Identical twins Angel and Jose Rivera had an eerily similar game on Tuesday for Bay Shore. They each scored eight points in a dominant first quarter. They each sat much of the second quarter with two fouls. Both picked up their third foul in the third quarter and both fouled out in the fourth.
And both Riveras had to watch, tensely, from the bench as the host Marauders managed to hold off Central Islip, 50-48, in a Suffolk II thriller in which Bay Shore lost all of an 18-point third-quarter lead and had led 18-4 after one quarter.
“They do everything the same,” Bay Shore first-year coach C.J. Leary joked of his 6-2 juniors.
“Just a coincidence,” responded Angel Rivera, who scored 19 points before joining his brother on the bench with his fifth foul that occurred just after Justin Headley’s three-pointer from the corner gave the Musketeers their first lead of the game at 48-47.
“They went to a zone in the second half and that’s our nemesis. We got a little passive,” Leary said. “Then it was tough without the twins in the fourth quarter.” Jose contributed seven rebounds and three steals to go along with his eight points, and Angel grabbed six rebounds and took a pass from his brother to sink a side jumper that gave Bay Shore (4-2) a 45-40 lead with 5:21 left.
But after Headley’s trey, the only one of the game for Central Islip (4-2), Leary told his team during a timeout, “Just play as hard as you can and demand the guy next to you plays as hard as he can, and good things will happen.”
One of the good things that happened was that strong forward Jordan Drain snaked inside for a layup that gave the Marauders a 49-48 lead with 2:55 left. Drain scored eight points, as did point guard Kyree Sawyer, who made a free throw with 6.6 seconds remaining for the final point and kept his composure after the Riveras fouled out.
Headley led Central Islip with 19 points and Malik Clark had 10 as the Musketeers overcame a 35-17 deficit early in the third quarter with an all-court trap that confounded Bay Shore and forced many turnovers. Central Islip had several opportunities to retake the lead late, but did not score in the final three minutes and missed all six of its free throws down the stretch, including three one-and-ones.
“I didn’t panic. I still thought we’d win, even after they got the lead,” Sawyer said. “There was plenty of time left.”