Clippers head to playoffs
BY ANDRES RIVAS
In the last two games of the regular season, the Bellport Clippers obtained two victories — one against Deer Park during their annual Senior Night held last week and the other against West Babylon this past Saturday.
Last Tuesday was an important night. It was the team’s annual senior game — their last chance to play for a home crowd during the regular season. But the win was not easy, given their rival was Deer Park, a team that came into the game at 11-1 and is a leader in the League IV conference. Deer Park had five victories in League IV action in a row, but that winning streak was broken with Bellport’s 67-65 victory.
After the first quarter, Bellport was down by a margin of 11, but took advantage of a 17-6 run in the second quarter and tied at halftime. In the second half, the team brought their best by out-scoring Deer Park by 21 points in the third quarter.
Sophomore Jarell White was looking forward to handing Deer Park their second loss of the season, and put up 31 points, 17 rebounds, a couple of steals, blocks and assists. “It’s go hard or go home,” said White after the game.
Junior Teandre Rountree gained 15 points, a steal, a block, five assists and five rebounds. “It felt good to get a victory against Deer Park. There was a lot of pressure since the last time we played them,” he said.
It also proved to be a big night for senior captains Marcus Mourning, Justin Rountree and Raj Noak and seniors DeQuan Wilson and Ashanti Trent. Noak added a total of seven points, a pair of steals, three assists and four rebounds. Justin Rountree added three points and was a factor defensively with two steals, an assist and a pair of rebounds. Trent had a pair of assists and five rebounds and was a huge factor on the defensive part of the game. Wilson added two points, two blocks, a pair of assists and rebounds. Mourning added 12 points, three steals, four assists, two rebounds and also knocked down two key free throws with 30 seconds remaining.
“We are hot right now; that’s one of the biggest games I’ve ever played in my high school career. It felt good,” Mourning said.
With one victory in hand, the Clippers looked to close the season with a W on Saturday, Feb. 11 in West Babylon and did so with an 82-72 end score. White had another big game with 26 points, 21 rebounds, a steal, four blocks and two assists.
“It’s going to be tough to stop us if everyone is contributing,” he said.
Brothers Teandre and Justin Rountree combined for 24 points, six steals, two blocks, 12 assists and 13 rebounds. “We didn’t think of losing, we were just playing to win the game,” said Justin Rountree.
Brothers Ashanti and Jaylen Trent combined for six points. Mourning added 12 points, three assists and five rebounds, Karl Charles added four points, Wilson had three points, three steals, two blocks, an assist and three rebounds, and Noak contributed seven points, two steals, an assist and five rebounds.
“We all know what it takes to win. This week set the tone for playoffs,” said Noak.
The Clippers ended the season with a 9-5 record (4-3 on the road, 5-2 at home), averaging 69 points and allowing 64 points. They now await the playoffs with their first game scheduled for this Saturday at 10 a.m. at Half Hollow Hills West, a team that defeated the Clippers two times in the regular season.
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