The Bridgehampton basketball family tree has deep roots, and Friday night it sprouted another branch.
Josh Lamison, whose uncle played on the 1996 state championship team, had 22 points and 15 rebounds, and Charles Manning Jr., whose father played on the Killer Bees' 1998 state champion, added 21 points and 10 rebounds as Bridgehampton routed Livingston Manor, 60-39, to win the state Southeast Regional Class D championship game at Suffolk CC-Selden.
Bridgehampton heads to the state's Class D Final Four next weekend at Glens Falls for the first time since 1998. "It's been a long dry spell, but it feels really, really great," said coach Carl Johnson, who played for the Killer Bees' 1978 state champions. "Every year, our goal is to make it to Glens Falls. Is that reasonable? Not always. But this year, we broke a drought."
That's because Lamison and Manning were too much inside and a swarming defense led by Tylik Furman forced numerous turnovers during 11-0 and 12-0 bursts that produced a 37-17 halftime advantage. Furman's father played on Bridgehampton's 1998 state title squad.
"My father is very proud of us, but I know he'll tell me it's not over, that we're not done yet," said Manning, who thrilled fans with three electrifying dunks.
The first one, lefthanded in transition, came late in the third quarter. On the second one, about a minute later, Manning soared down the lane and rebounded a miss for a righthanded slam. The third one, early in the fourth, evolved from a baseline drive for a one-handed slam.
"I could hear my father the whole game and he was telling me to follow the ball," Manning said. "That's what I did on the second dunk. I followed the shot. Then I definitely looked at him as I ran back on defense."
The 6-foot Lamison didn't soar like Manning, but he was equally acrobatic, powering over, around and through taller defenders. "If I get it, I can put it back up," Lamison said. "Every time the ball goes up, I'm going to try for the rebound."
Next stop for the Bridgehampton Express is Glens Falls, where the Killer Bees (20-2) will face Germantown or Moriah at 11:45 a.m. Friday. It's a place their forefathers -- and fathers -- already have been.