount Sinai that made the fatal thrust and East Hampton, whose fans had been reveling in the 1-point lead King’s short jumper had treated them to with 7.5 seconds remaining, that was left to clutch its breast — a single-minded coast-to-coast drive having tilted things the visitors’ way, 49-48, at the final buzzer.
Later, Bill McKee, East Hampton’s coach, said, “We didn’t lose because of that basket, though there were probably some things we, including me, could have done differently on that last play. We lost because we only scored 17 points in that whole second half. We’re moving the ball well enough, but no one besides Thomas has been attacking the basket. The only other player we had in double figures in the Mount Sinai game was Juan Cuevas, with 10. We’ve got to work on getting more people involved in our offense this week.”
There ought to be ample time to iron things out. Because of midterm exams at the high school, the next game the 4-3 Bonackers are to play will be Monday at Elwood-John Glenn. “We’ve got two more weeks to get into the playoffs,” said McKee, whose team, in order to get there, will have to finish with an at least .500 record.
Meanwhile, the coach couldn’t say enough about his junior point guard, who, he said, had had “a heck of a week. . . . He scored the game-winner against Shoreham, he scored 15 of the 17 points we had in the fourth quarter of the game with Westhampton, he hit the shot that put us ahead of Mount Sinai, and had 11 rebounds too. . . . You couldn’t have asked him for anything more.”
East Hampton took a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter of the game here on Jan. 17 with Westhampton Beach, but the Hurricanes came back to tie it up at 51-51 with 2 minutes and 25 seconds left.
At that point, King took the game over, outscoring the visitors 10-2 going down the stretch, bracketing coast-to-coast layups with 4-for-4 shooting from the foul line. He finished the night with 32 points.
The Bonackers took a 31-24 lead into the third quarter of Friday’s game with Mount Sinai, but couldn’t make it hold up.
A timely 3-pointer by Cameron Yusko, off a feed by King, snapped a 37-37 tie just before the buzzer sounded ending the third period, but the visitors were to go on to outscore the Bonackers 12-8 in the final frame as East Hampton shot 3-for-12 from the floor (0-for-5 from 3-point range) and turned the ball over several times.
A team that could score only 45 or so points in a game would always run the risk of a heartbreaking ending, McKee said. “The others have to go to the basket, not just Thomas. We shot 4-for-6 from the foul line against Mount Sinai, which means we weren’t driving to the basket and getting fouled. We’re still in third, but we’ve put some pressure on ourselves. We need to win that game at Glenn. We beat them here. Our next home game is Feb. 3 with Bayport-Blue Point.”
Item: Saturday’s cancellation of Biddy basketball practices at the John M. Marshall Elementary School because of the snowstorm was “the first time,” said McKee, who oversees the Biddy program here, “that’s happened since 1969.”