25 Years Ago in Bonac Sports: 04.12.18

Local Sports History

March 11, 1993

Bridgehampton’s Bobby Hopson introduced himself to a nationwide television audience Tuesday night, and the millions of hoop fans who tuned in to ESPN said, “Wow!”

Hopson, a junior guard for the Wagner Seahawks, quite simply turned in one of the most memorable performances seen this year on the college basketball channel, scoring 32 points during what turned out to be a heartbreaking 65-64 loss that deprived Wagner — and Hopson — of a berth in the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament.

Over and over, Hopson drilled one unbelievable shot after another. The ESPN broadcasting team of Ed Murphy and Tom Bees took turns praising the slender 5-foot-10-inch scoring machine.

“This a fine, fine ballplayer. . . . He’s putting on some show! . . . I don’t believe this guy! . . . What a piece of work!”

Wagner was playing Rider College for the Northeast Conference championship and a berth in the big dance. The Broncs were led by Derrick Super, one of the nation’s top scorers, who, as it turned out, matched Hopson basket for basket throughout the game.

. . . Super finished with 33 points, prompting Murphy to exclaim, “These are two of the better players around — two top guns.”

Hopson made 11 of 17 field goal attempts, five of six charity tosses, and four of five 3-pointers. Most of those came from well behind the line, prompting ESPN to show a slow-motion graphic of Hopson releasing the ball to illustrate how strong his wrists are.

“I don’t care . . . the Big 10, the A.C.C., anywhere. This kid [Hopson] could play for anyone, I guarantee it,” Bees exclaimed. — Rick Murphy

 

March 18, 1993

The Killer Bees of Bridgehampton, forced to travel 200 miles for a state high school playoff Monday, couldn’t quite handle undefeated Tuckahoe High, the third-ranked team in the state.

The loss ended a sterling season for the locals, who will have to settle for being League VII co-champions, Long Island Class D champions, and Suffolk County Class C-D champs. Those titles proved little consolation to the Bees and their coach, Carl Johnson, who had their sights set on a state title.

 


It was already 9:30 p.m. when Jimmy (The Mauler) LaGarenne showed up in front of Della Femina restaurant with his skates and equipment on a recent Monday. The Roman brothers, Dave and Danny, were already waiting with several others. Where the hell was Cebulski, though?

The group was a bit restless. After all, the rink was over an hour away, and their precious ice time would start ticking off at 11 p.m. sharp. It was bad enough getting back to East Hampton at 3 a.m. on a work night; sacrificing ice time was out of the question.

. . . Mr. LaGarenne and Bob McCall of Amagansett are spearheading an effort — backed by the Monday night crew and a host of other ice and roller hockey players around town, to build a regulation hockey rink on town-owned land off Abraham’s Path. The group has drawn up plans for the facility and lobbied the town to permit it if funds can be raised. 

— Josh Lawrence

 

March 25, 1993

Jim Nicoletti, East Hampton High’s baseball coach, is hoping to get a good crowd out next Thursday, April 1, to celebrate the construction by volunteers of home and visiting team dugouts at the Long Lane field.

Without the donations of materials and time, “they would have cost well in excess of $30,000,” estimated the coach, who added that “they didn’t cost the school district anything.”

Rick Slater was the project coordinator. Bob Lenahan, an architect, drew up the plans. Dave Griffiths was the general contractor. Joe Smith was the mason, and Henry Lester and Robert Walton were the painters. Their names, and the names of many other volunteers as well, are to be on a plaque affixed to the home team’s dugout.

 


With 13 “still young” players back from last year’s team, including his entire pitching staff, and six hitters who topped .300, East Hampton High School’s baseball coach, Jim Nicoletti, is, needless to say, optimistic.

The weather has not been kind, but it rarely is at this time of year. Saturday was the first day in two weeks of practice that batters were able to hit against live pitching. 

Should his pitchers come through, as Nicoletti hopes they will, the looming season should be a good one. “Each of them [Paul Poutouves, Steve Quick, and Guy Ficeto] has the potential to be dominant. They’re all hard throwers. It will come down to whether they can stay ahead of the hitters.”

The above-named will be backed up by Kevin Somers and Ross Gload, both juniors, and Pat Coyle, a senior, all of whom saw mound action last season.

At the plate, East Hampton should not be lacking. As aforesaid, six returnees — Gload, Somers, Pat McCarty, Coyle, Todd Carberry, and Henry Meyer — hit over .300 in ’92. The team’s average last season was .292.