Davis’ 35 points aren’t enough for Wildcats in Bayport

BAYPORT — A malfunctioning scoreboard clock at Shoreham Wading-River High School last Thursday forced the boys basketball team to switch its game to Bayport-Blue Point High School two days later. That delay did not stop two of Suffolk County’s top senior guards from lighting up another scoreboard on Saturday.

Shoreham’s Kevin Davis did his part, pumping in 35 points.

“If you would have told me that he would have scored 35 points earlier today, I would have guessed that we’d lose,” said Bayport Coach Kyle Black.

Black had a senior guard of his own. Adam Berlin netted a season-high 33 points — 23 in the second half — to lift the hosts to an 80-71 Suffolk County League VI win. Bayport improved to 8-1, 3-1 while Shoreham dropped to 5-4, 2-1.

“It was a very intense atmosphere,” Black said. “It felt like a playoff game.”

“It was a tough one,” Davis said, adding, “it was a good fight.”

Both players used similar skills to put on a show. They hit three-point shots, drove to the hoop and converted free throws under pressure.

On one side of the court was the 5-foot-11 Davis, touted by Coach Kevin Culhane as an all-county player. He entered the encounter second in the county to Half Hollow Hills West’s Tavon Sledge (26.5 points), averaging 25.0.

So, Davis has been a marked man. Bayport’s Andrew Ptacek and Ross Drzal took turns covering him.

“They geared the whole defense on him,” Culhane said. “He played a good, all-around game. It’s tough when defenses are constantly geared to what you do all the time. At his size, it’s a testament to how hard he plays all the time.”

Added Black: “He’s such a terrific player. I have such respect for him. All of the kids have a lot of respect. We were able to stop him at key times when we really needed stops. We gave all of our effort to guard him and he scored 35 points.”

On the other side of the court was the 5-10 Berlin, who entered the game averaging 16.1 points.

“Berlin absolutely had a great game,” Culhane said. “He had a couple of clutch shots.”

Berlin was clutch down the stretch, connecting for 13 fourth-quarter points. He sank all of his six foul shots in the final 68 seconds.

“He has a great outside shot and he finds a way to split in between people in the paint and finish,” Black said. “He opens things up for our other guys.”

Berlin opened things up for center Gary Farley (16 points) and Drzal (15 points). That turned out to be crucial because Shoreham did not have another player break double figures. Center John Kovach had nine points.

Davis’ 11 points and substitute Kevin Galligan’s eight points helped the Wildcats to a 23-16 first-quarter advantage. Ptacek’s basket gave Bayport a 41-40 lead it never relinquished 1:24 into the third quarter during a 15-5 tear that opened the second half.

Foul trouble caught up with Shoreham in the third quarter. Forward Michael Clancy fouled out at 2:25 and forward Christopher Higgins was called for his fifth and final foul with 41.4 seconds remaining.

Culhane had Brandon Warner ready to enter the game after Higgins’ fourth foul.