Feb. 6 was a night to remember, celebrating the last home game ever at Bridgehampton High School’s gymnasium, known as the “Bee Hive,” where the Killer Bees hosted Shelter Island.
The Hive is a unique gym. The small, multipurpose facility was built in 1930 and has been the site of literally dozens of championship seasons, including numerous New York State Class D championships. Recently, former head coach Carl Johnson, a 1980 graduate of Bridgehampton, was inducted into the New York State Coaches Athletic Hall of Fame and he and Island Coach, Jay Card Jr. rivals in high school during the late 1970s and now close friends, were on hand for the Hive’s swan song. The night of Feb. 6, Coach Johnson was the guest speaker prior to the start of their last home game.
The Hive was packed by a standing-room-only crowd, and all rose to pay tribute to Coach Johnson. Truly, it was historic, an unforgettable night for all of us who were present.
As for the game, the Indians posted an easy victory, 70-40, over the Killer Bees. The contest was never in doubt, as the Indians jumped out to a 21-7 first quarter lead and a 37-14 halftime advantage. Keith Taplin scored the team’s first 6 points and Lucas Quigley-Dunning added 10 points prior to leaving the game due to a slight re-injuring of his ankle near the end of the opening quarter of play. Coach Card kept him on the bench as a precautionary measure, especially with the county championship game coming up next week.
A total of 11 Indian players scored in this final regular season game. Senior Dan Martin led his team with 12 points; Taplin totaled 9 points; Brandon Velasquez came off the bench to score 8 points; and Luke Lowell-Liszanckie and Nick Mamisashvilli added an additional 6 points each.
Coach Card noted his team’s unselfish play, and was proud Shelter Island recorded the last victory at the Hive.
Special congratulations go to Bridgehampton freshman Scott Vinski, who had a game high 20 points. Vinski will also have the distinction of scoring the last basket in the old gym.
The Indians finished tying for 2nd place behind Pierson, who ran the table for a perfect 12-0 in League 8. Smithtown Christian and Shelter Island both posted impressive 8-4 league records. The Indians have peaked at the right time, finishing the season with five straight league wins.