Now this is a home-court advantage.
On the quirky old basketball floor at Bridgehampton, some 30 feet shorter and 15 feet narrower than a regular-sized court, the game is a bit different. And the Killer Bees traditionally use the dimensions to their advantage. “We know where the dead spots are,” said Carl Johnson, the long-time coach and former player.
Bridgehampton used an effective trap that caused havoc in a dominant first quarter and visiting Greenport could not recover as the defending state Class D champion Bees improved to 5-0 with an 80-60 victory over the Porters Friday night in a Suffolk VIII game that attracted a full house.
“The court is so small and we’re used to it,” said senior forward Josh Lamison, who scored 14 of his 27 points in the first quarter, when Bridgehampton bolted to a 25-8 lead.
“I loved the first quarter, but we just didn’t sustain it,” Johnson said. “We made too many turnovers and gave up too many offensive rebounds.”
The turnovers were caused partly by Greenport’s own swarming defense and partly by the absence of veteran starting point guard Tylik Furman, who missed the game with an ankle sprain. That meant Lamison had to do a little more. In addition to scoring and grabbing 16 rebounds, Lamison had to help with the ballhandling. That freed up freshman Javon Harding to have a big game along the baseline, from where he contributed 20 points, nine in the third quarter when Bridgehampton built a 30-point lead. Julian Swann scored 19 and Sam Strickland 16 for Greenport (0-4).
Lamison didn’t mind the added duties Friday night, but what he really loves is hitting the boards. He frequently scores on putbacks. “I just keep crashing,” he said with a smile. “No matter who shoots it, I’m going up for the ball. When I get those offensive boards, I use a pump fake and most of the time I get fouled. Some guys shy away from contact, but I kind of look for it.”
All the Bees look for that extra edge their mini-court provides. The most unusual quirk is that the court is so narrow that there are no three-point shots from the corners, where the three-point line is actually out of bounds. “So we used a full-court 1-3-1 trap to force them to the corners,” Lamison said.
Disorder in the court. It’s the Bridgehampton version of basketball justice.