KILLER BEES 68, FIRST SETTLERS 36
Winning a league championship is nice. Going unbeaten through a league season is even nicer. Just ask the Bridgehampton High School boys basketball team.
Fourteen Suffolk County League VIII games played, 14 league games won. Bridgehampton showed why it has a 17-1 overall record, putting the finishing touches on the regular season Friday night and winning in resounding fashion at Southold High School. When the game ended, the scoreboard showed the Killer Bees on the positive end of a 68-36 score.
Because Southold (10-8, 8-6) is expected to be on the road for its playoff game, it was believed to be the final game for Liam Walker and Southold’s seven other seniors in their own gym. The First Settlers have qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2010.
Bridgehampton had already clinched its first league title in about five years, but this is the Killer Bees’ first undefeated league season since 1998, according to coach Carl Johnson.
Southold hopes it didn’t lose more than just a game. One of its top players, sophomore guard Pat McFarland, left the contest after absorbing a charge by Bridgehampton’s big Josh Lamison with 50.5 seconds left in the third quarter. McFarland laid on the court while he was attended to. He looked dazed as he slowly walked off before being examined further. Southold coach Phil Reed said McFarland told him he was hit in the mouth.
Bridgehampton’s size and athleticism was too much for the First Settlers, who struggled with their shooting, making only 15 of 59 field-goal attempts (25.4 percent). The Killer Bees, meanwhile, shot 24 of 52 (46.2 percent), and hit nine of their last 10 shots.
Bridgehampton also did well at the foul line, sinking 19 of 25 free throws.
The First Settlers, cheered on by their energetic fans, never led and trailed by 30-16 at halftime. They twice came as close as within 12 points of Bridgehampton in the third quarter before the Killer Bees opened the fourth quarter on a 10-1 run. Later, Bridgehampton closed the game on a 13-2 charge.
Charles Manning (21 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks) and Elijah Jackson (18 points) led Bridgehampton offensively. Tylik Furman chipped in 12 points and Lamison, who was credited with 11 points, was a major force on the boards, pulling down 18 rebounds.
Despite battling a cold, Walker still paced the First Settlers with 15 points. Pat Mejsak had 10.