Southold's Jacob Steinfeld takes the ball down the court in...

Southold's Jacob Steinfeld takes the ball down the court in the New York State Class C Southeast Regional boys basketball final against Haldane on Saturday in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. Credit: Allyse Pulliam

YORKTOWN — The final game of the season didn’t go so well for Southold.

The Settlers fell, 73-39, to Section I champ Haldane on Yorktown High’s court Saturday in the Class C Southeast Regional final.

But the season as a whole? There was no denying Southold had come a long way in order to get here.

This was a boys basketball team that finished at 5-15 and didn’t make the playoffs last season. But Southold rebounded to claim a Suffolk title. It finished at 12-10.

“I think it was an attitude and commitment to defense, execution, discipline, just the things that maybe we were missing last year,” coach Lucas Grigonis said. “We had a little bit more ambition to commit to our philosophy this year. You could see that. That’s why they got here.”

Grigonis called the season a “success” and felt this game was valuable.

“It’s something to build off of in the future,” Grigonis said. “We’re kind of a young program right now. The kids getting a taste this year I think helps for the future.”

The future is still right now for Haldane, a team that lost in the state final, then lost a lot on graduation day. But the Blue Devils are 20-3. They got 16 points from 6-7 senior forward Matt Nachamkin and made it to the final four in Glens Falls again.

“We were on a mission this year,” coach Joe Virgadamo said. “We lost four starters. But guys stepped up. Matt Nachamkin, God, he’s just a special kid, a special player.”

That was evident during the game-turning stretch.

It was tied at 10. Then Haldane left Southold behind.

The Blue Devils went on a 21-0 distance run that carried into the second quarter.

Nachamkin delivered a three-point play following a turnover, hit a three from the right corner following a turnover and dunked following a turnover, capping the run. So it was 31-10.

“I think it was more execution on our part,” Grigonis said.

Senior guard Jack Sepenoski finally hit a three for Southold’s first points in 6 minutes, 5 seconds.

The Settlers trailed at 37-21 at the intermission, and were down 55-29 heading for the fourth quarter.

“I would say I definitely think we could’ve kept the game closer, but I’m not disappointed because nobody thought we were getting this far, anyway,” said junior point guard Jake Steinfeld, who topped them with 10 points.

“We left it all out on the court. The score might not show it.”

The margin reached 35 in the final period.

“Our goal was to get to the county finals,” Sepenoski said. “We did that. We won. This was just another game. We did everything we could, but we came up a little bit short.”


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