First Half of Friday’s Game Was Fun

They played the Redmen pretty much toe-to-toe
Jack Reese (24) has been putting up great numbers insofar as scoring and assists go, but he can't do it all.

In boys basketball games in the latter part of December, East Hampton High’s team was fun to watch in two of them, though not so much fun to watch in the third, played here Friday with East Islip, the League V leader at the moment at 5-0. 

Not so much fun to watch in the second half, rather. The Bonackers were fun to watch in the first, during which they played the Redmen pretty much toe-to-toe.

East Hampton trailed by only 4 points with about five minutes gone in the third, but the visitors closed it out on an 11-0 run to enter the fourth up 53-38. The visitors went on to win 75-52.

Christian Harty, one of the Redmen’s guards, got the end-of-the-third-quarter run going as he outmuscled Turner Foster for a rebound and put the ball back, after which, on two successive drives down the court, following East Hampton misses, he tacked on a 3 and a 2. 

At that point, with the Redmen leading 49-38, East Hampton turned the ball over, resulting in another East Islip basket, and, in the final seconds, an alert rebound by Harty of a teammate’s miss resulted in yet another East Islip basket, by their chief threat, Jordan Mosley, who was to finish with a game-high 30 points.

“I thought we did well in the first half,” Dan White, East Hampton’s second-year coach, said afterward. “It’s our defense that we’ve got to improve. We knew 12 [Mosley] was their best player. It’s basic things — closing out, boxing out, keeping guys in front of you . . . we’re letting it get too stretched out. . . . I’ve got to do a better job.”

Jack Reese, East Hampton’s hard-playing senior point guard, was particularly effective in the first quarter, with 9 points, four assists, and one steal — his last basket a buzzer-beating 3 from the left corner that treated the Bonackers to a 19-18 lead. But, in the end, he couldn’t do it all. After scoring 19 points through the first three quarters, Reese went 0-for-4 with one assist in the fourth before White, with almost two minutes left, and with the game long out of reach, took him out.

The period referred to above began with a 70-68 overtime loss here on Dec. 19 to Harborfields, a loss more or less foreordained with the foul-outs of East Hampton’s two big men, Chris Stoecker and Bladimir Rodriguez Garces, though Noah Lappin, who came off the bench, played tough in their absence, scoring the basket that sent the game into O.T., at 64-64, and giving (assisted again by Malachi Miller) East Hampton a 67-66 lead midway through the four-minute overtime before taking a charge at the other end of the court.

A free throw by Reese made it 68-66, Harborfields tied it on its third try moments later, and, with 41 seconds left a Harborfields player, with Bonac fans raising the roof, missed twice from the foul line. 

The visitors hung in there, however. A reverse layup eluded the outstretched arms of defenders and went through the nets with 18.8 seconds left. East Hampton inbounded the ball, which went from Miller to Reese and back to Reese, whose attempt to tie the score with one second left went awry. In going for the rebound, Max Proctor was fouled, sending him to the line with another chance to tie it up.

His first shot went off the rim, as did his second, and that was it.

Reese finished with 24 points. He was to score 20, and Rodriguez Garces 26, at Hauppauge on Dec. 21. East Hampton won that game 69-63, without Stoecker or Foster.

As of earlier this week, East Islip, as aforesaid, led League V at 5-0, followed by Westhampton Beach, at 4-0, Kings Park, at 4-1, Harborfields, at 3-2, East Hampton, at 1-3, Rocky Point, at 1-3, Sayville, at 1-3, Islip, at 1-3, and Hauppauge, at 0-5.