Sean Walsh #15 of Northport drives to the net for...

Sean Walsh #15 of Northport drives to the net for two points during a non-league boys basketball game against St. John the Baptist at Northport High School on Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. He scored 18 of his 23 points in the second half. Northport won by a score of 77-61. Credit: James Escher

It’s no secret that Northport’s Sean Walsh likes to score.

The junior guard led the Tigers with 15 points per game last season, so it was a little odd when he went into halftime Monday with just five points.

“I just stayed patient,” Walsh said. “We had a lot of players playing well, so I had to wait for my time.”

Walsh’s time came in the second half, when he totaled 18 of his 23 points to lead host Northport to a 77-61 win over St. John the Baptist in a non-league boys basketball game.

“It felt good to get that first win of the season,” said Walsh, who added four assists. “We definitely don’t like losing and wanted to get back on track after dropping our first game.”

One of the players that caught fire for Northport in the early going was Pat Healy, who scored nine of his 21 in the first quarter and had buzzer-beating baskets to end both the first and second quarters.

The Tigers opened the game on an 8-0 run, but the Cougars answered with a run of their own and took a 10-9 lead. The advantage was short-lived, as Northport closed the first quarter with 11 straight points and did not trail the rest of the way.

“That was a big spot in the game,” Walsh said. “They had the momentum and we had to take it back.”

The Tigers’ stellar defense helped them take a 38-23 lead into the break.

Sophomore guard Robby Kennedy made a big impact off the bench for Northport (1-1).He entered in the middle of the first quarter and was a menace on both sides of the ball. He totaled 11 points and five steals.

“We have a lot of young talent and they’re energetic and ready to go,” Tigers coach Andrew D’Eloia said. “He did everything we see him do in practice, so it was fun to see it on the court during a game.”

A bright spot for St. John the Baptist was Justin White, who scored 20 points off the bench. White made his first five three-pointers and had 15 points in the first half.

“He was someone we had to worry about in the second half,” Walsh said. “We played him tighter and didn’t let him get his shot off as much.”

“It’s still so early in the year, it’s just our second of 20 [games],” D’Eloia said. “Obviously the goal is to be ready for the tough League II competition, but we can utilize these non-league games to help prepare ourselves for our league games.”

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