Kings Park players celebrate their win against Southampton in the...

Kings Park players celebrate their win against Southampton in the Suffolk small schools boys basketball final on Friday, March 4, 2022. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Two really good teams were doing a really good job of holding each other down, and so the Suffolk small schools championship game was anybody’s game with five minutes left.

Southampton, the BCD winner, led by one over undefeated Kings Park from Class A.

"Anybody" turned out to be Kings Park. Senior point guard Jon Borkowski scored eight of his 16 from there. The Kingsmen pulled away for a 54-45 victory Friday night at Sachem East and moved to 24-0, beating a team that was riding a 16-game winning streak.

"I thought we played a really challenging nonleague schedule, and within our league, we got tested," Kings Park coach Chris Rube said. "On a nightly basis, they developed good habits under pressure."

So before playing the Long Island Class A championship game/regional final next Saturday, they will face the large schools champ out of AA — the winner Saturday between Northport and Half Hollow Hills East — at 7 p.m. Monday at Longwood for the overall title in this county tournament of champions.

"We’re undefeated and we just want to keep the undefeated streak going," Borkowski said. "I think we can beat anyone."

Southampton (20-3), meanwhile, is bound for the Long Island Class B championship game/regional semifinal against Nassau champ Friends Academy Wednesday night at Centereach.

"We’re very confident considering how we just challenged Kings Park," said LeBron Napier, the senior forward who scored 16, including his 1,000th career point. "I don’t think anybody in the gym thought the score was going to be this close."

Kings Park led 11-10 after one quarter, 21-20 after two and 36-34 after three.

But it trailed 41-40 heading for those final five minutes.

Then Borkowski drove for the lead and AJ Petraitis, who scored 13, tipped in a miss. A 14-4 closing run was on the move.

When Borkowski made a steal and went in for a layup, the advantage was 52-43 with 1:16 remaining.

"I think we just had some miscues I’d say the last 2 1⁄2 minutes of the game," Mariners coach Herm Lamison said. "We missed opportunities and we didn’t do some of the little things that we harp on that we need to do to try and close games."

Napier needed to make two free throws late in the third to hit 1,000, and he did.

"A big milestone for me," Napier said. "I’ve been waiting for this for a while now."


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