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For Southampton's Zack Cummings and Isaiah Johnson, L.I. title is a promise realized

Southampton's Zach Cummings looks to make a pass

Southampton's Zach Cummings looks to make a pass during the Long Island Class B boys basketball final against Malverne at LIU Post on Tuesday, March 10, 2015. Credit: James Escher

Zach Cummings first met his Southampton basketball teammate Isaiah Johnson at an all-star game tryout before the season.

That's when Johnson made an odd promise to Cummings.

"I said, 'Yo, if you play basketball with us this year, I promise you we'll win a county title and then a Long Island championship,' " Johnson said. "I was dead serious, too."

Two weeks before that all-star game, Cummings, a senior guard, transferred to Southampton to live with his aunt, he said, after living with his dad in Huntington Station and playing for Whitman.

The odd thing about the promise Johnson made is that Johnson swears he didn't know Cummings had already transferred.

"So in my head," Cummings said, "I was just like sure, man."

After Southampton's 78-48 win against Malverne Tuesday night to capture the Long Island Class B title at LIU Post, Johnson's promise doesn't seem so odd after all.

"I guess he was definitely right," Cummings said. "It's kind of funny, for sure, how it all worked out and how coincidentally I went to Southampton and we were able to do this tonight."

Cummings scored 18 points, including 13 in the second half, had four assists and three steals. His three-pointer from the left wing with three minutes left in the third quarter gave the Mariners a 46-36 lead. Southampton led by at least 10 points for the rest of the game.

Cummings fit right in with his Southampton teammates and averaged about 15 points during the regular season. His ball handling skills and ability to score has been a big part of the Mariners' success this season.

"I love Zach as a player because he can do everything," Johnson said. "He can shoot, he can pass and he can dribble. He's an unselfish player who makes everyone better. He was a missing piece for us in some ways."

The Mariners (22-2) will face Woodlands or Marlboro at noon Saturday at Farmingdale State. A state title was never promised to Cummings, but he's a believer these days. "Now, Isaiah doesn't have to tell me," Cummings said, "I think we can make it."

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