Talk about getting thrown into the fire.
Not only did the Southold/Greenport girls play their season-opener at a tough Port Jefferson side Monday evening, the Clippers went right into their Suffolk County league schedule as well.
The Royals already had two games under their belt and with the always dangerous senior Courtney Lewis looking to add to her burgeoning point total.
Lewis, who cracked the 1,500-point career barrier last week, led the way with 27 points en route to a 59-41 win. She added eight rebounds and four assists for Port Jefferson (2-1, 2-0).
Lewis connected for 11 of her points in the opening quarter as the Royals rolled to a 20-10 advantage that it never relinquished. The Clippers (0-1) had tied the game at six-all on a pair of baskets from Madison Tabor (16 points) and one by Toni Esposito before Port Jefferson went on a 9-0 tear to give itself some room.
Facing a 36-19 deficit entering the third quarter, the Clippers virtually played the Royals point-for-point the rest of the way. Ale Cardi led the resurgence by scoring 10 of her 14 points in the second half.
As it turned out, Lewis was far from a one-girl show. Jackie Brown collected 12 points, five rebounds and five assists. Senior Jillian Colucci, a vital member of the Royals’ Class C state championship soccer team, demonstrated she also could use her hands as well as her feet. She finished with 12 points, three assists and three rebounds.
The Clippers’ schedule doesn’t get any easier as they will host another League VII power, Mattituck, at Greenport High at 6:15 p.m. Thursday.
Photo caption: Clippers junior Grace Syron drives toward the basket Monday night. (Credit: Bill Landon)