No one saw it coming, no one at all.
Yes, the fans that filled up the Greenport High School gymnasium knew all about the game that pit the two best teams in Suffolk County League VIII against one another Wednesday night. But no one would have figured or predicted that Greenport would have recorded a resounding 80-48 victory over Bridgehampton.
No one at all.
It was a stunning result, considering both teams came with undefeated league records and sizable winning streaks, the Porters (9-5, 5-0) with five in a row, the Killer Bees (9-5, 4-1) with a six-game run.
Guard Ahkee Anderson demonstrated he was one of the best freshmen in the county behind an imposing performance of 25 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds and five steals.
Anderson and the Porters broke open a close game late in the third quarter. Leading by a 43-41 margin, Greenport closed out the game with a remarkable 37-7 run, as its man-to-man, ball-hawking defense forced the Killer Bees into several vital turnovers. Moreover, the Porters held the Killer Bees scoreless over the final 10 minutes and 17 seconds.
Anderson led the way by scoring eight points during that spurt while Jordan Fonseca (five steals) added six of his 13 points.
It was far from a two-man show for the Porters as head coach Ev Corwin cleared his bench and had 11 players write their name onto the scoresheet.
The two most impressive performances off the bench were sophomore Jaxan Swann, who contributed 10 points, including a pair of treys. Darius Strickland added 10 points on baskets off his drives. Jack Webster, who is just getting his basketball legs back after suffering a concussion early in the season, added four points, though both buckets came at important times.
In contrast to the finish, the game started off as a tight one.
In fact, the teams matched basket for basket until early in the second quarter. Anderson sank one of his two triples only 28 seconds after the opening tip-off before Elijah Jackson (12 points) matched it with a trey of his own 20 seconds later. Fonseca hit a reverse layup and Elijah Jackson (team-high 19 points) canned two foul shots.
And on it went.
The game remained a back-and-forth affair and tied until Strickland put in a layup with 6:46 remaining in the second quarter for an 18-16 advantage. Only 17 seconds later, Anderson sank a layup and a foul shot for a five-point bulge.
These two rivals will meet again at Bridgehampton on Feb. 10. Despite their high standing in the league, it will be the final time they will play each other this season. Greenport is a Class C school, Bridgehampton a Class D school.
Photo caption: Ahkee Anderson rejoices after being taken out of the game before Greenport put the finishing touches on its victory over Bridgehampton. (Credit: Garret Meade)