There is no such thing as a perfect basketball game, but one statistic was quite telling for the Greenport High School boys team on Wednesday night.
Head coach Justin Moore didn’t have to call a timeout in the Porters’ 71-41 win over the Ross School in its home opener.
“I guess he just didn’t really have much to say today,” said Leon Creighton.
That’s because Greenport was hitting on many cylinders for a good portion of the Suffolk County Division V game.
And why get in the way of a good thing?
“When things are going well, I don’t want to slow up the momentum of the game or the rhythm that some of the kids are in,” Moore said.
After starting the season with three consecutive losses, the Porters were relieved they got their first win under their belts.
“It was a big boost,” said Creighton, who finished tied with point guard Kal Marine with a team-high 19 points apiece.
“A lot of the people on our team thought we could have been better, and we weren’t playing as good as we should have,” Marine added. “But I think this first one really helped us think that we’re a good team. Now we have confidence, and we can make it fun.”
It certainly was fun at times on Wednesday night as the hosts did things right at the right time.
It seemed whenever the Porters needed a basket, they would sink one.
“Even if we’re missing [shots] in our first couple games, we were staying confident,” Marine said. “We shoot if we’re open, and today it was just falling.”
Whenever they needed a three-point shot to give them some breathing room, someone would hit one. They canned 9-of-19 attempts, which came out to 27 points or 1.5 points an attempt, an excellent rate at the high school level.
“We definitely got some shooters on the team,” Creighton said. “Tonight, we’re just hitting most of our shots.”
Whenever they needed a key rebound, center senior Justus Horton (12 points) would grab one.
“When we got rebounds, we were able to fast break,” Marine said.
Whenever they needed a turnover, Creighton, Taiquan Brumsey (13 points) or a teammate would produce one as the ball-hawking Porters forced Ross into giving away the ball 26 times. Greenport had only 10 turnovers.
“A lot of that comes with staying focused and working hard,” Moore said.
“It was a big collective effort by everybody.”
The Ravens took a 2-1 edge on Mason Ackerman’s rebound basket with six minutes and 16 seconds remaining in the first quarter before the Porters took control by reeling off the next 17 points to grab an 18-2 advantage by the end of the quarter. Marine connected on two of his game-high four treys and Brumsey added two.
Yet, the Porters weren’t satisfied with the first period.
“Today we came out slow,” Moore said. “I think it was jitters. Some of the players were playing with the varsity at home for the first time with a big crowd. In the second half, we definitely calmed down, focused on D.”
Greenport hit a bit of speed bump in the second quarter when Marine was forced out of the game with a nosebleed. That allowed Ross to play the hosts essentially even and keep its hopes up of getting back in the game.
Creighton, however, did his best to hold the visitors at bay, scoring six points in the period to help the Porters to a 29-15 halftime advantage. He continued to hold up his end of the bargain with 11 points in the third quarter, showing a repertoire of shots by scoring off a turnover, a drive, a lay-up and a three-pointer as Greenport extended its lead to 50-26 by the end of the quarter.
“He is our main scorer, our point guard,” Creighton said. “We just had to pick up our game, do what we had to do until he got back in there.”
Marine returned with 4:22 left in the period.
“It was very important to get him back again,” Moore said. “He’s making sure everybody’s where they supposed to be. … It definitely made everybody else comfortable.”
Creighton passed the proverbial baton to Marine, who scored 10 points in the final quarter as the Porters never let up.