Bellport's Samir Bell scores while covered by Northport's Quinn Reynolds  in...

Bellport's Samir Bell scores while covered by Northport's Quinn Reynolds  in the first quarter during a Suffolk Class AA boys basketball quarterfinal on Friday at Bellport. Credit: Bob Sorensen

Samir Bell knew one team would wear down eventually, and the Bellport senior ensured that team wasn’t his.

No. 3 Bellport squandered a 12-point first-quarter lead over No. 6 Northport in the Suffolk Class AA boys basketball quarterfinals at Bellport High School on Friday night.

The visiting Tigers gained momentum, but Bell didn’t fold. He scored 26 points, including eight in the fourth quarter, to lead Bellport over Northport, 60-56.

“Whether we score or not, we’re going to keep going at them because someone’s going to wear down eventually,” Bell said. “And it won’t be us. We’re ready for this moment.”

Late in the fourth quarter, Bellport’s Joel Ferebee scored on a putback while being fouled. He sank the free throw to put the Clippers ahead by two points with 1:01 left.

Ferebee got his second block on Northport’s ensuing possession. “Everybody had to lock in and do what we do,” he said.

Northport missed a contested corner three-pointer with 11 seconds left and Bell grabbed the rebound. Xavier George, who scored eight points, hit a foul shot and put the game away.

Bell scored 13 points in the first quarter as Bellport (16-4) took a 21-9 lead.

But Northport (16-6) switched to a 1-3-1 zone in the second quarter and pressed the Clippers once they crossed midcourt. The Tigers pulled to within three points at halftime.

“Our game plan was to push the pace and get on a run. We couldn’t get on a run because [Northport] killed us on the boards,” Bellport assistant coach Rich Brown said. “[Northport] rebounded the ball well today and in the second quarter. That’s what limited our possessions and slowed us down.”

Miller (19 points) scored nine baskets around the rim, and Brendan Carr added 12 points with two three-pointers for the Tigers. But Bellport never trailed by more than five points, and with 1:49 left in the game, Miller fouled out.

The Clippers are riding an eight-game winning streak and have won five games decided by five or fewer points this season.

Bellport will face No. 7 Brentwood at Longwood High School at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the semifinals, inching closer to the school’s first county championship since 1985.

“Northport’s a great team,” Bell said. “But we’re Bellport and that’s what we do. We win. And we’re going all the way. That’s the plan.”

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