Three Huntington High School boys’ basketball players collected honors at the Suffolk hardcourt awards dinner at the Polish Hall in Riverhead.
A large crowd of 300 players, coaches and parents was served a traditional Polish meal of kielbasa, ham and roast beef, sauerkraut, green beans and mashed potatoes and then sat back and listened to short speeches about the county’s best players and teams.
The 110 year old Polish Hall made for a quaint setting for the group. The facility has hosted the Suffolk Boys’ Basketball Coaches Association’s awards dinner for decades.
Accompanied by head coach Brian Carey, Huntington seniors Kevin Lawrence, Taqwan Gooden-Hill and James Shea attended the dinner and were honored with special awards.
Lawrence was named to the All-League and All-Conference teams. The teenager was seventh in scoring among all Suffolk large school players, averaging 18.3 points per game. He added nine rebounds per game and also dropped 30 three-point baskets.
An All-League selection, Gooden-Hill averaged 11.2 points and hit 40 three-pointers. He enjoyed a remarkable second half to his season, averaging 17.8 points after averaging just 6.2 points during the first half of the year.
Shea captured All-Academic recognition, one of eight League III players to be honored for his achievements on the court and in the classroom. The teenager provided Huntington with a spark off the bench and nailed numerous big baskets throughout the season. He has also been excelling in his classroom studies.
The Blue Devils tied Sachem North for the 15th most productive offense out of all large schools in the county. Huntington averaged 57.1 points per game. The Blue Devils were tied for 12th among all Suffolk teams with 112 three-pointers.
The Polish Hall, complete with its unique interior and two chandeliers conjured up images of the movie Hoosiers and 1950’s era Indiana basketball. Some in the crowd found the evening to be a walk through yesteryear.