With 2.3 seconds left in the first quarter, Nakia Durham re-entered the game for Center Moriches, which had the ball at midcourt.
Durham had one mission: Get open and take the shot.
“We’ve been working on trying to close out quarters,” coach Nick Thomas said.
Mission accomplished. Durham sank a three-pointer from the right corner as the buzzer sounded.
That was the highlight of a game-turning 12-0 run that carried Class B Center Moriches to a 60-44 victory over Class D Bridgehampton in the Suffolk BCD boys basketball final at Suffolk CCC-Selden on Friday night.
Durham’s three-pointer gave Center Moriches a 19-11 lead. He and Tyiquon Nix each scored 15 points for the Red Devils (18-3), who will face Class A champion Southampton in the Suffolk Small School championship game at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Suffolk CCC-Brentwood.
Both the BCD and A champs will play in a state regional semifinal for their respective classes.
“We were still a little rusty,” Thomas said. “It’s only our second game since Feb. 10. And I think we had a little letdown after beating Babylon [on Tuesday for the Suffolk B championship].”
Center Moriches’ defensive intensity sparked the early run and Troy Goode scored four of his 10 points during an 8-0 burst in the third quarter that made it 40-19.
Nykell Dean scored 13 points and Elijah White had 12 for Bridgehampton.
“We moved the ball well and I liked our defensive rotations,” Thomas said. “We just need to do a better job of finishing in the paint.”