A small group gathered around L.C. Nelson during the girls basketball game here last Thursday night as he received on his iPhone periodic updates of the boys’ score from Elwood-John Glenn High School — a game that, unlike the girls’ contest, which Glenn was to win 64-21, went down to the wire.
“It was a big game for both teams,” Bill McKee, the boys’ coach, said following the 80-75 victory. “By winning we earned a playoff spot and knocked them out of contention.”
Going into it, Glenn had won two straight, over Mount Sinai and Bayport-Blue Point, teams that had wins over the Bonackers.
Bonac’s boys were to have finished the regular season this week. Amityville, undefeated in league play, was to have played here Tuesday, and McKee’s charges are to play the regular-season finale at Bayport tonight. The last time out, in a game played here, East Hampton lost 74-69 to Bayport in overtime.
“We’ve played four overtime games this season,” said McKee, “and won three of them.”
Things were going well for the Bonackers at John Glenn until, with two minutes left in regulation, the home team, thanks to some poor foul shooting by East Hampton and to a 3-point shot at the buzzer, rallied to tie the score at 65-65.
“It shouldn’t have come to that — we had a 61-48 lead with two minutes left,” said McKee. “But I was impressed by how we came back; a lot of teams would have folded at that point.”
East Hampton outscored Bayport 15-10 in the four-minute O.T. “Thomas Nelson, Thomas King, and Danny [McKee’s son] all hit tough shots in traffic, which gave us the lead again, and we went 7-for-9 from the foul line to keep it. . . . For the course of the game we made 30 of our 47 free throws, which is pretty good.”
Rolando Garces, an upperclassman who is especially effective driving the baseline, enjoyed a career night with 33 points, 6 steals, and 8 rebounds. Thomas King and McKee each had 18, and Brendan Hughes “had his usual steady game, with 10 points and 6 rebounds.” King had 9 boards.
While Amityville came in with a 73-53 win over his squad, McKee, during a conversation Monday, was not about to concede anything. “They’re undefeated, but they’re not unbeatable. If we shoot well, we could do it.”
As for the playoffs, “nothing’s going to be decided until after Thursday. Shoreham will play that night to see if it gets in . . . we could have five teams from our league in the Class A bracket.”