So, Corinne Reda was asked, what is your role on the Mattituck High School girls basketball team this coming season?
“To help us win,” she answered before the team’s first preseason practice on Monday. “I don’t know. A lot of coaches see me as a leader, so I just embrace that, just try to take all the girls under my wing and just show them how to get stuff done.”
That will be more important now than ever since Reda is expected to be the only senior on the team this season. Is that going to take some getting used to?
“It’s been like this for a while,” Reda said. “In my grade there’s a lot of runners. I’m the only athlete with a ball. It is weird.”
Reda was a contributor last year for the Tuckers in what she called an “amazing” season. It was the most successful season Mattituck has ever had. The team posted a 20-3 record, winning its first Long Island championship before eventually falling to Marlboro in a Southeast Region Class B final.
Reda did her part. The All-League forward played in 22 games, averaging 6.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.6 steals and 2.0 blocks per game.
“I think she got better as the year went on,” coach Steve Van Dood said. “She is a player that helped us out tremendously in all those playoff games. She played sick one day and that impressed me. She showed up and I think she had the flu. She still played for us and she played tough.”
Mattituck was led by All-State player Liz Dwyer (18.5 points, 7.7 rebounds per game), who is back for her junior season. The Tuckers return a number of fine players, including Mackenzie Daly, Jane DiGregorio and Emily Mowdy, who are all key pieces in Mattituck’s turnover-producing, pressing defense. The one starter they have lost to graduation, however, was a big one. Katie Hoeg brought 13.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.6 steals, 2.5 assists and 2.0 blocks per game.
Those are some nice numbers, reflecting Hoeg’s all-around play. Without Hoeg around, how does that affect Reda’s job?
“It makes my job harder,” Reda said. “I mean, she’s always like so energetic and positive and I just have to step up and fill her shoes.”
Van Dood said Reda is going to have to rebound, and if the starters each grab two or three more rebounds per game, that can make up for what they lost in Hoeg’s work on the boards.
Assessing her own game, Reda doesn’t think she is much of a shooter. She made 33 percent of her field-goal attempts last season, going 0-for-5 from three-point distance. At the free-throw line, she shot 50 percent.
But defense is Reda’s game. She relishes playing the press, indicated by her 41 pass deflections last season.
“She knows her role, she knows her assignment, and she does a very good job at it,” Van Dood said. “That’s what we preach here: Know what you got to do on the court. She did that to a T.”
A three-sport athlete who also plays soccer and lacrosse, Reda can’t pinpoint a favorite sport. “It really just depends what season I’m in,” she said. “As long as I’m playing, having fun, that’s all that matters.”
Photo caption: Corinne Reda, attempting a layup last season, may be the only senior on Mattituck’s team this season. (Credit: Garret Meade, file)