Girls Were in It Till Final Minute

There are a dozen on Brooks’s roster and all play
Emma Silvera (24), guarded above by Wyandanch’s Jalea Ervin, came close to making it a 1-point game in the final minute, but her 3-point attempt rolled off the rim. Craig Macnaughton

East Hampton High’s girls basketball team had a chance to win a second game this season — an unheard of feat in recent years — versus hitherto-winless Wyandanch here Saturday, but, in the end, it was not to be.

“Too many turnovers,” said Bonac’s coach, Krista Brooks, after the 40-35 loss. “Though, in the case of some of them, like lead passes on the break, you could see the intentions were good. Our defense was very good. . . . We’ve got to shoot more and turn the ball over less. It was the same thing at Miller Place,” which defeated East Hampton 46-30 last Thursday. “But we are becoming more solid as a team; we’re getting better.” 

Connie Chan made the first basket, putting the ball up from underneath, and then, following a turnover, Paige Cordone swished in a jumper. Following another Wyandanch turnover, and a miss by Kailey Marmeno, Chan’s putback made it 6-0. “Hold my heart!” one could imagine East Hampton’s parents saying.

Soon afterward, thanks to two 3-pointers chucked up by the visitors’ senior point guard, Jalea Ervin — shots that bracketed more than two minutes of frenzied but unfruitful play — it became clear that this would be no walkover.

Ervin’s second 3 evened the count at 6-6. A basket by Cordone, her sixth point of the first quarter, made with 13 seconds left in the opening period, pulled East Hampton even at 10-10.

And so it went. Two made free throws by Jessica Guallpa, one of a number of Bonac guards who can handle the ball well, brought the Bonackers to within 1 point of the Warriors, at 20-21, in the last half-minute of the first half, and, in the final ticks, East Hampton could well have taken a lead into the locker room had the leader of a fast break driven all the way to the basket rather than pull up.

Bonac fans dared to dream again when, in the opening minute of the third quarter, Cordone, following three Wyandanch misses, went coast-to-coast for 22-21, and Alden Powers, following a steal by Marmeno, converted on the break for 24-21. Ervin continued to loft the ball up from the perimeter — six times by one count — in the ensuing minutes, but to no effect as East Hampton defended well. 

By the same token, Bonac shooters were coming up empty too, from the field and the foul line. Then, in the final minute, East Hampton extended its lead to 30-22, thanks to baskets by Emma Silvera (two) and Cordone, by way of another coast-to-coaster.

That was as good as it was going to get, however, for in the fourth period the visitors, who pressed on every in-

bounds play, were to outscore the Bonackers 18-5.

With three and a half minutes left to play, it was 31-31. A basket by Chan, with the ball, which had rolled around and around, finally dropping in, made it 33-31, and a free throw by Silvera, who had come up empty on three previous attempts from the line, upped East Hampton’s lead to 34-31, leading one to wonder when Ervin, who had gone 2-for-22 from beyond the arc, would finally drain another one.

Indeed she did, and, as a result, with 1:27 left on the clock, it was 34-34. 

Unfortunately for East Hampton, Wyandanch’s senior point guard continued in the final moments to dominate play, tacking on 6 more points — four made from the foul line — before the final buzzer sounded, a span during which East Hampton, by contrast, missed a 3-point attempt and three shots from in close, and went 1-for-2 from the foul line.

Ervin finished with a game-high 23 points. “She was the team,” Brooks said afterward. Cordone had 11 points for East Hampton, followed by Silvera with 8, Chan with 7, Emily Brewer, Guallpa, Powers, and Tia Weiss each with 2, and Eva Wojtusiak with 1.

The good news, though, was that East Hampton’s jayvee won, defeating its counterparts 34-26. Nora Conlon led the way, said the jayvee’s coach, Erin 

Mulrain, with 12 points, and Deliah Desmond, she said, had 10 assists.