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Belle Smith sets mark as Westhampton wins small schools crown

Westhampton guard Belle Smith poses with coach Katie

Westhampton guard Belle Smith poses with coach Katie Peters and athletic director Kathleen Masterson after breaking the school's all time scoring record on Saturday, February 29, 2020. Credit: George A. Faella

It was one of the few times Belle Smith was clueless about what was happening on a basketball court.

Westhampton’s talented guard heard a whistle midway through the first quarter.

“I had no idea what was going on,” said the 5-5 senior. “I thought it was just a timeout.”

It was a timeout by Westhampton, but it was more than that. Smith had surpassed Bronson Martin with a driving layup at the 4:54 mark of the first quarter, and had become Westhampton’s all-time leading scorer. She was presented with balloons and a basketball to commemorate the moment.

Smith continues to add more moments to a memorable season and career. She ended with 20 points, five rebounds, five assists and four steals as Westhampton defeated Pierson/Bridgehampton, 49-34, in the Suffolk girls basketball small schools championship at St. Joseph’s College’s Danzi Athletic Center on Saturday. Westhampton will play the AA winner of Northport and Longwood at 5 p.m. Thursday at Ward Melville High School for the Suffolk overall championship.

“It’s an awesome accomplishment for Belle,” Hurricanes coach Katie Peters said. “A lot of hard work went into that record.”

Westhampton (22-2) meets the Nassau champion (which has yet to be determined) for the Long Island Class A championship at St. Joseph’s College on Sunday, March 15. The Hurricanes continue their march to a Long Island title thanks to Smith and Layla Mendoza (23 points, seven rebounds) as Westhampton’s dynamic duo combined for 43 of the Hurricanes’ 49 points.

Smith entered the game four points away from Westhampton’s basketball school record for points. The previous mark was Martin’s 1,708 points. Smith now has 1,725 varsity points.

Pierson/Bridgehampton got within 41-34 with 2:09 remaining in the game, but would get no closer. The Whalers were just 4 of 14 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter. The two-time defending Suffolk Class C champ Whalers (13-8) face Nassau champ East Rockaway for the Long Island Class C championship at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Newfield High School.

But the game belonged to Smith, who surpassed the 1,500 career varsity mark earlier in the season, and started thinking about the school record recently.

“I definitely thought it was a possibility because our season has been going so well, and we’ve been going so far,” Smith said. “Still, our top priority has been winning a county title, and now a Long Island championship, but this is special.”

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