Splashy Start for East Hampton’s Boys Swim Team

The East Hampton High School boys swimmers swamped Smithtown
Kevin Weiss swam in the 200 and 400 freestyle relay events for East Hampton in Friday’s meet here with Smithtown. Craig Macnaughton

The East Hampton High School boys swimming and girls basketball teams began their seasons this past week, with decidedly different results.

The boys, coached by Craig Brierley, swamped Smithtown — a team that had finished a couple of spots higher than the Bonackers in last year’s county meet — in a nonleaguer Friday at the Y.M.C.A. East Hampton RECenter, and the next day, the girls basketball team, coached by Kelly McKee, was overwhelmed by their Whaler counterparts at Pierson High School in Sag Harbor.

“That’s a good team,” McKee said following the 75-23 shellacking. As for East Hampton, whose numbers are good, and whose attitude, according to McKee, remains great, “we’ve got a long way to go. “

When Kevin Barron, Pierson’s coach, was asked afterward how he thought his team would do vis-a-vis Class C peers, he said, “We’ll be in the mix, but there’s Mercy and Southold and Stony Brook and Port Jefferson — Mercy and Southold especially. . . . We’ll find out.”

Katie Kneeland led the Whalers with 21 points, Celia Barranco had 13, and Chastin Giles, the energetic point guard transfer, whose swift one-arm passes often found Barranco or Jalyn Hopson underneath, and who had no trouble in driving to the hoop, had 9.

Pierson, whose aggressive defense befuddled the Bonackers, jumped out to a 19-0 lead and never looked back. A made free throw by Maddie Schenck accounted for East Hampton’s sole point of the first quarter.

Olivia Brauer made East Hampton’s first basket of the season in the first minute of the second period and, later on, banked in two more before she went down in a scrum under the basket East Hampton was defending with an apparent ankle injury just before the half ended.

She was on crutches when the teams returned from their locker rooms for the second half.

With 16 on the squad that afternoon, McKee frequently subbed in fresh groups of five, but not to much avail. Pierson cashed in on repeated steals, drew fouls, and otherwise created havoc.

Emma Silvera hit a 3-pointer for East Hampton to begin the fourth. Otherwise, there wasn’t much to write home about.

The swimmers, by contrast, made a splash, beginning with the 200-yard medley relay team’s come-from-behind win in the meet’s opening event. Smithtown held the lead going into the anchor leg, but Ethan McCormac overcame it in exciting fashion.

Ethan’s brother, Owen, then won the 200 freestyle handily (with Ryan Bahel second), after which East Hampton placed second (Ryan Duryea), third (Joey Badilla), and fourth (Aidan Forst) in the 200 individual medley, and swept the 50 with Ethan McCormac, Fernando Menjura, and Thor Botero.

Coming out of the diving intermission, East Hampton led 43-19, and while the final score was given as 91-71, the Bonackers forwent some points at the end, exhibitioning in the 100 breaststroke and the 400 free relay, the meet’s last event.

Besides the aforementioned, other East Hampton winners that evening were Ethan McCormac, in the 500; the 200 freestyle relay team of Colin Harrison, Duryea, Owen McCormac, and Menjura; Duryea in the 100 breast, and the 400 free relay team of Ethan McCormac, Joey Badilla, Owen McCormac, and Forst. 

Monday’s mandatory nonleague meet, with Northport, “one of the top four teams in the county,” would probably be a different matter entirely, the coach said.

Paige Schaefer and her Pierson-Bridgehampton teammates made it hard for East Hampton’s Maddie Schenck and her teammates to get inside in Saturday’s nonleaguer in Sag Harbor. Craig Macnaughton