Bellport Outlasts West Babylon
By James Gaddis
Newsday Staff Writer
February 22, 2003
Rha-Mel Flippen and Cedrick Bias have experience in playing hoops without teammate Jason Trent, who missed five games during the regular season.
This time around, the 6-2 point guard found himself sitting on the bench after fouling out with 24.1 seconds left in regulation. That set the stage for Flippen and Bias in No. 5 Bellport's 73-61 overtime win at No. 4 West Babylon Friday night in a Suffolk Class A boys basketball quarterfinal.
Bellport plays at No.1 Whitman (17-1) at 6 p.m. Monday in a semifinal. Flippen, a 5-10 guard, and Bias, a 6-foot forward, orchestrated two head-turning three-point plays in the extra period to steal momentum and seal the win.
But these heroics came after the Clippers (17-3) squandered an 11-point fourth-quarter lead. The Bellport meltdown culminated with three seconds left, when West Babylon's Dennis Munch found 6-5 center Dave Maldonado wide open under the basket for an easy layup, sending the game into overtime tied at 54. Maldonado led all scorers with 21 points.
With 2:21 left in the extra period, Bellport sat on a four-point lead as the Eagles (17-3) urgently looked to gain ground. Bellport's 6-5 center Jermaine Russell swatted West Babylon's next shot and Flippen retrieved the loose ball. He found Bias, who took the pass down court and drove at two on-coming defenders. The lay up fell and Bias drew the foul. He made the free throw to give Bellport a 63-56 lead.
The duo put the game out of reach one minute later. Flippen, caught in a West Babylon sandwich at midcourt, somehow slung a pass between the two defenders to a wide-open Bias, who converted another three-point play to give Bellport a 68-57 lead.
Flippen finished with a team-high 18 points and five steals and Bias added nine points.
"We told ourselves we were not going to lose today," Flippen said. "[The five starters are] all seniors and we want to go to the championship game."
Trent, who finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds, hit four straight free throws just before fouling out to give the Clippers a 53-48 lead.
"I was confident in my teammates that they would come through," Trent said. "Those free throws at the end (12 of 14 in overtime), they were clutch, just clutch. We're just a good team and we want to win it all."
Copyright © 2003, Newsday, Inc.
|Team||1st Quarter||2nd Quarter||3rdQuarter||4thQuarter||Over Time||Final Score|
B: Trent 4-7-16, Russell 3-4-10, Dennis 4-3-11, Jackson 1-0-3, Flippen 4-10-18, Garrison
1-0-3, Mitchell 2-0-4, Bias 2-5-9. Totals: 21-29-73. WB: Lapetina 3-0-8, Munch 1-5-7,
Maldonaldo 6-7-21, Maggio 5-2-12, O'Callaghan 6-1-13. Totals: 21-15-61.
Three-pointers: B 2 (Trent, Jackson), WB 4 (Lapetina 2, Maldonado 2).
CLASS A FINAL 4
Monday February 24, 2003
Bellport at Walt Whitman
DIRECTIONS TO WALT WHITMAN
RT 110 NORTH TO RT 25. LEFT ON RT 25.
GO TO 2ND TRAFFIC LIGHT (APPROX 1/2 MILE).
TURN LEFT ONTO WEST HILLS ROAD
THE HIGH SCHOOL IS ON THE RIGHT.