Nick-Of-Time Win For East Hampton

Fight under the backboard during a basketball match

It’s pretty easy to figure out the East Hampton boys basketball team is this year’s version of The Cardiac Kids.

Fans know the type: Every game is life and death, every basket contested, and every match-up comes down to the final seconds.

The Bonackers accept that — it comes with the territory, especially in Suffolk’s League V, where any team can jump up and steal a win at any time. But after one-point losses to Mattituck and Bayport/Blue Point, East Hampton needed one to go their way.

Thankfully, Friday, December 14, was one of those games. Playing at Shoreham-Wading River — never an enticing proposition — the Bonackers went nip and tuck with the Royals, with neither team able to take control of the fray. Bonac led by one after the first quarter, was behind two points at the half, and up by one, 29-28, after three.

Then the two teams got down to business, opening up the floor and filling the air with basketballs. In all, the two teams landed 15 treys for the evening, but it was a bomb by Liam Leach with 15 seconds remaining that proved the difference as Bonac prevailed 49-48.

Leach ended with six for the day; Turner Foster had 16, including two treys; and Malachi Miller scored 14, including three from beyond the arc. Thomas Bell led all scorers, with 22 for the Royals.

Three nights earlier against Bayport/Blue Point, Bonac should have won — the home team was given every opportunity to come back from a one-point deficit in the final minute including a phantom foul with a couple seconds left in the contest. County scoring leader Pierce Prendergast drilled both shots from the charity stripe to secure a one-point win, 73-72.

Excuse Coach Dan White if he feels his team has been snake bitten. The team was designed to revolve around senior bruiser Vladimir Rodriguez, who averaged a double-double last season and was the only pure rebounder with any height, at six-foot-four. But the youngster is out for the year with an injury and that requires a hastily convened Plan B.

“We’ll have to put pressure on the ball. We have to get there first,” White said.

The Bonackers will be busy during the holiday break, hosting Saville at 6:15 Saturday. Road games follow against Westhampton on January 3, Mt. Sinai (January 5), and Wyandanch (January 8).

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