All the pieces are in place. This could be a special high school boys basketball team that Greenport has.
The Porters have big bodies in the form of Julian Swann and Sam Strickland. They have the considerable skills of freshman phenom Ahkee Anderson. They have plenty of talent from others, too. Tashan Lawrence, Jordan Fonseca and Darrius Strickland, just to name a few.
The Porters have something else: unselfishness.
Friday night’s game at Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School was an opportunity for the Porters to fatten up their statistics, which they did to some degree. More importantly, though, they spread the wealth, and that may be what coach Ev Corwin liked best.
Anderson was a big part of that ball movement. The guard accounted for a triple-double as Greenport pressured Mercy into 27 turnovers in a 79-42 non-league blowout.
Anderson, who is averaging 18.2 points per game in his first varsity season, filled up his stat line by registering 16 points on 8-for-12 shooting in addition to collecting 12 rebounds, 10 assists, two steals and a block. Lawrence was Greenport’s high scorer with 23 points as nine Porters made it into the scoring column. Twenty-seven points, including nine from Matt Tuthill, came off the bench.
Greenport (3-2) had Mercy (1-5) on its heels from the start. Matt Kneidl and John Venesina both returned to the starting lineup after injuries, but not even their presence was enough for the Monarchs to slow down the fast-breaking Porters.
Using its pressing defense, Greenport squeezed 14 turnovers out of Mercy in the first quarter alone, which ended with the Porters holding a commanding 34-7 advantage, 13 points coming from Lawrence, a senior forward.
Things only got worse for Mercy from there as Greenport extended its lead to 46-9. Hot-shooting Greenport knocked down 47.6 percent of its field-goal attempts and went 10-for-23 from beyond the three-point arc.
Mercy didn’t reach double figures until Allan Zilnicki hit a jumper from just inside the key, making it 46-11. By halftime it was 56-13. The Porters led by as many as 52 points when a Strickland bucket made it 71-19 late in the third quarter.
Zilnicki, a junior forward who has been averaging over 20 points per game, scored 24 of Mercy’s points. He had little help, though.
After losing its first four games, Mercy rebounded with a win over Shelter Island before taking on Greenport.
Photo caption: Greenport’s Tony Anderson attempts a shot over Bishop McGann-Mercy’s Aidan Martin. (Credit: Garret Meade)