Blue Devils Upset Bellport
It was their night and they put on a show for a crowd of 200. The Huntington High School boys basketball team’s four seniors played their hearts out Tuesday and helped the Blue Devils upset visiting Bellport in an exciting game, 57-49.
Senior Lee Reiver opened the scoring by hitting the first of his three 3-pointers and Huntington was off and running, going on a 12-0 run to establish a gaping lead. The Clippers began clawing their way back, but the Blue Devils kept up a torrid pace and held a 27-18 advantage by halftime.
Senior Josh Watkins gave the team an early boost by dropping a 3-pointer and a field goal for 5 points. It seemed as if the Blue Devils were all over the court all at once, hustling after loose balls, leaping for rebounds and not being afraid to go inside for points underneath the basket. The aggressive offense seemed to take the Clippers somewhat by surprise.
It’s been a tough year for Huntington, which had just two wins before topping Bellport. The Blue Devils have been without the services of expected starter Kenny McCarthy, who was injured last summer and forced to miss the season. The team has lost a remarkable number of close games, dashing any hope of making the playoffs after last winter’s splendid post-season run.
Bellport rebounded during the second half on Tuesday night and went on to grab the lead. It was a scene all too familiar to Huntington head coach Brian Carey, who has watched his team lose its grip on numerous leads this season. This time the Blue Devils regained their footing and stormed back, refusing to be denied in the final home game of the year.
When Bellport mounted one final run, Carey called repeated timeouts to interrupt the Clippers’ momentum and put in place offensive and defensive schemes that paved the way for Huntington’s 8-point victory.
“Although this season obviously did not go the way we wanted it to, there is still a lot to take away from how we played,” said Reiver, who will head to the University of Michigan in the fall. “We came into the season having lost all five starters so we knew that it wasn’t going to be easy. Although our record doesn’t show it, we felt like we really outplayed our opponents in most of the games but unfortunately couldn’t close out. We lost five games by less than five points, two in overtime and three within the last couple seconds. If a few more things went our way, we could be a potential playoff team. With this being said my teammates and I easily could’ve mailed it in, but instead continued to fight and perform to the best of our ability.”
Reiver led the Blue Devils on Tuesday night with 15 points and added 6 assists and 6 rebounds. Senior Alex Castillo scored all of his 11 points in the fourth quarter, including a huge 3-pointer and a pair of free throws. Senior Kevin Montefusco had 5 points and 8 rebounds. Kenny Charles scored 9 points and Scott Gulizio added 6 points. Shyheim Brewster had two dunks for 4 points and Matt Reed added a big 2-point second-half basket.
Reiver, Castillo, Montesfusco and Watkins were honored at mid-court during a short pre-game ceremony that saw the players escort their parents onto the floor and present them with flowers.
“Although this season could be looked at as an unsuccessful one, I am really proud of my teammates for never giving up,” Reiver said. “I also must credit our coaches, Brian Carey and Fred Grasso, who also never gave up on us and were still able to get us to put our best effort out every night. Hopefully we can finish the season with a couple of wins and maybe knock some teams out of the playoffs.”