FIRST SETTLERS 68, PORTERS 54
The chants echoed throughout the gym in Southold High School. On one end of the bleachers, the Southold students screamed with all their might. On the other end, the Greenport fans matched them.
Throughout the 32-minute League VIII game Thursday night, the fans for both teams strained their vocal chords to outdue each other, shouting in unison to support their team.
At one point, a chant of “you can’t do that!” from one corner of the crowd was met by a chant of “yes we can!” which was countered by “no you can’t!”
The fans had reason to be hyped. For three quarters, the teams went back-and-forth, flying up and down the court exchanging baskets in a game where neither team led by more than five.
The teams entered the fourth quarter tied at 46, setting up for what appeared would be a photo finish. But the First Settlers, a team that came in well ahead in the standings, wore down the Porters in the final quarter and pulled away for 68-54 victory. The final score hardly represented the action on the court.
Greenport trailed by five with under four minutes to play. Senior Patryk Mejsak sank a pair of free throws for Southold to push the lead to seven with 3:13 left. Just under a minute later, Mejsak grabbed an offensive rebound and went up for two plus a foul. The three-point play gave Southold its biggest lead of the game at that point. The Settlers quickly expanded on it when Shayne Johnson raced up the court on the break and dished off to Pat McFarland who scored plus a foul.
Just like that, Southold led by 13.
Greenport connected on just one field goal in the fourth quarter.
Southold senior Liam Walker led all scorers with 24 points. He was one of four players in double figures. Johnson and Mejsak scored 13 and McFarland added 11.
Timmy Stevens led Greenport with 16 and Bayrone Rivas added 10.
Southold picked up an important win to improve to 10-5 overall and 8-3 in league. The Settlers will close the season against the three toughest opponents in the league — Stony Brook, Pierson and Bridgehampton. Southold lost to each team the first time around.
Greenport fell to 3-13 and 2-10 in league.
The Porters led for much of the first half. Southold came back to tie the game at the half at 27. It set up an electric third quarter, where it seemed like the teams couldn’t miss at times. Each team scored 19 points in the quarter.