Featured Story
01/16/18 9:23pm
01/16/2018 9:23 PM

Win-loss records can be deceiving. They don’t always tell the whole story.

Take the case of the Southold High School boys basketball team, for instance. Southold’s 3-10 overall record tells the story of a young team with a tough non-league schedule. The story within that story, however, says something else entirely: Southold has won three of its last four games and is 3-2 in Suffolk County League VIII. READ

Featured Story
01/12/18 9:20pm
01/12/2018 9:20 PM

Babylon has reached six straight Suffolk County boys basketball finals for a good reason. The Panthers are tough to beat. Year in, year out, coach Chris Morra puts a good product on the court.

Given that understanding, Mattituck had to feel good about the effort it turned in Friday night at Babylon High School. The result? Not so much. READ

Featured Story
12/28/17 10:03pm
12/28/2017 10:03 PM

Before he gave his halftime talk to his Mattituck High School boys basketball team, coach Paul Ellwood had a personal message for Xavier Allen after his sophomore guard had missed all four of his foul shots in the first half.

“I don’t want you to listen to anything I have to say at halftime,” he told him. “I just want you go get back out there and get on the foul line.” (more…)

Featured Story
12/20/17 8:32pm
12/20/2017 8:32 PM

Well before the festivities began, Al Edwards was shaking hands with friends in the stands when all of a sudden, a round of impromptu cheering erupted: “We — are — proud of you! We are proud of you!”

Those words were directed at Edwards.

The night was all about Coach Al, as the former Greenport High School boys basketball coach is known. Edwards, whose retired No. 33 jersey hangs high on a wall at the school’s Richard “Dude” Manwaring Gymnasium, now looks down upon Coach Al Court.

Edwards is Greenport basketball royalty, now more than ever.

The court was officially dedicated in Edwards’ name Wednesday night. “A long time in coming,” said athletic director Chris Golden, who called Edwards “a true Greenport legend.”

When Edwards joined Golden at center court for the pregame ceremony, he received a standing ovation. Then he whirled around to recognize the applause from all quarters and reciprocate.

Standing in the middle of a bigger, brighter gym than the one he played in when he wore a Greenport uniform, Edwards, 63, addressed the crowd. He expressed thanks to Greenport staff members, other coaches, his former players and his wife, Denise. He choked up when he spoke of how his parents taught him to “work hard, to always be the best you can be.”

The Porters (4-1) took those words to heart and beat Mattituck, 80-59, in a non-league game, with a career-high 40 points and eight assists from Ahkee Anderson and 23 points and 12 assists from Jaxan Swann. Jude Swann, Jaxan’s brother, collected 16 rebounds to go with six points, six blocks and four assists.

“Everyone was calling it Coach Al Day, so we all wanted to try to put on a show for him today,” said Anderson.

Xavier Allen, who is Anderson’s cousin, led Mattituck (5-2) with 18 points. Ryan Seifert added 13 and H’Nadahri Joyner had 10. Isaiah Johnson had eight points and 10 assists.

But, first and foremost, the storyline was about Edwards, who starred for Greenport as a player before going on to play for East Carolina and then returning to coach the Porters for 34 years.

After the game, Edwards said, “It adds a little extra touch that my name’s on the floor in Dude Manwaring’s gym.”

There’s a good reason why Edwards has been called Mr. Greenport Basketball. As a player, he scored 2,117 points for Greenport (all before the three-point shot was introduced) and was recognized as a New York Daily News All-American. After taking over from Manwaring as the team’s coach in 1979, his teams won 383 games, 12 league championships and 10 Suffolk County titles. He also guided the Porters to three straight trips to the state final four, including an appearance in the state Class D final in 2009. Edwards was among those in the first class inducted into the Suffolk County Sports Hall of Fame.

“It’s really been a pleasure to say that I coached at Greenport High School,” Edwards told the fans in attendance. “I really appreciate the support from everybody out here.”

Being in the glare of the spotlight is not something Edwards prefers, those who know him say. “I know Al doesn’t like the public stuff, but I could tell this meant a lot to him,” said Greenport coach Ev Corwin.

The first thing Mattituck coach Paul Ellwood mentioned when asked about his thoughts on Edwards was how he maintained his calm demeanor while coaching.

“Everyone would be going crazy, the players on the floor and the fans, and he was always calm and he was always even keel no matter what was the situation,” Ellwood said. “He had been there, done that. So the kids really fed off that. That’s why I think Greenport always played so well in big games, because of Al’s confidence and calmness.”

In a postgame interview, Edwards said: “The turnout was overwhelming. I just hope that the Porters can continue their winning ways and put another banner on the wall.”

It would go well with the name on the floor.

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Photo caption: Former Greenport player and coach Al Edwards applauds the fans during the pregame ceremony in which the school’s basketball court was dedicated in his name. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Featured Story
11/28/17 9:06pm
11/28/2017 9:06 PM

Greenport High School christened its new-look gym in style Tuesday night. Not only is there a new floor on Coach Al Court, which will be dedicated to former Porters coach Al Edwards on Dec. 20, but there are also snazzy new purple bleachers with the letters “GHS” spelled out in gold.

But what Greenport may have liked best of all was the harassing, pressure defense it applied in its 86-31 season-opening win over Bishop McGann-Mercy. The Porters’ swarming defense, Ahkee Anderson’s second career triple-double and a career-high 23 points from Jaxan Swann all contributed to the non-league blowout. READ