KENDALL MADISON TIP-OFF CLASSIC | TUCKERS 67, WHALERS 59
It’s just two games into the high school boys basketball season, and Mattituck already has a title and a shiny new addition to its trophy case.
Chris Dwyer, Dan Fedun and Parker Tuthill scored 14 points each while Mattituck’s defense played tough in a 67-59 defeat of Pierson in the final of the first Kendall Madison Tip-Off Classic on Saturday night in East Hampton High School’s dark gym.
The Tuckers (2-0) pulled ahead when Will Gildersleeve, Fedun and Tuthill scored the last three baskets of the first half. They then led for the entire second half, except for a pair of short-lived 1-point Pierson leads. The Tuckers finished the third quarter strong with three straight baskets by Tuthill.
Pierson’s hopes faded a bit when Dwyer nailed a 3-point shot to give the Tuckers a double-digit lead for the first time at 59-49 in the fourth quarter. Shortly after that, one of Pierson’s starters. Robbie Evjen, fouled out with 3 minutes 15 seconds to go.
But the Whalers stayed close enough to make things interesting. A hoop by Benk Ushner and a wide open 3-pointer by Andrew James cut Mattituck’s lead to 61-56. A Fedun basket, two free throws by Gildersleeve and a pair of foul shots by James Nish over the final minute sealed the result.
During the awards ceremony, Bridgehampton coach Carl Johnson was given the honor of presenting the golden basketball-shaped trophy to Mattituck coach Paul Ellwood, who then passed it on to his captains before the team posed for photographs.
Despite scoring only 2 points in the final, Mattituck’s Joe Tardif was announced as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. The junior guard, who had 5 assists, received the award in recognition of his defense, hustle and ball distribution.
Dwyer and Tuthill were both named to the all-tournament team.
The fourth player to score in double figures for Mattituck was Gildersleeve with 10 points. He also hauled in a team-leading 9 rebounds.
Mattituck’s bench outscored Pierson’s reserves by 25-6.
Stephen Musnicki led four Pierson players in double figures with 15 points. James and Ushner added 11 each, and Sean Sloane had 10 points to go with 7 assists.
The Tuckers opened their season Friday with a 40-31 win over Westhampton Beach in the first round of the tournament. Nish scored 12 points and Tardif had 10 points and 7 rebounds. The Tuckers closed the game on a 14-5 run.