BY ANDRES RIVAS
This past week Bellport had two more obstacles in their conquest to repeat the league title, and they defeated both of the opponents in their way, Comsewogue and North Babylon.
In their first game against Comsewogue, they took care of business with a 76-52 victory. They used an extremely good first half, where they outscored the Warriors by a margin of 21. Jarell White led all scorers with 32 points and 12 rebounds, Jaylen Trent had 12 points and three steals, while Lorenz Aikens had seven points. Jeff Stewart and Sean Vargas had five points each, while Devon Balfour and Jihad Robinson had four apiece. Kyle Climan, Donald Henderson and Carter Vanderkefit combined for seven points.
Bellport had six days to prepare for the most important game of the regular season against North Babylon, and they didn’t disappoint.
The Clippers got their revenge this time around, defeating the Bulldogs 65-56. In the first quarter, it was a low-scoring game for both teams. Bellport started out with a 6-0 run and North Babylon was cutting the distance until they took a one-point lead at 9-8. There was a suffocating defense from both teams on the court and they were fighting for possession of the ball. In the second quarter, the Clippers got more comfortable, with a lot of takeaways and boards, and held a six-point lead at halftime.
Coming out of halftime, the Clippers looked like a different team.
The crowd sparked a 15-4 run, which turned into a 16-point lead, concluding in the dunk of Balfour on Frank Toney, which brought out the best in the crowd. There was a 15-point lead after the third quarter and the Bulldogs cut it to 10 points, but the Clippers hung on.
White led all scorers with 24 points and 27 rebounds. Balfour had 11 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks and a steal. Trent had 11 points and four rebounds. Aikens did a little bit of everything with 11 points, five rebounds and five assists. Mike Alvarado and Robinson combined for 11 points and 11 boards.
“We worked harder in practice, mentally, not physically; we definitely weren’t prepared the first time. When they came to our court, it was go time,” said Balfour. “My dunk definitely got North Babylon thinking and it helped spark a run.”
“We were focused. Nobody can beat us on our court — we slow the pace down and play Bellport basketball,” said Aikens.
With this win, Bellport now shares the lead of the League III division with 11 wins and one loss. There are still four games to be played.
“We need a strong mentality these last four games, play defense, and if we do that, nothing else matters,” concluded White.
Bellport will visit Newfield today at 5:45 p.m. and will return home for a Saturday game at noon.