Southampton boys falls short in state semifinal
GLENS FALLS, N.Y. — Darien Moore soared for a dunk right before the final horn went off inside Cool Insuring Arena, putting an exclamation point on the continuation of Catholic Central’s season and a period on Southampton’s.
The Mariners’ terrific basketball run ended in the state Class B semifinals on Saturday morning.
Catholic Central, making the program’s debut in the final four, beat Southampton, 65-52, behind a pair of fabulous freshman guards.
Sei’Mir Roberson delivered 24 points and Moore scored 23 and grabbed 10 rebounds. The Crusaders owned a 42-25 rebounding advantage.
So this 25-1 team will face Westhill for the title here on Sunday. The Mariners, meanwhile, exited at 21-6.
“Listen, if it’s going to end, this is where I want it to end,” coach Herm Lamison said, “because if it’s ending here, that means you’re in a good place.”
Still, Derek Reed sure didn’t want it to end on this day.
“It should’ve ended (Sunday), if anything, in a good way,” the standout senior point guard said. “But we didn’t pull it through. So it hurt a lot.”
Reed had a quiet finale, scoring just six points. Naevon Williams topped the Long Island champs with 19 points and eight rebounds. The sophomore guard is planning on a return trip here next year.
“This is a great experience because we played a lot of big teams,” Williams said. “We beat them and got to the big stage. So we should have lots of confidence coming in next season.”
Catholic Central led 45-39 after three, then pulled away.
Nick Riley made it 48-40 with a shot from beyond the arc. Roberson hit a three for a 52-42 lead, then hit two free throws for a 54-44 advantage with 2:39 remaining.
Williams countered with a three and Reed drove for two, cutting it to five with 1:49 to go.
It never got closer. Moore scored six, including four on free throws, to help hold off the Mariners.
“It came down to rebounding,” Lamison said. “We missed a couple of key rebounds and they were able to get some putbacks and knock some timely threes down.”
Southampton trailed 32-22 at halftime. Then the Mariners rallied to tie it. Reed nailed a foul-line jumper to launch a 7-0 burst to tie it at 37 with 2:27 left in the third.
But they wound up never leading in the game.
"I wouldn’t be surprised, looking down their roster with a little bit of youth, to see them come back hungrier and harder next year,” Crusaders coach Guy Di Bacco said of Southampton. “I would say Class B on Long Island should probably take note of Southampton. They look like they’re going to be around for a while.”