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Bridgehampton boys win state championship

Bridgehampton players and fans celebrate in the closing

Bridgehampton players and fans celebrate in the closing seconds of the NYSPHSAA Class D boys basketball final played at the Glens Falls Civic Center on Saturday, March 21, 2015. Credit: Adrian Kraus

GLENS FALLS, N.Y. - On his team's first possession of the fourth quarter, Bridgehampton's Charles Manning Jr. put his stamp on a tournament that already is part of the family folklore.

Manning took an alley-oop pass from Tylik Furman and dunked, thrilling hundreds of fans who made the lengthy drive west and then north. There were plenty more thrills to follow Saturday, too. That dunk sparked a dominant fourth quarter as Bridgehampton captured its ninth state Class D title and first since 1998 with a 62-49 victory over New York Mills.

In '98, Manning's father, Maurice (also a Charles, but he prefers to use his middle name) earned his third consecutive tournament MVP award as the Killer Bees won their third straight crown.

"That dunk really got me hyped," said Manning Jr., who had 31 points, eight rebounds and five steals to earn tournament MVP honors a day after scoring 29 points in a semifinal victory. "It was the right moment -- a championship game. And it got us going. I guess I brought the MVP home."

Manning Jr. moved in with his father before the season, transferring from Riverhead, where his mother lives. He is very close to both parents.

"It was a very emotional game for me. It's mind-blowing," said Manning, who scored 23 points in the second half as the Killer Bees (22-2) pulled away after leading only 21-18 at halftime.

"It's the first time up here for us. People doubted us. But we have great team chemistry. My teammates pushed me and we work together so well. Now I have a state title and an MVP. And Dad has three."

Maurice was in the stands, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with the words "Bridgehampton Pride" across the front. He used his sleeve to wipe tears from his eyes as he watched the postgame ceremony.

"I can't even speak. I had butterflies the whole time. I feel like I played," Manning Sr. said. "That's my son out there, and I'm so happy that he got to experience that feeling."

It was quite a feeling. "It's crazy. I don't even know what to say," said Furman, a junior who limited New York Mills' top scorer, Terrance Nichols, to two field goals. "Me and Josh have been on varsity since the eighth grade. It's the greatest feeling in the world. We'll cherish this moment for the rest of our lives."

Josh Lamison also had a big game with 17 points and 13 rebounds. He came up huge with seven points and several key rebounds in the third quarter, when the Killer Bees started to take control.

Manning scored 13 points in the fourth quarter, when Bridgehampton built a lead as large as 17 points.

"A straight-up man-to-man defense did the job. The kids wanted to trap, but New York Mills was too well-coached," coach Carl Johnson said of the devastating trap that worked so well for the Killer Bees in Friday's semifinal.

The Marauders (22-4) had good coaching, but no answer for the King Bee. "Charles does everything for us. He's a great defender, he gets out on the break and he makes the right pass," Johnson said. "We had Charles Manning and they didn't."

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