Nae’jon Ward wasn’t satisfied with a season-high point total. There was one more shot to take and another chapter to write in the storied history of Greenport versus Bridgehampton.
With the score tied in the final seconds of the Suffolk County C/D Championship game at William Floyd High School on Saturday, Ward drove full court and hit a running jumper through traffic to push the Killer Bees past Greenport, 87-85, in one of the most unlikely results of the season. Bridgehampton went into the game as heavy underdogs, having lost to the Porters twice this season by an average margin of 25.5 points per game.
But the Killer Bees (13-8) have long had the Porters’ number, except in recent years when the team from the North Fork has been busy building state championship aspirations. The Porters cruised to the League VII title this year with a perfect 12-0 record, but will now turn their focus to the Class C playoffs and a Southeast Regional final on March 9 at Centereach High School.
The state playoffs are in Bridgehampton’s future as well, in Class D, but for now the Killer Bees will continue to compete in the overall county tournament. They will face Center Moriches, the Class B champions coached by former Killer Bee Nick Thomas, in the B/C/D final back at William Floyd on Tuesday at noon.
The Class D playoffs will pick back up with a Long Island Championship game on March 1 at Center Moriches High School at 5 p.m.
But this weekend the Killer Bees were relishing their big upset over their longtime rival. Bridgehampton held a sizeable lead for much of the game, but the Porters came charging back in the fourth quarter. After Greenport’s Jaxan Swann hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 85 with 17.4 seconds left, Ward charged up court and nailed a tough shot to take the lead with just 1.3 seconds left.
The junior point guard finished with 31 points, 12 of which came in the fourth quarter. Elijah White added 29 points and J.P. Harding had 16 points and 13 rebounds. Ahkee Anderson, Greenport’s own dynamic point guard, had 40 points to lead all scorers.