It may have been far from its prettiest performance, but Eastport-South Manor got the job done and moved on, which has become standard for the Island's dominant small-school boys volleyball program.
Led by Ryan Brisson's 20 assists and six digs and John Bohnenblusch's 16 kills and four blocks, No. 1 ESM defeated No. 3 Sayville Wednesday night at Longwood, 25-20, 25-10, 25-23, to clinch its second straight Suffolk Division II title.
Eastport-South Manor will play the Bellmore JFK/Floral Park winner for the Long Island championship Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Hofstra, when the Sharks will try to earn a second consecutive state championship berth.
"We didn't play up to our standards,'' Brisson said, "but we played well enough to win, and that was good enough to win a county championship."
In a tight Game 1, Stephen Polhemus' block gave ESM a 23-20 lead. The Sharks (16-1) dominated Game 2, as the Brisson-Bohnenblusch combination broke down the Golden Flashes' defense.
Sayville (9-7) made it competitive in the third game, leading 23-22 before two Bohnenblusch kills gave ESM match point, which it converted. Said Bohnenblusch: "It's the greatest feeling in the world."