SPORTS

Sayville vs. Bayport-Blue Point

BBP takes the win

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Thursday, May 19, was time for a matinee rivalry on Academy Street. Two longtime adversaries, who geographically cannot get any closer, faced off in a win-or-go-home game for the first round of the Suffolk County Division II playoffs. In recent history, BBP has been a thorn in Sayville’s side. They have had their opponent’s number, winning five of the last six meetings between the two foes.

The last time Sayville beat BBP was also the last time both varsity squads went head-to-head in the postseason in May of 2016, by a 7-6 score. In April of that year, Bayport-Blue Point won the back-and-forth bout, 12-11. In 2017, the two did not face each other.

In 2018, the Phantoms won narrowly, 8-7; in 2019, the Phantoms took down their division adversary on the road, 10-4; there was no meeting in 2020 due to COVID-19. Precisely 366 days prior on May 18, 2021, BBP were the guests at Sayville and pulled out a 9-8 victory scoring in the final minute of regulation, and this April the Phantoms dominated the Golden Flashes, 13-5. In the 2022 regular season, Bayport-Blue Point posted a 10-5 record, representing themselves as the No. 3 seed in Division II, and Sayville capped off their campaign at 9-7 securing the No. 6 playoff seed in the division.

For the Golden Flashes, junior Benny Sands was safeguarding the net.

On the other side, Phantoms’ senior Matt Nilan was between the pipes. BBP middie Jameson Smith opened the scoring at 1:57 into the first quarter to give his team a 1-0 lead.

One minute and 14 seconds later, junior attackmen JJ Aiello put up the second tally of the matinee, extending the lead to 2.

Three and a half minutes preceded another score for Jameson Smith, adding his second goal of the day and third for his squad.

Sayville junior attackmen Ronan Fitzpatrick put the Golden Flashes on the board scoring a goal with 4:33 remaining in the first, but junior middie Derek Varley chipped in 48 seconds later to post his club’s fourth goal. Bayport-Blue Point had a comfortable 5-1 lead at the conclusion of the first period. In under two minutes, three goals were traded by both sides.

One minute and 50 seconds into the second quarter, senior Anthony Messi notched the second goal for the Purple and Gold, cutting the deficit to 5-2.

BBP tallied another 29 seconds later; then, in a matter of 16 seconds, Sayville junior Braden McNamara kept his team in the game again, trimming the deficit this time to 6-3.

A few minutes later, Jameson Smith and JJ Aiello scored a goal apiece and the Phantoms took control 8-3, but Sayville kept fighting back with senior Brendan O’Rourke throwing one to the net, and the scoreboard read Phantoms 8, Golden Flashes 4 with 5:12 to go in the second period.

Five minutes remained and three more goals culminated the first half’s scoring barrage as Smith scored another; junior PJ Shanahan chipped in on the offensive party and with 14 seconds until the buzzer sounded, senior Aidan Cameron added a goal and the Navy Blue and Gold held a commanding 11-4 lead at the halftime intermission.

In the fourth minute of the third, two Phantoms scored 25 seconds apart: PJ Shanahan with 8:38 to go and Ben Morris with 8:13 left, and their lead was stretched to nine goals.

Prior to the end of the third, Jameson Smith, JJ Aiello, and PJ Shanahan continued to assert themselves as key contributors to the power surge, each scoring one more in the quarter.

After 36 minutes, Bayport-Blue Point had a stronghold, leading 16-4. After a plethora of goals in the first three periods, the fourth quarter only featured two scores, one for Navy Blue and Gold and one for Purple and Gold.

The final shot of the game was a bullet dispatched off the mesh of Sayville senior Charlie Sands, but Matt Nilan deflected the ball, and time winded down and the horn sounded, and Bayport-Blue Point defeated Sayville by a 17-5 final. The Phantoms will trek out east to face Shoreham-Wading River on Tuesday for the second round at 4 p.m. 

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