TUCKERS 45, PANTHERS 39
Mattituck coach Steve Van Dood likes to say that winning a high school girls basketball game is a matter of stepping up and performing. Who is going to rise to the occasion? Who is going to take charge?
On Thursday night it was Brianna Perino and Courtney Penny who made a difference for the Tuckers against visiting Babylon.
Babylon knew what it was up against in Mattituck’s two headline players, Liz Dwyer and Katie Hoeg. What may have caught the Panthers by surprise, however, were the contributions made by the less-heralded Perino and Penny in the Suffolk County League VII game. The two juniors combined for 17 points (10 by Perino), helping push the Tuckers to a 45-39 victory and within one win of clinching a playoff berth. The Tuckers (6-6, 4-1) had lost four of their previous five games.
Perino scored two baskets during a 10-2 run that was capped by a Dwyer layup, giving the Tuckers a 42-31 lead and enough of a cushion to hold off Babylon (6-5, 2-2).
Dwyer finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks and 1 assist. Hoeg was held to 8 points, but she pulled down 18 rebounds, one shy of her career-high. Courtney Murphy had 6 assists to go with her 4 points.
The Tuckers controlled the boards, outrebounding Babylon by 47-28.
Babylon, which saw its four-game winning streak snapped, was also hurt by cold shooting. The Panthers shot 26 percent from the field and had trouble nailing 3-point attempts, going 3 of 19 from beyond the arc.
The Tuckers had some shooting woes of their own, making only 4 of 20 field-goal attempts in the third quarter and finishing with a 32-percent success rate for the game.
Babylon received 13 points from Emily Guerra and 11 from Kristen Altieri. Shannon Hartigan grabbed 11 rebounds.