With dominant performances underneath and beyond the arc, the Greenport boys basketball team proved Saturday why it's in contention for a state championship.
The guard-forward combination of Ahkee Anderson (28 points, nine rebounds, six assists) and Jude Swann (21 points, 17 rebounds) combined to pace Greenport past Alexander Hamilton for a 78-63 win in the state Class C regional final at Pace in Pleasantville.
Swann dominated the paint while Anderson controlled the perimeter.
“When Jude started heating up, it allowed me to start to get going, and from there on it was just back and forth,” Anderson, a sophomore, said.
Greenport led 25-14 at the end of the first quarter after a flurry of points by reserve forward Myles Murray, who checked in with three minutes left and scored nine straight points. But it was the consistent paint presence of Swann that proved too much for Hamilton defenders.
“I felt really confident today,” Swann, a junior, said. “I saw that they weren’t as big as me so I took full advantage and went up strong with everything.”
With Greenport up 40-31 at the half, Hamilton opened the third quarter on a 8-1 run, forcing Porters coach Ev Corwin to call timeout leading 41-39.
“Coach just told us to settle down and remember who the better team was,” Anderson said. “He reminded us that in 14 minutes, we’ll be going upstate. After that, everyone just locked in.”
The Porters responded with a 23-8 run, including a personal 7-0 run by Anderson. The steady guard scored 15 of his 28 points in the quarter, capping it with a buzzer beating put-back to spur Greenport to a 64-47 lead.
“I just had to make sure I stayed aggressive on both sides of the ball,” said Anderson, who added four steals and two blocks. “If I set the tempo, then everyone else will follow.”
Jaxan Swann started the final quarter with a baseline jumper and Jordan Fonseca (11 points) went 6-for-6 from the free-throw line to seal the victory for the Porters (22-2). Greenport advances to the state Class C semifinals against Lake George on Friday in Binghamton.
“This is what happens when you have an unselfish group of guys that put the work in all throughout the offseason and everyday in practice,” Corwin said. “These guys earned this.”