Last season, Greenport was Ryan Creighton’s team. Everything revolved around the burly 6-3 senior who would become Long Island’s all-time leading scorer.
This season, Greenport was Dantre Langhorne’s team. Everything revolved around the lanky 6-5 junior with multiple skills.
Last season’s team reached the state Class D championship game. This season’s team fell three games short of that feat. The biggest difference? Creighton had a legit co-star. Langhorne had only willing role players.
“You’ve got to score some points,” Greenport coach Al Edwards said last night after his Suffolk D champions were ousted from the state playoffs by Coleman Catholic of upstate Hurley, 51-39, in a Southeast Regional semifinal at Center Moriches. “Usually, if you hold a team to 50 points, you’ve got a good chance to win.”
The Porters really had no chance because only Langhorne, with 22 points, provided any consistent offense. That wasn’t enough against the Statesmen (18-2), who got 17 points from center Chris Chatelain and 16 from guard Jake Palmer.
“All the guys scrapped and I like this bunch of kids,” Edwards said. “They played their hearts out. But it just wasn’t a good shooting team.”
It might be less of one next season because Langhorne said afterward that he is fairly certain he will leave Greenport for a prep school. “I think I’ll get better for the next level,” said Langhorne, an intriguing college prospect because he can get to the basket, has outside range and isn’t afraid to mix it up on the boards. “I have to get some of my grades up, so I’ll focus on the books next year — and getting stronger.”
If this was his closing act for Greenport, Langhorne put on a good show. He scored seven points in the second quarter as the Porters trailed 25-21 at halftime. He scored the first three points of the second half to make it a one-point game, but that’s when Coleman heated up.
Palmer hit a long three to key a 7-0 spurt and made a conventional three-point play on a driving layup to make it 35-26. Two costly turnovers led to consecutive layups by Chatelain and Kyle Chambers as Coleman took a 41-31 lead after three. The Porters got no closer than nine in the fourth quarter.
Edwards said he wished he had someone “to take the pressure off Dantre a little bit. It seemed like the whole student body was guarding him.” The veteran coach was aware of Langhorne’s intentions for next season.
“If someone feels the grass is greener, I’ll support him all the way,” Edwards said. “If he gets a little stronger, he could be a college player. Hopefully someone else will come along for us. Whatever hand we’re dealt, we make the best of it. It’s like poker.”