Bonackers' Hoops Coach Optimistic

The feather in the boys’ cap was a 3-point overtime “win” over Riverhead
Turner Foster, with the ball, and Jack Reese, alongside him, will lead the charge this winter. Jack Graves

Dan White, who is in his second year coaching the East Hampton High School boys basketball team, said following Saturday’s multiteam scrimmage at Mattituck, a scrimmage that also included Riverhead and Greenport, that he was “optimistic” when it came to the coming season.

East Hampton’s girls team scrimmaged too this past week, at Pierson High School in Sag Harbor on Nov. 22, and afterward Kelly McKee, Bonac’s coach, said that he was pleased with his numbers this year — he had 18 players available to him that day — in contrast to the eight he had on his varsity squad last winter. The plan apparently is to harry the opposition with waves upon waves of subs, who, it is hoped, will convert at least some of the turnovers.

The feather in the boys’ cap, as it were, was a 3-point overtime “win” over Riverhead after that school had jumped out to a 10-point lead. Led by their senior point guard, Jack Reese, the boys moved the ball well in that scrimmage, and shot well — Malachi Miller’s 3-pointer, following a steal by Reese, putting the Bonackers over the top, 44-41.

White’s optimism was not unbridled, however. “We’ve got to do better in transition, both offensively and defensively, but we’re unselfish, and I like that. We had a very young team last year, and it’s still a young team, with half a dozen sophomores and juniors, but we’re more experienced. The kids have been playing in the off-season.”

To bolster the program in general, White is reviving Biddy basketball sessions at the John M. Marshall Elementary School Saturday mornings this winter, beginning Dec. 9.

Third and fourth graders are to play from 8:30 to 10 a.m., fifth and sixth graders from 10 to 11:30, and seventh and eighth graders from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., said White, whose varsity players will help him.

The season begins in earnest with the Kendall Madison Tip-Off tournament here this weekend. Mattituck and Pierson are to play at 5 p.m. tomorrow, with East Hampton and McGann-Mercy to follow, at 6:15.

The varsity consolation and championship games are to be played Saturday, at 4:30 and 6 p.m.

“We’re hoping for an East Hampton-Pierson final,” said White, who was the Whalers’ coach before coming here.

The tournament, which includes junior varsity games, is to benefit the Kendall Madison Foundation, which each year presents four-year college scholarships to East Hampton High School seniors. This year’s winners were Andrew Wilson and Alex Rutkowski. The scholarships require that their recipients “give back,” by mentoring younger East Hampton student-athletes.

The girls squad, which has seven seniors on it — Maddie Schenck, Jayleen Schiappacasse, Danielle Lackner, Sophia Ledda, Melanie Barros, Tallulah Marino, and Olivia Brauer — is to play a nonleague game at Pierson Saturday at 3 p.m. It will follow up with its league opener against Kings Park here on Tuesday at 6:45 p.m.

The boys were to have scrimmaged yesterday at Wyandanch — a team that it upset in league play at the end of last season — and are to scrimmage at Huntington Monday. The Bonackers are to play a nonleague game at Southampton on Dec. 11, at 6:30 p.m.

Moreover, Bridgehampton’s Killer Bees are to play a mandatory nonleaguer with Babylon at the Bee Hive Wednesday, at 6 p.m., the same day that the Pierson Whalers are to play a mandatory nonleaguer at Center Moriches, at 5.

Joe Vas, East Hampton’s athletic director, said during a recent conversation concerning winter sports that East Hampton will field a varsity wrestling team rather than pursue talks for the moment about combining with South­ampton, whose wrestling program is also struggling.

Anthony Piscitello, a Ross School teacher, will be back coaching the team, whose numbers dwindled to eight or so last winter. There are 16 on the squad at the moment, Vas said. East Hampton is — as was the case last year — combined in the sport with Pierson, Ross, and Bridgehampton. 

Jim Stewart, East Hampton’s former longtime varsity coach, thinks that the program will right itself here in the near future, given the encouraging number of participants in the lower grades.

Boys swimming promises to be competitive, said Vas. Craig Brierley has 35 on his squad, which is based at the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter. The winter track teams, by contrast, were thin, the A.D. said, with 12 to 15 on the boys team, coached by Ben Turnbull, and with half a dozen on the girls team, coached by Yani Cuesta.

East Hampton may revive its bowling team next winter, Vas said, at the East Hampton Indoor-Outdoor Tennis Club’s large Clubhouse annex — whose offerings are to include bowling. Billed as a family fun center, the Clubhouse is expected to be up and running come the spring.

The athletic director said in parting that he has begun providing up-to-date East Hampton High School sports news, photos, and videos on a Twitter account that can be summoned up on the school’s website, easthamptonschools. org.