Northport came out with an ice-cold touch for its Suffolk Class AA semifinal against Smithtown West on Saturday at Eastport-South Manor, shooting just 2-for-11 in the first quarter. The Tigers fell into a 10-point hole late in the period.
"We just had to stay composed," junior guard Brendan Carr said.
They did. The Tigers didn’t miss in the second quarter. Nine shots, nine makes. Carr hit three of them in a 57-second stretch, including two threes. The game had spun.
Second-seeded Northport led the third-seeded Bulls by seven at halftime and went on to take a 62-50 win — their 15th straight — thanks in large part to Carr hitting six threes and scoring 28 points and senior forward Nick Watts adding 14.
"We have a lot of players on our team who have been in a lot of big games," coach Andrew D’Eloia said. "When you have senior leaders who have been in that type of moment, it can really carry you through.
"I think Smithtown West is a fantastic basketball team. They have an excellent coach [Michael Agostino] and they’re a class program."
But it’s Northport (20-2) that’s bound for the final at 2 p.m. next Saturday at Smithtown East against No. 1 Brentwood or No. 4 Hills East. Their semifinal will be completed Sunday after being suspended at halftime Saturday because a Hills East fan had a medical issue.
"The job’s not finished yet," Carr said.
Patrick Burke scored eight of his 21 to help the Bulls grab a 13-5 lead after one quarter.
Smithtown West still led 23-20. Then Carr went on his 8-0 run.
The Tigers took a 30-23 advantage into the locker room after the 9-for-9 showing.
"They made tough shots," Agostino said.
Northport began the third with a 7-1 burst that made it 38-24. Smithtown West didn’t score from the floor in the period and trailed 41-27.
The lead shrunk to 52-44 with 1:47 left, but Carr countered with a three and two free throws for five of his 14 fourth-quarter points.
"I definitely was feeling it," Carr said. "My teammates were finding me."
The Bulls were 21-1 with 11 straight wins and had been chasing the program’s first county title.
"We competed; we played hard; we lost," Agostino said. "They just played a little better today."