It was a repeat performance by the Plainview JFK boys basketball team on Tuesday. Unfortunately, that means the end result is the same.
Unable to dig themselves out of an early double-digit deficit, the Hawks lost to Port Washington, 58-51, in Conference AA-II action. Making the loss even harder to stomach, it was Port Washington's first win of the year, after losing 10 straight. Plainview fell to 2-8.
"We created our own turnovers, bumping into each other, throwing the ball where people are not, not getting to the right spots on the floor," Hawks coach Mike Harris said.
It was that early sloppiness combined with hot Port Washington shooting that made it tough early on. The Vikings' Josh Feshbach hit a shot to cap off a 10-1 run to start the game and a Michael Murphy three ended the 24-point Viking first quarter, to Plainview's 10.
The Hawks' Kevin Massa hit two threes off the bench in the second to chip away at the lead, but the highlight of the game was provided by Feshbach, as he hit a half-court three at the buzzer to stun the Hawks, and put his club up by 10 at the break.
Mixing a man-to-man and zone 'D', Plainview clamped down in the second half, and began to find some rhythm on offense. Jordan Sekler hit a three to bring the Hawks within five, and Greg Rankel hit both his free throws to make it 54-51.
The Hawks appeared to get a steal moments later, but were called for the foul. Everyone pulling for Plainview insisted they grabbed nothing but ball, but the officials disagreed, and Michael Murphy hit both his free throws, and despite some good looks, the Hawks were held without a field goal the rest of the way.
"We have a game plan every single day and we're so inconsistent," Harris said. "One day we're a good man team, next day we're a good zone team, and we can't find that consistency and that's what digs us an early hole.
Rankel led the Hawks with 12 points, with Massa next in line with eight.
Records: Plainview (2-8), Port Washington (1-10)
Hero: Michael Murphy. The Port Washington senior scored 15, hit three from beyond the arc and converted two clutch foul shots in the final minute to help the Vikings to their first win of the year.
Turning Point: With 54 seconds remaining, Plainview appeared to steal the ball from Murphy, but were called for the foul. That ended the Hawks' fourth quarter momentum as the Vikings hit a few free throws to put things away.
Quote: "You never know what you're going to get with this team, what defense is going to work," Hawks coach Mike Harris said. "We tried to battle back in the end, and that's what we're capable of doing...beating teams, but not when we dig ourselves a 14 point hole."
Bottom Line: Much like their loss last week to Herricks, Plainview rallied from a large deficit, but fell short in the final minute. They need to get off to quicker starts and cut down on mental mistakes if they hope to reach the postseason.
Key Stat: 24, the number of first quarter points the Hawks gave up, twice as much as they allowed in any quarter the rest of the way, but the damage was done as Plainview never led.
Who's Next: Friday 1/21 vs. East Meadow, 5 p.m.
Port Washington...24....12...10...12 - 58
Plainview JFK.......10....16....8....17 - 51
Port Washington: Feshbach 10-1-11, Murphy 13-2-15, Ozcayir 16-2-18, Tasnady 2-0-2, Cohen 8-2-10, Froccaro 2-0-2. Three pointers: Feshbach 2, Murphy 3
Plainview JFK: Bernstein 0-1-1, Strack 4-0-4, Rankel 6-6-12, Farber 2-0-2, Rothman 5-1-6, Sekler 6-0-6, Meiselas 4-2-6, Massa 8-0-8, Ross 6-0-6. Three pointers: Rothman, Sekler 2, Massa 2