Boys Basketball: Undefeated no longer, Mattituck meets its match in Southampton

Mattituck saw first hand what a well-oiled basketball machine looked like on Thursday night. That machine was called the Southampton Mariners.

Nothing could stop Southampton as they came out the gates and simply scored at will. Behind the play of two standout sophomores, Southampton defeated Mattituck, 89-54. 

The gym at Mattituck High School was packed as it was a premier matchup with both teams coming into the day undefeated in the league. The Tuckers just reeled off four wins in a row with victories over Southold, Greenport, Pierson and Port Jefferson. But today was different. If it wasn’t the smooth stroke of Tyson Reddick picking Mattituck apart then it was old-school shake-and-shimmy of Naevon Williams, who found a way to get to the rim at any time he pleased. Southampton just could not be stopped.

Williams scored 25 points and Reddick added 23 points to lead the Mariners. Hard to believe the two guards are only sophomores.

“That’s not even their best player,” Tuckers head coach Paul Ellwood said. “Derek Reed is their best player. We were keying in on him and he realized that. He’s a senior and a smart kid so he decided to be the distributor today and set up his teammates.”

LEFT: Mattituck senior forward Marc Zappulla goes to the rim for the Tuckers at home against Southampton Thursday night. RIGHT: Mattituck senior forward Gavin Richards shoots for the Tuckers at home against Southampton Thursday night. (Credit: Bill Landon)

It’s a true testament of a great team. The fact that your best player doesn’t need to lead the team in scoring to win speaks volumes.

“We just played the by far the best team in our league and arguably the Class B county, if not Long Island,” Ellwood said. “This isn’t the last time we’re going to see them. Maybe we will match up in the county. We’ve just got to get better.”

Southampton (3-0 League V, 7-3 Overall) did a great job at slowing down Mattituck’s leading point-getter in Mike Mowdy. He still led the team with 21 points but more often than not he was met with a double team as soon as he got the ball.

“Herm Laminson does a great job coaching his guys up to take away the other team’s best player,” Ellwood said. “Mowdy is our top scorer so of course you’re going to try to take him away and have someone else beat you.”

Mattituck (3-1 League V, 5-4 Overall) did get some production from others in the lineup with Gavin Richards scoring 11 points and Marc Zappulla chipping in 10 but they needed more. Even though they were losing big, the Tuckers never dropped their heads throughout the game. They kept battling and trying to do what they do best.

“There’s a lot of good things to take away from today,” Ellwood said. “Yes, Southampton was making shots. But they weren’t open. We had hands in their faces. You can’t get upset if a kid makes a contested shot. I was happy my kids stayed in there and didn’t get frustrated.”

The Tuckers will look to get back to their winning ways next Tuesday as they take on Center Moriches. 

“We missed some shots, had some turnovers, but all those things are fixable,” Elwood continued. “We’re going to get back in the gym tomorrow and work on what we have to work on in order to get a little better.”