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Southampton boys basketball's goal: A banner season

Southampton forward LeBron Napier, who had 24 points,

Southampton forward LeBron Napier, who had 24 points, draws a foul driving to the basket during Tuesday's win over Greenport. Credit: George A Faella

The reminders are all around these boys basketball players when they play a home game, symbols of what they covet. So many banners line the walls inside Southampton’s gym, celebrating titles in various sports.

"Southampton’s goals never change," coach Herm Lamison said. "If you look around the gym, you can see that. We play for championships every year no matter what our personnel looks like."

The personnel looks rather good again. They have a formidable 1-2 punch in LeBron Napier and Derek Reed and a nice supporting cast. And this team applies relentless full-court defensive pressure.

It was all on display Tuesday night against Greenport. The Mariners took off in the second quarter and won by 40 — 87-47.

They are 7-2 and 4-0 in Suffolk League VII, and thinking big.

"I think once we get in the gym more, we can go all the way," Reed said.

All the way as in Suffolk Class B?

"Past that," Reed said. "We’re trying to go to states. That’s the main goal."

Napier, the senior forward, led them with 24 points and Reed, the junior point guard, scored 21. Napier is averaging 23.2, and Reed is at 19.7.

"I think we’re one of the best (tandems) on the Island," Reed said.

"I like to score, and he likes to playmake," Napier said.

And, yes, LeBron Napier is named after that other LeBron.

"This was right before (James) was drafted," Napier said. "My parents were watching SportsCenter, and he was (in) the top three plays. That’s when they decided to name me that."

Greenport (5-4, 5-2) trailed just 21-18 heading for the second quarter.

But Southampton turned up its energy level, producing turnovers and outscoring the Porters 19-11 to go up 40-29 at halftime. Napier and Reed combined for 10 of the 19.

Then Andrew Venesina, who scored 13, nailed a couple of threes in a 17-7 burst to start the third, making it a 57-36 game.

Reed made a play worthy of a top-10 list in the fourth, firing a nifty no-look pass to Napier underneath for a layup and a 72-45 advantage.

"We just turned it over way too much," said Greenport coach Ev Corwin, whose team was paced by his son Ev’s 16 points. "It shows us the work we’ve got to put in now to get to their level."

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