Misery may love company, but when the Shoreham-Wading River and Hampton Bays high school boys basketball teams, which took a combined three league wins into Thursday night’s game, faced each other, Shoreham wasn’t feel so good.
Shoreham might have been looking forward to the rematch. After all, the first time the teams played on Dec. 19, the Wildcats recorded a 47-36 victory. That was Shoreham’s last win. The Wildcats have lost 10 straight since.
Hampton Bays got revenge on its home court, hammering Shoreham, 60-41, to keep alive its slim playoff hopes. The Baymen (6-9, 3-8 Suffolk County League VI) need to win their remaining five games in order to reach the postseason.
Not that Hampton Bays’ longtime coach, Pete Meehan, wants to talk about the playoffs. “As long as I’ve been doing this, I never use the word playoffs,” he said.
Meanwhile, last-place Shoreham (1-15, 1-11) had already seen its playoff hopes dashed.
“Too many turnovers, too many missed shots, not enough solid defense,” Shoreham coach Kevin Culhane said after the game. “Today was a total collapse from the third quarter till the end.”
A wild three-pointer by Xavier Arline (11 points) off an inbounds pass from Kyle Boden at the buzzer ending the first half cut Hampton Bays’ lead to 30-26.
But Shoreham didn’t have an answer for junior guard Antonio Scotto, who brought Hampton Bays 24 points (12 on three-pointers) to match his uniform number. Senior forward David Krieg added 13 points, 15 rebounds, three blocks and two assists before fouling out with 2 minutes, 38 seconds left in the game. Lucas Brown chipped in seven points, nine rebounds, six assists and five steals.
Hampton Bays built leads as large as 15 points in the third quarter and 22 (three times) in the fourth.
“We got down and we lost confidence and were unable to get the ball in the hoop,” said Shoreham forward Andrew Blanco.
Shoreham guard Matt Moran said: “We are our own worst enemy. It’s been really tough.”
It hasn’t been an easy season for Shoreham, playing in an unforgiving league. Meehan can sympathize with what Culhane and the Wildcats are going through. “It’s a tough league,” he said. “This is as good of a league as there is.”
He continued: “I consider Kevin a close, personal friend. We keep in touch. We commiserate with each other.”
Culhane said he tells his players that adversity reveals a person’s character.
Asked about how rough the season has been, Moran said: “This is a real challenge. This makes us who we are. It makes us men.”
Photo caption: Shoreham-Wading River coach Kevin Culhane with his players before Thursday night’s game in Hampton Bays. (Credit: Bob Liepa)