Westhampton vs Harborfields 3/3/98|
CLASS B CHAMPIONSHIP
Westhampton 82 Harborfields 63
Westhampton's boys basketball team has played on a different plane
for the better part of two stellar seasons. It's called
But the Hurricanes broke down a year ago just when the ride was
becoming interesting. They fell in the final seconds to Amityville in
the Suffolk Class B title game.
Four starters returned from that team, carrying the unwanted memory
of the two-point Amityville loss like a postcard. Coach Rich Wrase would
pull it out every once in a while to keep his players focused. And
focused they have been.
Against a Harborfields team playing beyond all expectations and with
reckless abandon, top-seeded Westhampton held its ground and turned the
hard lessons of the past into an 82-63 victory yesterday in the Suffolk
Class B final at SUNY-Stony Brook. It was the school's third county
championship and the fourth for Wrase, who won a Class D title at
Eastport in 1988.
"That was the worst loss I had in my life," Wrase said of the
Amityville loss. "This is like redemption for the kids."
"This is something you only dream about," said 6-5 senior Jermain
Hollman, who had a monster game in the paint. Playing with a scratched
eye, Hollman finished with 21 points, 14 rebounds, 9 steals and 4
The Hurricanes, who won their 21st straight and are 41-1 over the
last two seasons, actually stared down defeat late in the third quarter.
In similar fashion to last year's final, the Hurricanes let a
significant lead slip away in the second half. A 10-point halftime bulge
shrank to 49-45 on 6-3 senior Arold Robert's putback with 1:33 to go in
"Nobody thought any team could be in that position against
Westhampton," Harborfields coach Glen Zakian said. "But we came here to
win. That was our attitude."
But unlike a year ago, Westhampton answered back thanks to
Hollman's inside bucket 16 seconds into the final quarter. Then senior
point guard Dale Menendez drove to the basket and came away with a
three-point play 14 seconds later, turning Westhampton's
too-tight-for-comfort-game into a 57-47 cushion.
"A good team is going to make their run and then you find out what
they are made of," Wrase said. "They made their run and then we answered
Six-foot sophomore shooting guard Bronson Martin, who has played big
in the playoffs, added the finishing touches. He helped bury
third-seeded Harborfields (16-3) by scoring 11 of his game-high 25
points (10-for-19 shooting) in the fourth.
"[Westhampton's] trap is like playing against seven people, so
that's how we actually practiced for their pressure - five against
seven," said Zakian, whose team was making its fourth straight playoff
appearance. "We were hoping our speed would be enough, but they were
just too big, too strong."
Tamarcus Jones led the Tornadoes with 19 points and nine rebounds.
Earl Williamson added 13 points and four steals.
Westhampton will face Class C-D champ Bridgehampton for the Small
Schools title at Stony Brook 6 p.m. tomorrow. The winner plays for the
county championship against the Class A champ at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Harborfields: Williamson 6-1-13, Sellers 5-2-12, Jones 6-7-19, Farrell 1-0-2,
Robert 5-0-10, Caracciola 2-0-4, Wichard 1-0-3. Totals: 26-10-63.
|Team||First QT||Second QT||Third QT||Fouth QT||Total|
Westhampton:Menendez 5-3-13, Hollman 7-7-21, Ritchie 4-1-9, Sanders 2-4-8, Martin
10-3-25, Liggon 1-0-2, Ford 1-2-4. Totals: 30-20-82.
Harborfields 1 (Wichard); Westhampton 2 (Martin 2).