The way East Hampton shot from beyond the three-point arc in the first half was not the way Dr. Dish prescribed.
The state-of-the-art shooting machine called Dr. Dish, which catches, tracks and feeds the basketballs right back to the shooter, was a gift to the Bonackers’ program last year by the town’s sports booster club.
“We worked hard on our outside shooting all summer,” guard Brandon Kennedy-Gay said. “A thousand shots a day,” the team’s other senior guard, Kyle McKee, said.
But after shooting just 1-for-16 from downtown in the first 16 minutes on Thursday, East Hampton might have been asking for a refund.
A second-half turnaround was just what the doctor ordered, and the “patients” complied. East Hampton made 7 of 13 from beyond the arc after halftime to fend off tough-minded Bayport-Blue Point, 71-64, in a spirited Suffolk VI showdown. Kennedy-Gay scored 25 points with six assists, and McKee and sophomore Jack Reese added 13 points each.
“It was a great atmosphere, a great game to be part of,” East Hampton coach Bill McKee said of a noisy crowd that included a nice-sized contingent from the East End.
His son, Kyle, made the biggest shot of the game, a beat-the-clock three-pointer with 1:42 left that provided a 64-60 lead. The host Phantoms had cut a 12-point second-half deficit to 61-60, led by their own shooting star, Praghnoor Singh, whose quick trigger produced eight threes and 26 points.
Kennedy-Gay attempted a three and had his shot blocked, but the ball fortuitously bounced right to McKee, who drilled his trey as the shot-clock buzzer sounded. “We were pretty tentative by that point. We just wanted the game to end,” Bill McKee said. “Kyle’s shot got the momentum back.”
Kennedy-Gay iced it with — naturally — a step-back three with 46 seconds left that made it 69-60 and helped the first-place Bonackers (8-1) drop the Phantoms to 6-2. Brandon Johnson contributed a double-double for East Hampton (12 points, 13 rebounds), and Ka’sean Watlington scored 13 for Bayport-Blue Point.
“Kyle and Brandon know that if they’re open, they can shoot it,” Bill McKee said. “The only time I get on them is when they don’t shoot enough.”
The coach was well aware of the time his backcourt duo put in with the new toy last summer. “They were up and shooting by six o’clock in the morning,” he said. “When you see them work hard like that, how can you tell them not to shoot?”
They have turned Dr. Dish into Dr. Swish.