It was a hell of a run for the Westhampton Hurricanes.
The locals broke out of the gate undefeated, won 10 in a row, captured the League V title, and took on all comers in Suffolk’s suicidal Class A tournament.
Westhampton was able to vanquish each of its rivals until the final one, mighty Amityville, in the Class A title game Friday at Suffolk Community College–Brentwood.
The Warriors, who are gearing up for a state title run, looked the part Friday, dismantling a very good Westhampton squad 83-66. It wasn’t that the Hurricanes didn’t come to play.
Jake Guadiello opened the scoring by doing what he has all year—nailing a three-point bomb—and Westhampton held a slim lead through much of the first quarter.
Amityville is a deep and talented squad though, and has a special talent, the senior point guard Josh Serrano, a five-foot, 10-inch wiz who will make some college very happy next season.
Serrano orchestrated the proceedings, made sure each of his talented teammates had open shots, and then, in the fourth quarter, like an assassin on a mission, put away his target.
Credit Westhampton with heart and soul. The Hurricanes, outmatched, would fall behind again and again. But each time the game seemed out of reach, the locals mounted a spirited comeback.
For example, Amityville went on a 12-0 run in the third stanza led by Julius Goddard (eight of his 17 points), to open a 21-point bulge.
But the celebrating of the Warriors’ giddy bench players stopped when the Hurricanes methodically closed the gap, at one point, having a chance to get it to nine points.
That’s when The Assassin zeroed in on his prey. Serrano scored 13 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter, and it became apparent Westhampton had no more answers. The fatal blow was a three-point bomb by Serrano after a hastily called timeout following Westhampton’s final surge. The youngster broke free, using his dazzling ball handling to create space. Then, he calmly squeezed the trigger and watched the ball nestle into the net as gently as a bird feather in a warm summer breeze.
Fellow senior Julius Goddard had 15 points for the winners and Jayson Robinson added 17 points.
Gaudiello finished with a team-high 23 points and six assists. Nolan Quinlan added 12 points, nine rebounds, and five blocks for Westhampton. Simon Brathwaite added 19 for the losers.
Amityville (22-1) continue to play the other classification winners in the Suffolk tournament—the Warriors will get a shot to win the large schools title, but that will have no bearing on the real prize, The New York State Class title. That quest begins March 10 at Farmingdale State College, when the Warriors take on the Nassau County Class A champions for the Long Island title.
Westhampton (20-3) advanced to the title game by beating Harborfields 60-57 on February 20. Guadiello (24) and Quinlan combined for 46 points.