Bridgehampton continued its quest for a 10th state public school title on Friday evening as Nae’jon Ward scored eight of his 24 points in the fourth quarter to help the Killer Bees eke out a 63-61 victory over Academy Charter for the Long Island Class D title at Center Moriches.
Bridgehampton is the Suffolk champion for a 26th time, but this is its first Long Island championship; Nassau County hadn’t fielded a Class D entry to face it before.
Jacqhr Carr made the first of two free throws with about three minutes remaining, missed the second and got the offensive rebound. He put it back up for a basket to put Bridgehampton (14-9) in front for good. Those were Carr’s only points.
Ward made four free throws down the stretch to seal the win for the Bees, who advance to play Section IX champion Roscoe in the regional semifinal at 6 p.m. Monday at Mount St. Mary’s College in Newburgh. Elijah White had 18 points and JP Harding 16 for the Killer Bees.
“[Carr] made a tremendous play right there,” Bridgehampton coach Ron White said. “He’s always in the right place at the right time.”
“At 5-6 he’s small, but he has a real knack for the game,” White continued. “He plays a smart.”
Bridgehampton is the Suffolk champion for a 26th time, but this is its first Long Island championship for only its first; Nassau county hadn’t fielded a Class D entry to face it before.
“We feel really fortunate to have won,” Elijah White said. “We had to stick together to beat a good team. We feel we are ready to move on, but recognize there is room to keep growing.”
Ron White said he and the Killer Bees broke down several of their losses and “we could see that in a lot of those games we had done things to beat ourselves. There’s been a maturation. We’ve come to understand what it takes to be competitive. We need to take the shots we want to take and not the shots [opponents’] defense leaves for us. We have to focus on executing on our possessions and be less focused on the final score. If we do that, the score should take care of itself.”