With the playoffs looming, almost all the boys and girls basketball teams here are in contention.
As of Monday, East Hampton High’s boys remained in third place in League VI, at 5-4, despite a rather shocking loss here Friday to fourth-place Bayport-Blue Point, and Bonac’s girls, as the result of a 46-37 win at Bayport last Thursday, were in fourth place in league play, at 4-5.
The boys as of Monday had three regular season games left, at 5-5 Shoreham-Wading River Tuesday, with 9-0 Amityville here Saturday morning, and at 0-9 Westhampton Beach Tuesday. To make the postseason, they’ll have to win one of the three.
The girls, who seem to be getting stronger as they go on, were to have played 6-4 Shoreham-Wading River here Tuesday. Tomorrow, they travel to 6-3 Amityville, and they are to finish the regular season here with 4-5 Westhampton Beach Tuesday. They’ll have to win two of their final three.
Asked before Friday’s boys game here for a recounting of the girls game the night before, a game in which the Bonackers outscored the Phantoms 12-3 in the fourth quarter, Louis O’Neal, Howard Wood’s assistant, said “Kaelyn [Ward, the star point guard] got hot, and Sarah [Johnson] must have had at least 12 rebounds. Christina [Cangiolosi] also had an excellent game, rebounding and helping Sarah.”
Ward finished with 21 points, and Johnson with 14. “They’re beginning to gel,” said O’Neal. “Bayport is well coached, and we turned the ball over a lot, but if we continue to play hard and smart, as we did in the fourth quarter, we can beat all these teams. We’ve got to cut down on our turnovers and get more rebounds though. If Kaelyn can come off screens rather than go one-on-one, we’ll be all right. The girls are playing with a lot of confidence now.”
In contrast to the girls game, the boys started strong, leading by as many as 9 points late in the second quarter, but wound up in disarray.
They took a 29-22 lead into the third quarter, but the frenetically pressing visitors made life miserable for the Bonackers in that frame, outscoring them 21-1. Danny McKee’s foul shot early on, which upped the lead to 30-22, was the sole East Hampton point tallied in the period, during which McKee and his teammates went 0-for-13 from the floor (0-for-5 from 3-point range).
And that pretty much was it on the way to a 60-35 final. In the teams’ first meeting, on Jan. 5, East Hampton prevailed 60-58.
East Hampton edged Shoreham 57-56 the first time around, here on Jan. 10, overcoming a 15-point deficit with five and a half minutes remaining, the greatest comeback Bob Vacca, Bill McKee’s assistant, had ever seen in Suffolk County basketball. As for the final two opponents, East Hampton lost 70-45 at Amityville on Jan. 12, and bested Westhampton Beach 62-53 here on Jan. 17. To reach the playoffs, the Bonackers must finish with at least a .500 record.
The big basketball news this week, however, was Kelsey McGayhey’s 1,000th point, which the versatile 5-foot-10-inch Shelter Island senior left-hander scored Friday afternoon at the Ross School. McGayhey, who is to play volleyball at Springfield (Mass.) College, was fourth on Long Island’s scoring list (and first on Suffolk’s) as of Monday, averaging 23.5 points per game. She scored 16 in the game with Ross, which Shelter Island won 41-22.
As a result of the win, McGayhey’s team improved to 7-2 in League VIII play, behind 9-0 Southold. Pierson-Bridgehampton, a Class C school, was in third as of Monday, at 6-3. Ross, a Class D school, as is Shelter Island, was 0-8.
Before the girls game, Kelly McKee, who coaches Ross’s boys team, said that the Cosmos, who had to forfeit two games earlier in the season because of an eligibility mix-up that the school’s athletic director, Jaye Cohen, duly reported to Section XI, still had a fighting chance to play in the postseason. That night, the Ross boys defeated the Shelter Island boys 65-45 to improve to 4-6. Liam Chaskey led the way with 23 points. Hayden Aldredge, the team’s best rebounder, had 15 points, and Roosevelt Odidi had 13.
The Cosmos were to have played 8-2 Pierson at home Tuesday. Tomorrow, they’ll play at 7-2 Stony Brook. Bridgehampton (5-5), whose Caanan Campbell was the Island’s eighth-leading scorer as of Monday, with a 22.8 average, is to play at Ross on Monday.
Ross lost to all of the above-named teams in the first round. The Cosmos are to finish the regular season Wednesday at 2-8 Smithtown Christian. Ross forfeited to Smithtown Christian on Jan. 20, and forfeited to Greenport on Dec. 12.