03/11/15 6:00pm
03/11/2015 6:00 PM
Mike Sage, directing Tuesday's indoor practice, is Greenport's new varsity coach. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

Mike Sage, directing Tuesday’s indoor practice, is Greenport’s new varsity coach. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

A quick scan of the Greenport High School baseball players loosening up their arms by playing catch is all one needs to notice the most obvious change in the Porters from last season: There are more of them.

Last year the Porters played mostly with only nine or 10 players, leading them to nickname themselves the “Notorious Nine.” With the start of preseason practice this week, the Porters are looking at about 20 players, quite a jump, although tempered a bit by the fact that they are not fielding a junior varsity team this season.

“Last year we were the Notorious Nine,” Greenport senior Matt Drinkwater said. “Now we’re the Twinkling Twenty.”

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11/20/13 11:01pm
11/20/2013 11:01 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Ev Corwin, Greenport's first new coach in 34 years, presiding over the team's first practice on Wednesday evening.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Ev Corwin, Greenport’s first new coach in 34 years, presiding over the team’s first practice on Wednesday evening.

Wednesday was a momentous day for the Greenport High School boys basketball program. In order to gain a better appreciation for the significance of the occasion, consider this: The last time the Porters opened preseason practice with a new varsity coach was in 1979. It was 34 years ago when Al Edwards began a long tenure that ended with his retirement this past spring.

It’s a rare changing of the guard in Greenport. Now the ball has been placed in the hands of one of Edwards’ former players and longtime assistant coach, Ev Corwin.

“I’m rarin’ to go,” Corwin said during an interview before the team’s first practice on Wednesday evening.

Corwin said he was anxious in advance of the most eagerly awaited practice of his life. “Once we get out there it will be business as usual, but I’ve been thinking about it all day,” he said.

Corwin must have also been thinking about the long journey that led to his new position. Way back in 1979, Corwin was a 7-year-old kid, watching the Porters play. He went on to become a ball boy for the team, and later was a guard for the Porters before graduating in 1990. For the past 14 years he served as the junior varsity coach. So, while his position is new, he is hardly new to the school or the program.

“It’s almost surreal because I kind of went from the ball boy to the player to Al’s assistant to here,” he said. “This is my home here, you know, so I’m just excited for the opportunity.”

And what about following in the footsteps of Edwards, a legendary coach who was in the first class to be inducted into the Suffolk County Sports Hall of Fame?

“I can’t really think about it too much,” Corwin said. “I’m just going to go in there and do what I’ve been doing. I’m really trying to focus on the task at hand. Sure, it’s a big event for some people because it’s not Al any more. It’s been Al since ’79.”

Corwin provides an interesting contrast to Edwards, both in temperament and preferred playing style. While Edwards was calm and reserved, Corwin is more prone to wearing his emotions on his sleeve. He joked that people may want to keep sharp objects away from him after a loss.

“I think we worked so well together because we were so different,” Corwin said. “He was very calm, collected. I think I’m a little more demonstrative.”

Timmy Stevens, a junior guard who played for Corwin’s junior varsity team for two years, said: “He lets his emotions out, but he cares about the game, that’s the thing, he cares. He cares about all of us.”

Corwin also prefers a more fast-paced game than his predecessor. Under Corwin, the Porters are expected to play more man-to-man defense, apply more defensive pressure on opponents, and take more chances.

“Coach Ev has different ideas than Coach Al,” Greenport’s 6-foot-4 senior center, Austin Hooks, said. “Coach Ev loves to shoot. He loves the three-ball. He likes ball movement and he likes fast pace.”

At the same time, Corwin recognizes that taking care of the ball is important. “If we throw the ball all over the gym, everyone is going to be calling for Al real fast,” he said.

The Porters are coming off a 10-8 season in which they lost to Pierson in a Suffolk County Class C outbracket game. Corwin said he likes the players he has to work with, including veterans like senior guard Gavin Dibble, senior forward Brian Tuthill, junior guard Angel Colon, Hooks and Stevens.

“I really believe in these kids,” Corwin said. “I wouldn’t want to coach any other kids.”

The coaching position may be new to Corwin, but the surroundings are anything but. Greenport High School’s Richard “Dude” Manwaring Gymnasium is a home away from home for Corwin, who lives two blocks away from the school. He has spent countless hours in this gym over the years. “I’ve always kind of been a familiar face around here, even moreso now,” he said.

Coming from a family with Greenport roots, Corwin not surprisingly embraces Greenport’s blue-collar style. He wants to see it reflected in his team’s play.

“That’s the only way that I know,” he said. “Nowadays I think you see a lot of one-man teams, you know. It’s something I don’t want any part of. I just really want a hard-nosed team that’s ready to kind of fight for each other, and I think if they can do that, I think success will follow.”

The start of the Ev Corwin era coincides with the start of the Ryan Creighton era. Creighton, the former star Greenport player who is Long Island’s all-time leading scorer with 2,799 career points, is Greenport’s new junior varsity coach.

“I couldn’t ask for a better guy than Ryan because we’ve been doing some stuff together now for a few months,” Corwin said. “He’s been great. He brings a whole new way of looking at things.”

For Hooks, the start of preseason practice is one of the big days on his calendar. Another big day is Greenport’s season-opening game at home against Stony Brook.

“I already have it marked on the calendar, December 6th, 6:15,” he said. “That’s when the intensity gets turned up.”

And the Ev Corwin era truly begins.

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08/02/13 12:30am
08/02/2013 12:30 AM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | The ball should be in Timmy Stevens' hands a lot more now that he has moved from playing on the wing to guard.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | The ball should be in Timmy Stevens’ hands a lot more now that he has moved from playing on the wing to shooting guard.

It would be hard to find someone who appreciates good shooting more than Greenport’s new head boys basketball coach, Ev Corwin. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Corwin thinks highly of his two sharpshooting guards, Gavin Dibble and Timmy Stevens.

“We have two of the better ones right here,” Corwin said. “I mean, these guys can light you up real quick, and I give them the green light. I think they like that. I yell at them for not shooting it.”

While Dibble, a senior, has already made a name for himself as a bona fide scorer, Stevens is a lesser known quantity — to those who don’t watch Greenport play regularly. But to those who follow the Porters, there is no questioning the value the junior brings to the team.

The query was posed to Corwin: Is Stevens an unsung hero?

“I think people who follow it know what his big strength is: scoring and just really playing exceptionally hard,” the coach answered. “If that’s unsung, then I guess. I just think that if you watch enough of our games, he just sticks out.”

Greenport’s regular back court last season was manned by Gavin Dibble and his older brother, Matt, who has since graduated. Stevens, who was a wing player, has been moved to shooting guard, which means the ball is in his hands more these days.

“I take the challenge,” he said. “I accept it. I just have to work on my ballhandling. Once I get that down, it shouldn’t be a problem.”

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Greenport's Angel Colon was at the center of a free-for-all for the ball during Thursday night's game against Westhampton Beach.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Greenport’s Angel Colon was at the center of a free-for-all for the ball during Thursday night’s game against Westhampton Beach.

Stevens is hardly a newcomer to playing alongside Gavin Dibble, though. In addition to two varsity seasons as Dibble’s teammate, the two have played ball in the same park for years, so familiarity is not an issue.

In the same back court, they help take pressure off each other. And they both have undoubted offensive ability.

“We both can shoot the outside jump shot,” Stevens said. “We both can take the ball to the rack.”

Corwin recalled a scrimmage against a good Riverhead team once when Stevens was on fire. Just about everything he threw up fell through the basket. The coach figured Stevens netted a dozen 3-point shots in that scrimmage.

“Sometimes I’m just feeling it, [and] it just seems like I can’t miss a shot,” Stevens said. “Sometimes it goes down, sometimes it doesn’t. When I’m off, I’m off bad, really bad.”

It’s not as if Stevens is a one-dimensional player, though. He brings a lot of other qualities to the table, particularly his endless hustling.

“He does a lot of the little things,” Dibble said. “He’ll get in there, rebound, take a charge, get some steals. Yeah, he does a good job with that stuff.”

Stevens said his game has improved, but he believes he can progress a lot more.

How about Dibble? Have there been any changes in Dibble’s game?

“Nope, the same Gavin,” Stevens said. “He scores in bunches, man.”

In a Town of Brookhaven Summer League game on Thursday night at Eastport/South Manor High School, Dibble poured in a game-high 23 points in a 43-41 win over Westhampton Beach.

At times Dibble looks unstoppable, such as when during Thursday’s game he charged into the lane, whirled and twirled through a maze of defenders, and made a layup.

“They used three or four different guys on him,” Corwin said. “He was frustrating that coach. He goes from shooting three steps beyond the 3-point line to beating you to the hole. I mean, that’s a good skill set.”

It was an impressive performance by the Porters (5-5) against the first-place Hurricanes (8-2). Austin Hooks provided Greenport with 12 points and 6 rebounds. Stevens had 5 assists to go with 5 points, 4 steals and 2 rebounds.

Greenport took the lead for good on a basket by Byron Rivas that made the score 31-29 early in the second half, opening an 8-2 run.

Westhampton Beach managed to cut Greenport’s lead to 41-39 when Luke Dyer made a free throw with 7.5 seconds remaining. But the reliable Dibble, who shot 8 for 10 from the foul line, sank both ends of a one-and-one with 6.2 seconds to go, essentially sealing the result.

“The effort these guys gave tonight, for a coach, that’s all you can ask,” Corwin said. “They played so hard. Up and down the floor, they don’t get a rest these guys. They just busted their tail. They got to be exhausted. I’m exhausted and I didn’t do anything.”

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04/25/13 8:15pm
04/25/2013 8:15 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Greenport third baseman Matt Drinkwater diving in vain for a ball that was hit into left field.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Greenport third baseman Matt Drinkwater diving in vain for a ball that was hit into left field.

WHALERS 12, PORTERS 1

Nobody has to tell the Greenport Porters that errors are part of the game. They know only too well.

With only two players, twins John and Matt Drinkwater, who devote themselves to baseball year round, the Porters are under no illusion. They know errors are bound to happen. Misplayed fly balls. Booted ground balls. Wild pickoff attempts. It all comes with the territory.

“Unfortunately, we don’t do a lot to help our cause sometimes,” said Greenport coach Chris Golden, who used the word “erratic” to describe his team’s defense this season. “On some days we make good plays. More often than not, the ball gets the best of us.”

Thursday was one of those days.

It was a day in which Greenport committed 11 errors that led to eight unearned runs in visiting Pierson/Bridgehampton’s 12-1 win. The Porters had two more errors than the Whalers had hits.

“It’s a lot to overcome,” said Golden.

Golden said it wasn’t the roughest fielding day his team has experienced this season. The Porters have been through this before.

“We have a lot of guys, they just don’t play baseball year round,” Golden said. “You’re asking guys to be proficient at something that really is a hobby” for them.

Asked about the fielding miscues, Matt Drinkwater said: “Baseball is a fickle sport. Sometimes it’s there, and sometimes it’s not there.”

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | John Drinkwater was victimized by seven of the eight unearned runs Greenport conceded to Pierson/Bridgehampton.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | John Drinkwater was victimized by seven of the eight unearned runs Greenport conceded to Pierson/Bridgehampton.

Not that first-place Pierson/Bridgehampton (13-1, 13-1), which is chasing a second straight League IX crown, really needed the Porters’ help.

The winning pitcher, Forrest Loesch, helped his own cause by driving in four runs as the Whalers completed a sweep of Greenport in the four-game series that saw the Porters outscored by 47-1.

In addition to rapping a two-run single and a two-run triple, Loesch allowed one run and three hits over four innings.

Aaron Schiavoni scored three runs and Tim Markowski knocked in two runs.

With the loss, Greenport (5-9, 5-9) needs to win five of its remaining six regular-season games (three each against The Stony Brook School and Southold) in order to claim a playoff spot. It may not be easy, but Matt Drinkwater said, “It’s definitely possible.” He added: “We’re going to try to take as many as we can from Stony Brook and take as many as we can from Southold, and hopefully we’ll be able to squeak our way into the playoffs. It’s still there. It’s still a possibility.”

It would also be quite an achievement. Golden said the last time Greenport reached the playoffs was probably during the 1980s.

In Pierson/Bridgehampton, the Porters saw a team they can aspire to be like. The Whalers are fundamentally sound defensively and don’t seem to have trouble retaining their sharpness, even in one-sided games.

“We talk about doing the little things all season, every day,” Pierson/Bridgehampton coach Jon Tortorella said. “It’s the little things, the stuff that almost seems like such a minor thing, but it adds up. It’s really the foundation of everything that you do.”

Greenport had some encouragement in the first inning when it brought in a run after successive singles by Austin Hooks, Matt Drinkwater and John Drinkwater. But it was all Pierson/Bridgehampton after that. Three-run rallies in each of the first two innings and a four-run burst in the fourth sent the Whalers well on the way to the victory.

Much of the damage suffered by the Porters was self-inflicted. Greenport’s starter, John Drinkwater, didn’t pitch badly, striking out eight over six innings. He gave up eight hits, four earned runs and three walks.

“If we cut down on the errors, we could compete with anybody,” said Greenport shortstop Timmy Stevens. “We just have to battle back from it sometimes.” Speaking of less experienced teammates, he said: “They’re young. They’re going to make a couple of mistakes here and there, but they’ll learn from them.”

Golden said it is not his job to berate his players when they make mistakes, but to offer encouragement.

“They feel bad,” he said. “You know, you make an error, you feel bad. There’s no sense compounding how they feel by making them feel worse.”

Matt Drinkwater said: “When we play good baseball, we play good baseball. It’s just when things start to go bad, the inexperience leads to more errors. When the game of baseball is played right, it’s like an art. It’s just a beautiful thing to watch.”

Other times, though, it’s not pretty.

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03/27/13 8:24pm
03/27/2013 8:24 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Greenport's starting pitcher, John Drinkwater, was charged with three earned runs and three hits over six-plus innings.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Greenport’s starting pitcher, John Drinkwater, was charged with three earned runs and three hits over six-plus innings.

KNIGHTS 6, PORTERS 1

The fickle nature of baseball may be one of its charms.

For six tight, tense innings, Smithtown Christian and Greenport engaged in a pitching battle on Wednesday. Strikeouts were not unusual (16 of them were recorded for the game), and hits seemed hard to come by.

Until the top of the seventh inning, that is.

That’s when Smithtown Christian made a breakthrough, starting with a leadoff walk by Timmy Gorton. It was the start of a six-run rally that cost the Porters a 6-1 defeat in their home opener.

“The pressure is intensified in the seventh inning,” Greenport coach Chris Golden said. “Basically, it’s who’s going to blink first?”

Jake DiNozzi (2 for 3), pinch hitter Glen Middendorf and Anthony Graziano each knocked in a run with a hit during the rally for the Knights (1-1, 1-1). DiNozzi slapped a single past the second baseman for the game’s first run. Middendorf’s single to center field fell to the ground as the center fielder slipped and fell, allowing the second run to score. A sacrifice fly by Zach DiBlanda, followed by Graziano’s run-scoring bunt single, made it 4-0. Graziano later scored on a fielder’s choice that Ronny Linsalato hit into. The Knights’ sixth run came courtesy of a double steal. Linsalato took off to steal second base, and Kyle Straker broke for home just as catcher Wilson Morales released the ball.

“Baseball is a momentum sport,” said Greenport sophomore John Drinkwater, who pitched well enough to win, but ended up taking the loss in his first varsity pitching start. “If one guy gets a hit, then the next guy gets a hit, then the bench gets fired up. Then the next guy gets a hit, and there’s not much you can do to stop it.”

Call it the snowball affect.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Neville Reese, one of three junior varsity players Greenport called up to the varsity team, trotted off the field after making a nice catch in left field of a hard-hit ball by Vinny Ciaravino in the third inning.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Neville Reese, one of three junior varsity players Greenport called up to the varsity team, trotted off the field after making a nice catch in left field of a hard-hit ball by Vinny Ciaravino in the third inning.

In what amounted to little more than some final bookkeeping, Greenport (2-1, 2-1) scored its sole run in the bottom half of the inning. Two batters after Matt Drinkwater clubbed a stand-up triple, Austin Hooks crushed a single to center field to bring him home.

Five of the game’s nine hits came in that final inning.

“Those are my favorite kind of games, the zero-zero score in the seventh inning,” John Drinkwater said. “And then you got to do it with your bat. Somebody’s got to make a big hit.”

Smithtown Christian was a bit unfortunate not to have touched home plate earlier in the game. A mix of John Drinkwater’s pitching, some good Greenport defense and just plain bad luck kept the Knights scoreless for six innings.

John Drinkwater might have liked to duplicate what his twin brother, Matt, did two days earlier when he tossed his first career no-hitter in Greenport’s season opener at Shelter Island. Interestingly, John is a left-hander while his brother is a righty.

John Drinkwater was charged with three earned runs and three hits in six-plus innings. He had six walks and six strikeouts before tiring after throwing around 100 pitches and making way for Hooks.

The odds were stacked against Greenport. The Porters were facing a Smithtown Christian team that reached the state regional semifinals last year and went 14-7, the best record the team ever had, according to coach Craig Gorton. Only three starters graduated from that team. As if that wasn’t enough, the Porters had to make do without two first-string players, catcher Christian Angelson and outfielder Ivan Novick, who were both out of town on trips.

To help out, Greenport had three callups from the junior varsity team: left fielder Neville Reese, right fielder Willie Riggens and designated hitter Jason Van Brunt. It was Riggens’ varsity debut.

“They were nervous,” John Drinkwater said, “but they played great through the nerves.”

Reese may have saved a run single-handedly with his speed and his glove. In the third inning, with a runner on base, Reese made a quick course correction for a nifty backhanded grab of a ball laced by Vinny Ciaravino.

“That might have been the play of the game,” said Golden.

Craig Gorton, referring to that play and a couple of others by Greenport’s defense, said: “That’s the game of baseball sometimes. You don’t get the breaks. We finally got some breaks in the seventh inning.”

Linsalato picked up the win, throwing four innings of two-hit ball in relief of Ciaravino. Ciaravino gave up two hits, no walks and struck out six in his 45-pitch effort over three innings.

“We played excellent,” Greenport shortstop Timmy Stevens said. “We can’t get down on ourselves. They’re a pretty good team. They hit the ball well. We just have to work on hitting. I think our team is very defensively sound. If we play a good defensive game, we have a good chance to beat anybody in our league.”

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02/12/13 8:48pm
02/12/2013 8:48 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Greenport's Austin Hooks, who got into early foul trouble, maneuvering near Pierson's Ian Barrett under the basket.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Greenport’s Austin Hooks, who got into early foul trouble, maneuvering near Pierson’s Ian Barrett under the basket.

SUFFOLK CLASS C OUTBRACKET GAME | WHALERS 63, PORTERS 41

When the Greenport boys basketball team is on top of its game, whipping passes around the court and draining one outside shot after another, it is a sight to behold.

Tuesday night was not one of those occasions.

The story of Greenport’s season could be summed up in one word: inconsistency. Certainly, when the Porters are playing well, they can give an opponent a lot to worry about. But Tuesday’s Suffolk County Class C outbracket game was one they would prefer to forget.

With the exception of the game-opening basket, Greenport never led and was ousted by Pierson, 63-41, in Sag Harbor. No. 2 seed Pierson (12-7), the defending county champion, will have the opportunity to retain its title Thursday when it will play top-seeded Stony Brook (14-3) in the county final at Westhampton Beach High School.

“The third quarter we were hanging for a while, and then it seemed like they got on a good streak where they were knocking down threes and we just couldn’t recover,” Greenport coach Al Edwards said. “We were just not strong enough to keep fighting waves like that. After a while we were just on our heels, you know, just can’t recover.”

Tuesday was not Greenport’s night in a number of ways. Injury and foul trouble cost Greenport (10-8) the use of its two best rebounders, Billy Doucett and Austin Hooks. Doucett sprained his left ankle and exited the game with 1 minute 39 seconds remaining in the first quarter. It was the end of the senior’s high school playing career. Hooks picked up his third personal foul early in the second quarter and didn’t return to the game until 5:27 into the third quarter. By then Pierson was holding a 40-29 lead.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Timmy Stevens of Greenport, firing a shot over Pierson's Ian Barrett, led the Porters with 17 points.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Timmy Stevens of Greenport, firing a shot over Pierson’s Ian Barrett, led the Porters with 17 points.

“We picked up the momentum and moved the ball more and made some good shots, but when we lose one of our best rebounders, it’s kind of hard to battle back from that,” said Greenport sophomore Timmy Stevens, who led the Porters with 17 points. “They’re a scrappy team. They move the ball, they do everything. It’s kind of hard to defend them.”

Jake Bennett was undoubtedly the player of the game. Bennett, one of six Pierson seniors playing for the last time in their home gym, provided the Whalers with 18 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. But perhaps just as valuable was the contribution he made that didn’t show up as clearly on the statistics sheet.

Pierson, as it usually does, assigned Bennett to guard the opposing team’s most dangerous offensive player. In this case, it was Gavin Dibble, a genuine long-range threat. Dibble, with Bennett in his face much of the time, was held to 11 points.

“They had a great game plan,” Edwards said. “They take Gavin out of the game — most teams do that — and then they put the best defender on him so that he’s not a factor, and he’s not the one that beats you.”

Pierson coach Dan White has seen Bennett blanket opponents before. “He’s something else,” White said. “He’s rare. I’ve played a lot of basketball, and I’ve never met anyone like him.”

And Bennett wasn’t the only one. The Whalers brought hustle and energy to the court. Greenport’s shots weren’t dropping for a reason. The Porters shot 33.3 percent from the floor and made only 7 of 25 field-goal attempts in the second half.

“Our defense is our backbone,” said White, whose team had 7 more rebounds and 9 less turnovers than Greenport.

For a while, though, Greenport played its best basketball without Doucett and Hooks on the court. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Stevens and Dibble enabled Greenport to cut Pierson’s lead to 33-29. But then Pierson’s transition game led to some easy layups. The Whalers closed out the third quarter on a 14-2 run, Ian Barrett scoring 7 points during that spurt.

“We don’t have anybody who’s 6-4, jumping, dunking, knocking down threes,” White said, “but I have a lot of kids who play year-round, work on their skills and play for each other and care for each other.”

Barrett put up 16 points and 8 rebounds for Pierson, and Patrick Sloane added 14 points and 8 rebounds. Joey Butts provided 6 assists.

Matt Dibble of Greenport passed for 8 assists.

Bennett said the victory was good medicine for Pierson. “We were struggling in that last half of the season,” he said. “We were struggling to get through games. Practices were starting to lack energy.”

Now, he said, “We’re ready to roll.”

Greenport’s inside game — its Achilles’ heel — was exposed, especially when Doucett and Hooks were on the bench.

“That’s the story,” Edwards said. “Which team is going to show up? Are we going to hit the jumpers? Are we not going to hit the jumpers? Are we going to have a halfway good inside game? You can’t win without an inside-outside game.”

NOTES
With its playoff loss, Greenport bids farewell to its seniors: MATT DIBBLE, BILLY DOUCETT, CHRIS MANWARING, BRYANT RIVAS and RICH WYSOCKI.

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01/11/13 9:56pm
01/11/2013 9:56 PM

PORTERS 69, KNIGHTS 61

On a high school boys basketball team that has dead-eye outside shooters like Gavin Dibble, Matt Dibble and Timmy Stevens, it’s easy for someone like Billy Doucett, who does the vital grunt work, to be overshadowed, but he shouldn’t be overlooked.

The hard-working Doucett’s value to the vertically challenged Greenport team is unquestioned. Along with Austin Hooks, he is counted on to hit the boards and bring energy on defense. Doucett did all of that and more on Friday night, and it made a difference.

Greenport, which trailed for most of the game, used a 23-1 run in the second half to turn the tables on Smithtown Christian and post a 69-61 win in Smithtown. The Porters saved their best for the end, striking for 34 points in the fourth quarter. Greenport knocked down five 3-point shots, including three by Stevens, in the fourth quarter.

For a few uneasy moments while Doucett was being attended to by a nurse on the court in the first quarter, one wondered if the senior would be able to play the remainder of the game. While pursuing a rebound from a missed free throw, Doucett took an elbow to the bridge of his nose. He went to the bench with a bloodied nose with 3 minutes 39 seconds left in the first quarter. Fortunately for the Porters, Doucett returned to the game the following quarter and went on to produce 13 points, 9 steals, 7 rebounds and 4 assists.

“I think he had an amazing game, amazing,” Stevens said. “He did everything. He rebounded, played defense, tough defense, and scored. That’s all you can do in a game. … If we lost him, we probably wouldn’t have come back. He actually set the tone in the third quarter.”

And what a second-half revival it was for Greenport (6-4, 4-2 Suffolk County League VIII), which had played a lackluster first half and trailed by as many as 13 points at 24-11.

Smithtown Christian (1-7, 0-6) held a 31-21 lead at halftime, but its coach, Dan Skaritka, knew it wasn’t enough. The Knights’ team motto is “never enough,” as in never enough points, never enough of a lead.

Skaritka said: “I always tell my guys: ‘It’s not enough. We got to keep the pressure, keep it going.’ ”

He proved to be right.

After a rough first half during which it shot 7 of 27 from the field, Greenport hit 15 of 26 field-goal attempts in the second half. The Knights, who led by 12 points after Charles Bellini sank a pair of free throws with 2:45 to go in the third quarter, saw Greenport whittle away at their lead.

“We just started moving the ball, and when we move the ball we find open players, and when we find open players we get good shots,” Stevens said. “Most of the time when we move the ball, good things happen.”

Gavin Dibble stuck a 3-point shot to put Greenport ahead, 45-44, with 5:29 remaining in the fourth quarter. It was the first of four straight treys by the Porters, the others coming from Stevens, Stevens again, and Gavin Dibble again.

The Porters were in front to stay.

“They had us on the ropes, man,” said Greenport’s relieved coach, Al Edwards, who cannot recall the last time Smithtown Christian had beaten Greenport. “The tide changes, you know.”

Speaking of his players, Skaritka said, “I guess they just lost it mentally.” He added, “This was probably one of the bigger comebacks I’ve seen in a while, which is disappointing.”

Gavin Dibble led the scoring for Greenport with 19 points. Hooks added 15 points and Stevens had 13. Matt Dibble collected 11 assists.

Greenport was able to withstand a 26-point performance by Smithtown Christian’s Caelan McCabe. Bellini put in 12 points before fouling out with 25 seconds left in the game.

Greenport’s fourth-quarter output represented 6 more points than it mustered in a 38-28 loss to The Stony Brook School three days earlier. That’s life for a team that lives and dies by the 3-pointer. For a team like that, it’s handy to have a player like Doucett around.

Asked for his job description, the 6-foot-2 Doucett said: “I would say rebounding and passing the ball are the two things I do best. When the team needs me to score, I’ll score. I’m pretty much whatever the team needs me to be.”

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