Hampton Bays traditionally has the misfortune of a schedule laced with the East End’s powerhouses, but this season, it’s the other way around – the Baymen look like the team that will be hard to beat.
Take Bridgehampton on Thursday, December 12. The Bees have had a good old time of it playing against Baymen of yore, and the thought of an 85-39 blitzkrieg probably never entered their minds, even during a rebuilding season.
But sometime midway in the first quarter — during which the home team outscored the Bees 31-3 — it became apparent: Hampton Bays is an explosive team, at least at this level.
The winners drilled 11 treys, and coasted to an 85-39 victory despite substituting liberally. Lucas Brown had 22 points and eight rebounds to lead Hampton Bays (5-0) in non-league. Kyle Rodriguez scored 15 points and Jaden Ottati added 14 points.
That, folks, was victory number five as the Baymen have coasted through the non-league portion of their schedule undefeated, having beaten Ross three days earlier 72-40. That’s not to imply Hampton Bays has been playing Class D teams: a quality win against West Islip December 6 proved a portent of what was to come.
The Bees have dropped their first three encounters by huge margins. The two best players went off and found more competitive teams, including the coach’s son. It’s not a good situation.
We’ll know a lot more after the holiday break. Hampton Bays has five games, including a home encounter against archrival Southampton on January 7 and at Mattituck January 10.
Did we mention Mattituck? The Tuckers just so happen to be undefeated as well, and just so happen to be positioned in League VII with — you guessed it, Hampton Bays. That means the two teams will probably be squaring off for first place.
Mattituck is 4-0, its latest victim being East Hampton on December 10. Bonac was ice cold in the first stanza, and the home team was on fire, nailing threes from all over the floor and building a 19-6 advantage. But these Bonackers can shoot some as well, and slowly rallied from a nine-point deficit to pull within single figures late in the third. The final was 78-58.
In the final analysis, though the winners had a deeper, more talented team, each squad has a legit star. Xavier Allen had 34 points and 13 rebounds to lead Mattituck. Chris Nicholson added 15 points and nine rebounds and Luke Woods had 14 points and eight assists. Liam Leach and Luke Reese each scored 12 for East Hampton, and Frank Belluci and Logan Gurney, 10.
Incidentally, Allen is currently the fifth leading scorer in Suffolk with a 26.3 points average. Mattituck will square off against Shelter Island on December 28 on the North Fork: Luca Quigley-Dunning leads the Indians with 25.5 points per game.
East Hampton is 3-3 on the young season after losing at Islip 55-44 on December 12. Reese had 17 in a losing cause. Bonac travels to Kings Park on January 3.