TUCKERS 68, ROYALS 40
Daniel Fedun didn’t know what to expect this season making the jump from JV to varsity. His role, he figured, would be a hustle guy, the kind of player whose work doesn’t always appear in the stat sheet.
Mattituck coach Paul Ellwood quickly grew to appreciate the hustle Fedun supplied and began using him as the first player off the bench.
Heading into Monday night’s League VII game against Port Jefferson, Ellwood worried about possibly getting off to a slow start. So he inserted Fedun into the starting lineup, hoping his energy would help propel the Tuckers from the outset.
In his first varsity start, Fedun, a junior, delivered more than the coaches could have imagined. He scored a career-high 26 points — more than he had scored in a JV game the past two years — and helped guide the Tuckers to a 68-40 win at Mattituck High School.
The Tuckers improved to 1-1 in league and 4-1 overall. And in a competitive league that features some talented teams at the top, the Tuckers couldn’t afford a slip-up to fall to 0-2.
Fedun was the beneficiary of some good ball movement and a fast-paced offense that allowed him to get the ball in prime scoring spots. The Tuckers didn’t begin the game with a focus of running the offense through Fedun. It just happened that way.
The Royals were focused on getting out to Mattituck’s shooters beyond the 3-point line, and Fedun found holes in the zone to exploit that.
The Tuckers were in control throughout the game. The Royals’ only lead came at the beginning, 4-0, before Mattituck went on a 14-0 run, capped by Fedun converting on a fastbreak off an assist from Joe Tardif.
The Royals (0-5, 0-2 League VII) made things interesting in the second quarter, climbing to within one at 24-23 with 1:12 left. It was as close as they would get. The Tuckers went on a 20-2 run from the end of the second into the third quarter to blow the game open.
The Tuckers got 13 points off the bench from Ryan Mowdy and senior Will Gildersleeve added 11. Mattituck forced 19 Port Jefferson turnovers.
The Tuckers return to action Friday at home against Wyandanch.