Mattituck is once again headed into the high school girls basketball playoffs.
Participating in the playoffs has become a Mattituck tradition in recent years. With a 52-50 road victory over Pierson/Bridgehampton last Thursday, the Tuckers secured a postseason place for the ninth time in 11 years, all under coach Steve Van Dood.
This season they just keep winning. On Tuesday night, a 26-point, 10-rebound performance by Liz Dwyer led the Tuckers to their 11th consecutive win, 48-44 over Southold/Greenport at Mattituck High School. Mattituck also won, 47-32, when the teams played in Southold on Dec. 8.
The final score of Tuesday’s game was a bit misleading. First-place Mattituck (11-1, 9-0 Suffolk County League VII) led by as many as 18 points twice in the second half, the last time when Dwyer converted a layup off a nifty pass from Jane DiGregorio (12 points), making the score 43-25 early in the fourth quarter.
With what looked like a safe lead, Van Dood began substituting and one of his starters, Corinne Reda, fouled out with 2 minutes, 4 seconds left in the game. Meanwhile, Southold (6-6, 4-6) did not stop playing. The Clippers closed out the game by scoring the final 13 points, the last two of those coming on Samantha Baldwin’s basket at the buzzer off a missed free throw.
It was a hard-played, scrappy affair, with the teams combining for 43 turnovers.
Southold struggled with its shooting the entire game. The Clippers shot 21 percent from the field and missed 11 free throws.
Mattituck, the defending Long Island Class B champion, did better on its field-goal attempts, putting in 39 percent. It helps when a team has a player like Dwyer, the slashing junior forward, and others who can get to the basket quickly for layups. Dwyer shot 6 of 14 from the field and made 14 of 19 foul shots.
Madison Tabor was Southold’s top scorer with 15 points, hitting a pair of three-pointers. She fouled out with 3.3 seconds to go in the game. Grace Syron added seven points and nine rebounds.
Southold is halfway to that magic number of eight league wins that would bring the Clippers a playoff berth.
Photo caption: Liz Dwyer, guarded by Southold/Greenport’s Ale Cardi, brought Mattituck 26 points and 10 rebounds in a physical game. (Credit: Garret Meade)