Eastport-South Manor returned to Suffolk-CC Brentwood Wednesday, and in doing so, the Sharks also returned to the top of the county.
Ryan Byrne had 14 kills and 14 digs and Parker Bachisin had 32 assists to lead No. 1 Eastport-South Manor to a three-set win over No. 2 Hauppauge in the Suffolk Class B final. Brennen Brandow added 16 digs and six kills, Quinn Foglia had 10 kills, and Tommy Ogeka had seven digs and four kills to lead the Sharks, who won, 25-16, 25-11, 25-13. They will play either Bellmore JFK or Jericho on Saturday at Suffolk-CC Brentwood in the Long Island championship.
“It was a great feeling to be back here,” Byrne said. “We won it here in 2014 and coming back brings back good memories. Doing it again as a senior, knowing it’s our last time, we know we have to leave it all on the court from here on out.”
“The first time we went through this, everything was new,” said Ogeka, who helped Eastport-South Manor reach the 2014 state final. “We went in and we didn’t know what to expect. This year, we’re a veteran team, we came in knowing what we had to do, and we did it.”
Last season, slightly higher enrollment had Eastport-South Manor competing in Class A, where the Sharks reached the county final before losing to Sachem North.
“Last year, we didn’t get what we wanted. Coming off that and putting in the work we did this season, to get to this point is amazing,” Ogeka said.
The Sharks improved to 14-2 and are undefeated against Class B competition, and Wednesday, they showed why, blitzing Hauppauge (8-7) with a well-rounded attack from start to finish.
“Our passing and our hitting was strong,” Bachisin said. “As the setter, I need those passes and I was getting them. Hauppauge’s a good team, so I’m glad we came together and played well.”
“The passes were there. Our primary passers did a wonderful job,” coach Bruce Stiriz said. “We’ve been going with a varied attack all year. Parker was absolutely crazy out there, and Byrne was the MVP. He was on fire.”
Despite the win, the Sharks celebration was subdued, and businesslike, because as Bachisin said, the team’s focus is getting back to the state tournament.
“We’re not done yet,” he said. “There’s nothing to celebrate until we get as far as we want to go.”