The girl’s middle school basketball seventh grade team put up a good fight on Thursday in their season opener against the Lady Baymen of Hampton Bays, going into double overtime, only to lose in the end by only one point, 38-37.
Coach Jonathon Tortorella said he was “very proud of all the girls, our energy was great, they never gave up and fought their hearts out.”
He said the girl’s were down 12 points in the fourth quarter then Bridget Canavan hit a jumpshot with 12 seconds left in the game to force the first overtime.
“We also hit a put-back lay-up with nine seconds left that resulted in sudden death and a second overtime,” said the coach.
“Our defense was tremendous and kept us in this game,” he added, although he admitted Hampton Bays had some good players and the team defense really stepped up and made some plays.
The defensive Lady Whalers including May Evjen, Kasey Gilbride and Katherine Matthers “really stood out,” according to Tortorella but he added all the girls did great and played hard.
On Saturday, the Lady Whalers were set to play Southampton, but the game was called off because the Lady Mariners didn’t have enough players to compete.
The seventh graders hit the court again on Tuesday, playing Center Moriches on the road and came home with a 36-6 win.
“We learned a lot about ourselves after the last game. The girls really improved on certain aspects of our game and they played great team basketball,” said Tortorella.
“Our defense was awesome. We only allowed two attempted lay-ups throughout the game, which really demonstrates how hard they worked on defense.”Â
The coach praised Sol Varela, Selena Garcia, Paige DePetris, May Evjen and Kasey Gilbride on their defensive efforts.
“Selena [Garcia] did a tremendous job guarding both in the post and on the perimeter. I was very proud of her. I saw a lot of improvement from a lot of the girls – however, Sydney Mitchell, Kirra McGowin, Katy KoehneÂ and Eilis Sheil really played well,” he said.
The seventh graders played Montauk yesterday (Wednesday), to make up for the snowed out Monday game. The girls will also be at home on Friday against Port Jeff at 4:30 p.m.
While the seventh graders were battling the Lady Baymen at home on Thursday, the eighth grade team faced their Hampton Bays counterparts on the road the same day.
The game started out as a close affair, according to coach Marc Schimmer. However as the game progressed the Lady Whalers had a tough time scoring, and Hampton Bays was able to pull away forÂ the win 34-11.Â
On Saturday the eighth grade team played Southampton in a close match-up.Â “The girls displayed hustle on both ends of the court, and wasÂ instrumental in helping us getÂ our first victory of the season,” Schimmer said. The girl’s won Saturday’s game 29-23.Â
Schimmer added the eighth graders have been focused on the fundamental skills of dribbling, passing, shooting, and defending as well as conditioning to get in shape for the season.
There are 16 girls that make up the team and according to the coach they are a strong group.
“Their strength is their willingness to work hard in both skills and conditioning drills without complaint,” said Schimmer.
The eighth graders played Montauk away yesterday, Wednesday, and will face Port Jefferson at 4:30 p.m. on Friday away.Â