Endgame Miscues Lead to 1-Point Loss

‘At least we’re keeping ’em close’: Coach McKee
Kyle McKee, one of two McKees — the other being the point guard, Danny — starting on the East Hampton High School boys basketball team that their father, Bill, coaches, led East Hampton against Shoreham with 13 points and hard-nosed play in crunch time. Jack Graves

    The East Hampton High School boys basketball team was to have played three games last week, but wound up playing just one, here with Shoreham-Wading River on Dec. 11.

    That game went down to the wire, with East Hampton coming up on the short end of a 49-48 score.

    Bill McKee, East Hampton’s coach, said afterward that he was disappointed with the team’s endgame play. Three successive turnovers in the final two minutes and the missed front end of a one-and-one did not help the cause of the Bonackers, who, nevertheless, managed to retain a 48-47 lead during that nerve-racking span until Shoreham’s Zach Makoske sank two free throws with 4.5 seconds left, wresting the lead back for the visitors.

    Kyle McKee, a sophomore who was to lead the Bonackers with 13 points, had a good look before the clock ran out, but his shot, taken from the right perimeter, hit off the far side of the rim and bounced away.

    “We really lost because we couldn’t score more than 48 points,” said the elder McKee. “They were very physical and we didn’t execute our half-court offense.”

    The game was nip-and-tuck all the way. East Hampton led 14-12 after the first quarter, and the score was tied at 23-23 at the half. After three, it was 37-36 East Hampton.

    A 3-pointer by Kyle McKee after he’d rebounded a missed layup by Brendan Hughes treated the Bonackers to a 46-42 lead with about three and a half minutes to play. A floater in the lane by Shoreham’s Chuck Agius got 2 back, and, soon after, following a steal from Hughes, Shoreham took a 47-46 lead on a 3 by Agius, a shot that prompted McKee to call timeout.

    East Hampton inbounded when play resumed and Thomas Nelson made a strong move to the hoop, wresting the lead back for the home team with 1:51 left on the clock.

    It was at this point that things began to go sour, though Shoreham was almost as inept as East Hampton in crunch time.

    With 12.7 seconds remaining, and with East Hampton, as aforesaid, up by 1, Kyle McKee took a charge, much to the delight of Bonac fans. The ball got out on the inbounds play to Brandon Kennedy-Gay, a sophomore, who was fouled.

    Kennedy-Gay missed the front end of the one-and-one, Shoreham rebounded, and at the other end of the court Makoske knifed toward the basket as Kyle McKee once again tried to get in position to take a charge. This time, however, the foul was called on McKee, and Makoske answered the call, making the two free throws that were to win the game for the visitors.

    “It was a tough one,” Coach McKee said afterward. “There were too many turnovers at the end. We had our  opportunities, but we didn’t capitalize. It wasn’t lack of effort — it was lack of execution.”

    Though not under the boards: Nelson finished with 15 rebounds and Hughes with 13. In the first half, Hughes scored 10 points and grabbed 9 rebounds.

    Hughes finished with 12 points, Kennedy-Gay and Danny McKee, the senior point guard, each had 8, Nelson had 5, and Zach Tilstra had 2.

    East Hampton was to have played Elwood-John Glenn on Friday and at Eastport-South Manor, a nonleague opponent, Saturday, but both games were postponed — the Glenn one because testing had put its gym off limits, and the Eastport one because of the snowy weather.

    “We’ll play at Amityville Tuesday [Dec. 17] and at John Glenn on Thursday [today],” McKee said during a phone conversation Sunday. “That Glenn game has been changed three or four times.”

    “Well,” he said, referring to last week’s season-opening 72-69 win over Pierson and to the Shoreham nail-biter, “we’re keeping ’em close!”

More Hoops News
    East Hampton’s girls team on Dec. 12 defeated Southold 53-41 in a nonleaguer as Sophia DePasquale led the way with 13 points. Jackie Messemer and Ali Harned each had 10.

    In other local basketball news, Bridgehampton’s coaches were undoubtedly pleased to hear last Thursday that Tylik Furman, the Killer Bees’ sophomore point guard, who has a knee problem, had been cleared to play after Christmas.

    The Bees lost 69-64 to Ross (now a Class C school) that night, though Joe Zucker, one of Carl Johnson’s assistants, doesn’t think that will happen at Bridgehampton with Furman in the lineup.

    “The reason we lost at Ross,” Zucker said, “is that we went 9-for-23 from the foul line.”

    As for Furman, “We’ll be a different type of team with Tylik. He’s a real point guard, with some size and skills. He can bring the ball up the floor and score. With him anyone in our league is beatable. . . . If we get to the playoffs I like our chances.”

    Zucker added that Elijah Jackson, who led the Bees at Ross with 23 points, “has been coming on strong. He’s playing amazingly well for a freshman.”

    East Hampton, Bridgehampton, the Dalton School of New York City, and Southampton are to play in a Holiday Classic tournament benefiting the Southampton Recreation Center this weekend. The first-round games are to be played Saturday at Southampton, the consolation and championship games are to be played at East Hampton Sunday, at 1 and 2:30 p.m.