March 2, 1989
The Bridgehampton High School Killer Bees proved lethal Saturday as they stung East Hampton 65-63 to win the county small schools basketball championship for the second time in four years.
Saturday’s showdown at Smithtown East High School marked the first time in 21 years that two South Fork teams were county finalists, though in 1968, when Pierson and Southampton met, it was for the overall county championship. Since 1984, large school (A) and small school (B-C-D) champions have been crowned in separate tournaments.
While it was the third appearance in the small schools final for the Killer Bees since 1984, it marked the debut for East Hampton, the League Seven champion, coached by Ed Petrie, who coached Pierson in the ’68 title game that was won by Southampton.
The Bees had lost twice to the Bonackers in the regular season by scores of 85-70 and 70-58. “I never expected we’d win the county title,” said the Bees’ coach, John Niles. “Especially with this team. In ’86, we were supposed to win. In ’87, we should have won. But this team wasn’t supposed to win. That long pass Joe [Niles] made to Bobby [Hopson] was the key, that and Bobby’s foul-shooting at the end. The two kids I’d want to have on the line for me when it counts are Bobby and Kenny Wood.”
“I don’t know what we were doing out there,” said Petrie, shaking his head afterward in the locker room. “It seemed we were sleepwalking at times. Their defense wasn’t the problem, we weren’t scoring. We let ourselves get put in a hole in the third quarter, and in the process of digging out of it we ran out of time.”
“As to why teams play tentatively, coaches don’t have the answers,” he continued. “You see it happening to good teams all the time. If I knew the answer, we wouldn’t do it,” he said with a laugh. “But Bridgehampton played well. They deserved to win.”
March 9, 1989
For Bridgehampton’s Killer Bees, who lost Saturday, 84-78, to Sugar Loaf in the class D regional final, there’ll be no taste of honey, but for the Bonackers, who handily defeated Lynbrook 73-58 in Sunday’s class B southeast regional game, it’s good tidings: East Hampton, as a result, is to play this weekend in the Final Four at Glens Falls.
As it is, the Bonackers, the only team among the Final Four not to be ranked in the State Sportswriters Association’s top 20, may be wading in over their heads. Meanwhile, the team, led by New York’s all-time public high school scorer, Kenny Wood (2,580 points), is delighted to be heading north.
East Hampton’s opponent in a semifinal-round game to be played at 9 p.m. tomorrow at the Glens Falls Civic Center is Gloversville (25-1), the top-ranked B team in the state.
From the Albany area, Gloversville is riding the crest of a 17-game winning streak; virtually the same team was a state semifinalist last year. “We’ll have to have a great game to beat them,” said East Hampton’s coach, Ed Petrie. “Though I’m not saying it’s impossible.”
Bridgehampton would probably be making the trip too, had it not been for the fact that its star senior center, Duane White, fouled out of Saturday night’s regional final with Sugar Loaf with six minutes and 28 seconds left to play. “If Duane doesn’t foul out, we win,” said the Bees’ coach, John Niles, afterward.
The game was tied at 62 when White was charged with his fifth foul as he defended against Sugar Loaf’s 6-9 center, Delaine Kelley, who had grabbed an offensive rebound and was going up for a basket. “That was a cheap call,” said Niles. “Duane went straight up.”
“It was a terribly reffed game,” he added. “I very rarely complain about the refs, but, hey, let’s call it both ways.” The fouls called against Bridgehampton outweighed those called against Sugar Loaf 22-11.