Mackenzie Daly had to have mixed emotions. The Mattituck High School girls basketball team had reached the Southeast Region Class B final for a second year in a row and Daly was there. The thing was, she was sitting on the bench in street clothes with a clipboard in her hand, keeping statistics, not playing, which she would have preferred. READ
Not all losses are equal. Some are more or less painful than others. This one could be filed in the “less painful” category for the Mattituck High School girls basketball team.
Not that losses don’t hurt and any athlete with an ounce of competitiveness doesn’t mind losing, but sometimes the other team is just plain better, no ifs, ands or buts about it. That understanding can make a loss a little easier to digest.
It was going to take a good high school girls basketball team to end Mattituck’s season. Perhaps a team like Mattituck, only better.
That team was Irvington.
Haven’t we been here before?
Yes, we have. Well, not literally. Last year this game was at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue. On Monday it was at SUNY/Old Westbury. But it was the same stage of the playoffs (a Long Island Class B girls basketball final), with the same two teams (Mattituck and Carle Place) and, yes, the same result (a Mattituck victory).
Of course, what was different was how it was achieved.
It was about a half-dozen years ago when someone brought Steve Van Dood’s attention to a fifth-grade girl playing soccer on the playground. It was the way she was playing that was interesting.
Van Dood recalled: “She was just bowling over boys, knocking kids over, and I was like, ‘That’s the toughness that we need on our basketball team later down the road.’ ”
With a Long Island Class B girls basketball championship on the line, Carle Place eighth-grader Erin Leary received a pass from Leah Burden in the right corner and let loose a shot as time expired. It hit nothing but net.
Initially, some on the Mattituck side believed it to be a three-pointer.
Liz Dwyer’s heart sank. “I almost started crying,” said the junior forward.
The Mattituck Tuckers know their ABCs. It’s just that like their opponents Tuesday night, the Mount Sinai Mustangs, they had never won a Suffolk County Class A-B-C title before.
Mount Sinai chalked that off its bucket list, though, thanks to some inspired play from Veronica Venezia and Gabriella Sartori. They scored 14 points each to help beat Mattituck, 59-42, at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood.
Liz Dwyer doesn’t like to lose.
More importantly, she loves to win.
Free throws. The very description implies they are easy. No defenders. No obstructions.
There will be plenty of outstanding memories for the members of this year’s Southold/Greenport girls basketball team. There was the playoff-clinching victory over The Stony Brook School last Saturday. The momentous accomplishment of Madison Tabor scoring her 1,000th career point. READ