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Boys Basketball: Greenport freshman feels growing pains

Only eight games into his high school career, there is little doubt that Greenport High School guard Ahkee Anderson has established himself as one of Suffolk County’s top freshmen players.

After all, he is averaging a head-turning 15.8 points a game as the Porters (3-5) look to open their League VIII season against Port Jefferson on Friday.

“It is impressive,” assistant coach Ryan Creighton said. “He carries the team well. He came in, he steps up.”

Yet, the 5-foot-10 Anderson is going through some growing pains through his first month on the varsity team and he’ll be the first one to admit he has plenty of room for improvement.

This isn’t CYO ball. This is school ball and Anderson is competing against bigger, taller and more experienced players.

“It has been a big adjustment,” Anderson said after the Porters dropped a 70-57 decision to East Islip in the consolation game of the Anthony Parlato “Help Someone Today” Memorial Classic on Friday. “My game had to change totally different. Playing kids my age, it came to me a lot easier, but now I really have to work for everything that I do. It’s … a lot against better competition.”

Anderson learned how difficult it can be in the tournament. He finished with a season-low eight points in the opening loss to Center Moriches and added 12 points against East Islip.

“Today he had a bad game like everyone else,” Creighton said after the East Islip encounter. “He has had a lot of growing pains, so it has been bothering him today. As a player, he’s smart. He tries not to force anything, tries to get his teammates the ball.”

Like as he did with a pinpoint pass to Julian Swann to cut East Islip’s lead to 11-9 with four minutes and 21 seconds remaining in the first quarter. But a few other times he threw the ball away for a frustrating turnover.

Hey, remember, Anderson is only a freshman. He will get better.

But he certainly has had his moments this season. In his varsity debut, Anderson connected for 23 points in a 63-54 loss at Hauppauge on Dec. 1 before equaling that achievement in his third game, adding five treys and a season-high 12 assists in a 66-34 home triumph over Mattituck on Dec. 9.

Asked what he has learned this season, the freshman replied, “There’s always room for improvement and that I have a lot of heart and stuff to play against the bigger kids.”