FIRST SETTLERS 58, COSMOS 21
Abby Scharadin, the Southold forward who had missed two weeks of basketball and a handful of games with a concussion and migraine headaches, made her eagerly awaited return to the court on Friday. After turning in a fine performance, Scharadin said she felt fine, which is more than probably could be said for The Ross School.
Scharadin and her teammates may have given Ross a headache as Southold cruised to its fifth win in six games, 58-21, in East Hampton.
Aside from the result, the best news of the day for Southold (8-4, 7-1 Suffolk County League VIII) was how well Scharadin played. The junior went through a scare a couple of weeks ago after another player’s chin hit the top of her head. A couple of days after that game, Scharadin said, she began experiencing bad migraine headaches.
“It was pretty scary,” she said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”
Scharadin was diagnosed as having a concussion, something she had not had before. The prescription? Rest.
“I couldn’t do anything,” she said. “I just had to sit in my room. I couldn’t watch TV or do work or focus on anything.”
Scharadin said she never missed a stretch of so many games before in her basketball career. She said she watched one of Southold’s games as a spectator, and that wasn’t easy.
“It was hard just to sit in the stands and not be a part of it,” she said.
A big day came Thursday when Scharadin returned to practice. And then, on Friday, she came off the bench and produced 10 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 block.
“She did great,” Southold coach Joe Read said. “She stayed live on the court. She didn’t miss a step on what to do. Her feet are just a little slow, but she came right back, she went strong to the basket, everything we like. We needed her back desperately because we were getting thin down low.”
Southold played without one of its frontcourt players, Melissa Rogers, who sat out her third straight game with a sore right knee and watched the game in street clothes. Read said Rogers’ status “is on a game-to-game basis. She can’t get the swelling down.” He added: “It’s tough. It’s toughest on her because she wants to play more than anybody.”
Without Rogers, Southold is more reliant than ever on Nicole Busso, Michaela Christman and Scharadin. Those three worker bees combined for 28 points and 16 of the team’s 32 rebounds against Ross (1-12, 0-9).
Busso and Sydney Campbell scored 12 points apiece.
Southold opened the game with a 14-2 lead and never looked in danger of falling behind. By halftime, the score was 25-12 in Southold’s favor, with Busso putting in 8 of those points.
In the third quarter, Southold used a 17-0 run to build a 44-14 lead.
For the game, Southold shot 54 percent (27 of 50) from the field and its bench outscored the Ross reserves, 20-4.
“There was no real letdown in intensity,” Read said. “Everybody’s hungry, and when everybody’s hungry, that’s a good thing.”
Ross received 6 points apiece from Gabby Mert and Izzy Milligan.
Southold, the defending league champion, started the day near the top of the standings with The Stony Brook School and Port Jefferson. All three teams had only one league loss going into Friday’s games.
The playoff-bound First Settlers have two huge games coming up on back-to-back days. They will play at home on Wednesday against Port Jefferson, the only team to beat Southold in league play in two seasons, and then they will hit the road Thursday for a contest against Pierson/Bridgehampton in Sag Harbor.
“Now it’s go hard and show who we really are,” Busso said. “We have to prove that we’re up there, we should be number one.”
Having Scharadin back in the rotation helps.
“I’m really excited to be back,” she said after Friday’s game. “It was great. I’m glad to be back. I felt like a real basketball player.”