East Hampton, as the host team, has won its share of Kendall Madison tournaments, the traditional tip-off classic hereabouts.
So there might have been a modicum of disappointment among a healthy contingent of fans who attended the nightcap Friday night, but if so, they didn’t show it.
The exhausted bunch that filed out of Ed Petrie gym had just witnessed one of the tightest games ever featured in the 20-year history of the tournament, one replete with enough chills and spills to satisfy even the most discerning fan.
The home team, 11-10 last season competing in Suffolk’s suicidal League V, is a Class A team that doesn’t back down from any sized opponent. The challenger, Mattituck, is a traditional Class B powerhouse that won 13 of 21 games last season.
Throw the records out the window, though. The two teams went tit for tat, bucket for bucket, through four grueling quarters, with neither team able to build more than a precarious lead.
But the home team, riding the hot hand of junior guard Jeremy Vizcaino, opened a three-point lead with just seconds remaining. Ryan Seifert, a six-three forward with a nice shooting touch from the perimeter, found a glimmer of daylight and launched a three pointer that found the net, forcing an overtime period.
Xavier Allen, Mattituck’s junior guard, took it to the Bonackers in the overtime stanza but the locals, patient, hung tough and held a one-point lead with 11 seconds left.
Alas, for the local fans, Jayden Ford, a reserve, converted a tip-in in the closing seconds to give the Tuckers a 79-78 win. It was their first win of the season after two losses.
Allen scored 28 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and tallied eight assists for the winners. Seifert contributed 18 including four treys, Chris Nicholson, 12, and Trevor Poole, 10 for the winners.
Vizcaino led Bonac with 23 and nailed five three-pointers. Turner Foster (16) and Vladimir Rodriguez combined for 30 for East Hampton in defeat.
East Hampton will travel to Shoreham-Wading River Friday night, December 14, for a 6:45 game and goes to Miller Place (5 PM) Monday. Mattituck plays on Shelter Island at 11:45 on Saturday, December 15.