It had been 21 days since the Greenport boys basketball team last took the court in a meaningful game, and the Porters tried everything in the meantime to stay sharp. They had scrimmages, invited former standout players to practice, fine tuned the same drills from the start of the season.
“It was such a long, brutal wait,” coach Ev Corwin said. “For the game to just get started was such a load off our back.”
And the three-week break between games seemed to slow down the Porters at the start, but they used a 29-point second quarter to give Greenport a 91-77 victory over Tuckahoe in the Class C Southeast Regional Final at Centereach High School Saturday afternoon.
Greenport (19-2) outscored Tuckahoe (17-7), 29-19, in the second quarter to take a 45-40 lead. The Porters then opened the third quarter on a 14-4 run, taking a 59-44 advantage with 1:50 remaining in the third quarter.
“We all just work together,” said Ahkee Anderson, who had 28 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. “We’re going to feed the hot hand. Everyone had the hot hand tonight, everyone was making their shots, so it worked in our favor.”
The Porters advanced to their second straight Class C state semifinal, and will play the winner of Cooperstown/Unadilla Valley this coming Saturday at Binghamton’s Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena at 10:45 a.m.
“It felt like a new season just started,” said Jude Swann, who added 17 points and eight rebounds. “Those were a long three weeks.”
Greenport, which trailed 21-16 after the first quarter, had contributions off the bench with 12 points from Zach Riggins, who Corwin credited for giving the team a “shot in the arm.”
Jaxan Swann added 27 points, nine rebounds and eight assists in the win, forming a backcourt tandem with Anderson looking to make a run at history in Binghamton.
“Jaxan and Ahkee, they’ll pull up from anywhere any time as you saw tonight,” Corwin said. “The ‘3’ ball, you can really score a lot of points quick when they are doing that.”
After losing in the state semifinals last year, the Porters have pictured the return to Binghamton since walking off the court in defeat last winter.
“We’re trying to make history at Greenport, be the first team to win a state championship,” Jaxan said. “And I feel like this is a time we can do it. We just want to make a statement for us."