Bridgehampton again falls to Chapel Field in Southeast Regional semifinal
FLORIDA, N.Y. — The Killer Bees had to take a 2 1⁄2-hour bus ride from Bridgehampton for their Class D Southeast Regional boys basketball semifinal Tuesday night at S.S. Seward. Then they wound up not having a lot of fun here in Florida.
This was a rematch of last year’s semifinal in Westhampton against Section IX champ Chapel Field Christian of Pine Bush. Bridgehampton had a very young team then and fell to the Lions.
Bridgehampton returned its standouts, freshman guards Alex Davis and Jai Feaster. But Chapel Field returned a lot of guys, too, and added some size.
In the end, Bridgehampton tripped over the same step again. The Killer Bees rallied from an 11-point deficit in the final quarter to trail by four. But they lost to the Lions, 58-53, despite 26 points from Davis.
“They wanted it more than we did,” Bridgehampton coach Ron White said. “They were beating us to the loose balls. We didn’t hit shots early. You got to give hats off to Chapel Field. They hit big shots. They responded.”
So Chapel Field (18-5), which was led by Jonah McDuffie’s 24 points, advanced to Saturday’s regional final in Binghamton against South Kortright/Andes of Section IV. And Bridgehampton called it a season at 16-7.
“I have a lot of respect for their program,” said Lions coach Brad McDuffie, who is Jonah’s dad. “I knew tonight was going to be a toss-up. They were going to be hungry after losing last year. I know they wanted us. I know they had this game circled on their calendar.”
His team opened a 51-40 lead with 4:01 left. But the Killer Bees chipped away. Scott Vinski hit a corner three to get it down to six, and then Sae’vion Ward drove to cut it to 53-49 with about 44 seconds remaining.
From there, Mikey Bonagura made five of six free throws to help Chapel Field secure the win.
The Lions had begun to open up some space between the teams with a 9-0 burst late in the third to go up 41-34. Davis picked up his fourth foul with 2:39 left in the period, but White left him in and Davis didn’t foul out.
“Any time you lose, it’s always disappointing,” White said. “But listen, we fought. We played hard. And we’ve got to learn. We’ve got to keep learning from this.”