04/07/15 6:12pm
04/07/2015 6:12 PM
James Nish connected for a tie-breaking home run for Mattituck in the sixth inning of its 6-2 defeat of Southampton. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)

James Nish connected for a tie-breaking home run for Mattituck in the sixth inning of its 6-2 defeat of Southampton on Tuesday. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)


It’s not easy pitching a baseball when the weather is cold, in the mid-40s, and it’s raining. It’s not easy hitting a ball under those conditions, either.

That didn’t stop the Mattituck Tuckers in the opener to their three-game Suffolk County League VIII series against the Southampton Mariners on Tuesday. Joe Tardif fired 11 strikeouts and James Nish crushed a tie-breaking home run, propelling the unbeaten Tuckers to a 6-2 triumph at Mattituck High School, their fourth win from as many games. (more…)

10/29/14 5:50pm
10/29/2014 5:50 PM
Mattituck's James Hayes, left, and Southampton's Jacob Villalobos keep their eyes on the prize during Tuesday's county semifinal. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Mattituck’s James Hayes, left, and Southampton’s Jacob Villalobos keep their eyes on the prize during Tuesday’s county semifinal. (Credit: Garret Meade)


Mattituck advanced to the Suffolk County Class B high school boys soccer final for the fifth consecutive season with a convincing 3-0 semifinal win over Southampton on Wednesday afternoon.

Striker Mario Arreola scored off a pair of headers in the opening 16 minutes as the Tuckers tallied all of their goals off head shots in the first half at Robert Muir Athletic Fields in Mattituck. (more…)

10/02/14 7:16pm
10/02/2014 7:16 PM
Emilie Reimer, who had 10 kills for Mattituck, found room to hit the ball between Southampton's Maddy Elliston (8) and Lexi Rusko. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Emilie Reimer, who had 10 kills for Mattituck, found room to hit the ball between Southampton’s Maddy Elliston (8) and Lexi Rusko. (Credit: Garret Meade)

TUCKERS 25, 25, 25, MARINERS 21, 19, 22

Thursday was a pink out at Mattituck High School.

For one match, the Mattituck girls volleyball team traded in its traditional blue and gold uniforms for hot pink shirts. The occasion was a Dig Pink match to raise money for breast cancer awareness. (more…)

07/18/14 12:00pm
07/18/2014 12:00 PM
Charles Reichert (right), owner of IGA in Southold and Greenport, was one of few who spoke out  against the ban. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

Charles Reichert (right), owner of IGA in Southold and Greenport, was one of few who spoke out against the ban. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

It wasn’t quite the mixed bag of opinions expected at Thursday night’s Southold Town plastic bag ban forum, where the overwhelming majority of attendees spoke in favor of the ban.

The forum, which featured a panel of six representatives from all sides of the debate, came following a pitch to ban plastic bags across the East End started by members of the East End Supervisors and Mayors Association.  (more…)

06/30/14 4:02pm
06/30/2014 4:02 PM

Sunday marked Riverhead’s Fifth Annual Cardboard Boat Race downtown in the Peconic River. And while we were on site to tell the story of one nine-member boat team, and which town supervisor won the annual Riverhead-Southampton matchup, what we weren’t able to do is get 25 to 50 feet up in the sky to take our own photos.

But one photographer, operating a mechanical, 4-winged camera, sure was.

Check out some aerial pictures from the races here, courtesy of Global Aerial Media.

Credit: Global Aerial Media

Credit: Global Aerial Media

Credit: Global Aerial Media

Credit: Global Aerial Media

Credit: Global Aerial Media

Credit: Global Aerial Media

Credit: Global Aerial Media

Credit: Global Aerial Media

02/07/14 10:07pm
02/07/2014 10:07 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Tyler Reeve, one of Mattituck's two seniors, said the Tuckers turned in their worst performance of the season against Southampton.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Tyler Reeve, one of Mattituck’s two seniors, said the Tuckers turned in one of their worst performances of the season against Southampton.


It may have been a night for the two seniors on the Mattituck High School boys basketball team, but it surely wasn’t the Tuckers’ night.

Against a potent team like Southampton, which has athleticism, length and skill, opponents need to be sharp and near the top of their game just to be competitive. (more…)

01/14/14 10:00pm
01/14/2014 10:00 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mattituck's Courtney Murphy is guarded by Southampton's Sydney Katz during Tuesday night's game at Cutchogue East Elementary School.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mattituck’s Courtney Murphy is guarded by Southampton’s Sydney Katz during Tuesday night’s game at Cutchogue East Elementary School.


For the Mattituck Tuckers girls basketball team, there is no place like home. Or is there?

If it’s true that there is no place like home, the next best thing would be to have a home away from home. The Tuckers surely have that.

Because of a leak in the roof over Mattituck High School’s gym, the Tuckers were forced to play their home game on Tuesday night at Cutchogue East Elementary School. They didn’t seem to mind much, and the switch didn’t appear to hurt the Tuckers at all. They charged out to a 23-8 lead over an inexperienced Southampton team and its star player, Noel Hodges, before pulling away to a 45-26 win. It was the third straight victory for the Tuckers (8-5, 3-2 Suffolk County League VII), who have a 3-1 all-time record in the familiar Cutchogue East gym, where the team sometimes practices.

The Tuckers, who have won all six of their home games this season, need only two wins from their final five regular-season games to qualify for the playoffs.

Southampton (5-4, 2-3) was the Long Island Class B champion the past two years, but the Mariners have undergone tremendous change. They lost 11 of their 12 players from last season’s team, Hodges being the sole returner. The senior guard, who is headed to Brandeis University (Mass.) where she will play alongside her older sister Paris, is extremely talented, but she didn’t have enough help around her on Tuesday.

Mattituck’s headline performer, Shannon Dwyer, scored 11 of her game-high 15 points during that opening 23-8 surge, which Southampton was unable to recover from. The Tuckers made only 4 of their first 24 field-goal attempts, yet built a commanding lead largely on the strength of their defense. It was a defense that limited Southampton to 4 points in the first quarter. A couple of baskets by Hodges late in the second quarter gave the Mariners 13 points by halftime.

Hodges had 7 points at the half on 3-for-12 shooting from the field. She played well with her typical all-around game, but her shots weren’t dropping as they normally do for her. Hodges finished with 13 points on 6-for-25 shooting (0 for 7 from 3-point distance). But she also brought her side 13 rebounds, 7 steals and 2 assists.

The Tuckers coasted despite not having their best shooting day, hitting on only 29.7 percent of their field-goal attempts. But Southampton shot an even lower percentage than that: 20.4.

Katie Hoeg and Dwyer worked well together, setting each other up for baskets. The two combined for six baskets before Hoeg headed to the bench much earlier than she would have liked. Hoeg was whistled for her fourth foul with 3 minutes 29 seconds remaining in the third quarter. Just 18 seconds later she was called for her fifth foul, ending her day. She had 8 points on 4-for-14 shooting to go with 6 assists, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 1 block.

Regardless, Mattituck’s lead was safe. The Tuckers led by as many as 23 points when a pair of free throws by Liz Dwyer made it 38-15 with 2:55 to go in the third quarter.

Tiana Baker supplied the Tuckers with 11 points and 8 rebounds.

Mattituck coach Steve Van Dood expected this would be the only game the Tuckers would have to play in Cutchogue this season. He hopes the gym floor at Mattituck High School will be ready in time for the team’s next home game on Jan. 23 against Center Moriches.


11/24/13 4:00pm
11/24/2013 4:00 PM
CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Amber Abolafia of Orient plays with her daughter Dakota, 2, at Old Schoolhouse Park in East Marion, where she believes she was bit by a tick.

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Amber Abolafia of Orient plays with her daughter Dakota, 2, at Old Schoolhouse Park in East Marion, where she believes she was bit by a tick.

Between daily naps and popping medicine to help with achy muscles and joints, 25-year-old Lyme disease patient Amber Abolafia of Orient has spent the last six months doctor shopping – looking for a physician who’s truly knowledgeable about her disease.

“It’s scary,” she said. “Our doctors are not informed enough and I don’t think they have the tools to be informed enough. There is just so much more to learn about the disease.”

Her struggle with Lyme led her to join more than 50 other area residents  many of whom also have issues with tick-borne illness – for an opportunity to hear from health experts at a special East Marion Community Association forum held last Saturday at the East Marion firehouse.

Infectious disease specialist Dr. Rajeev Fernando of Southampton Hospital and Jerry Simons, certified physician’s assistant and expert contributor to the national publication Lyme Times magazine, spoke about illnesses common on the North Fork — and answered questions from anxious audience members.

The two have teamed up with Southampton Hospital to start the Tick Borne Disease Resource Center, which seeks to educate both health care professionals and the public about tick-borne illnesses — and the correct steps to take if one gets bitten.

The experts said differences in the way physicians test and treat patients can play a huge role in whether the patient is cured or left suffering and searching for answers.

“I am trying to just educate the local doctors and say, ‘This is what we should be doing,’ ” Dr. Fernando said.

In August, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported an estimated 300,000 new cases of Lyme annually in the United States – a tenfold increase over the previous year’s estimate. Dr. Fernando said New York State leads the U.S. in reported cases.

“[The East End] is one of the worse tick areas in the country,” Mr. Simons said. “People in the area should be the smartest people on the planet about Lyme disease because it’s so bad out here.”

The experts spent most of their time discussing Lyme, which is caused by a spiral-shaped bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi. The tick’s bite transfers the bacteria, which can cause fever, headache and fatigue and sometimes — less than half the time, according to Dr. Fernando — leaves a distinguishing bull’s-eye rash at the site of the bite.

If left untreated, the infection can spread to joints, the heart, the nervous system and the brain, Dr. Fernando said.

Like many other diseases, Lyme disease comes in different strains — and experts warned those attending Saturday’s forum that not all tests check for all strains. Where patients get tested can also play a role in whether they are properly diagnosed, Mr. Simons said.

Commercial blood testing labs, such as Quest Diagnostics, test only for strains required by CDC and Food and Drug Administration. Mr. Simons suggested instead that people find a lab that tests for almost all known strains of the bacteria, such as one of the labs run by Stony Brook University.

While being tested for Lyme, they said, patients should also ask to be tested for other tick-borne diseases, because ticks can carry more than one disease, potentially giving people what’s called co-infections.

“It’s not unreasonable to ask your physician for a four-panel tick-borne disease test,” Dr. Fernando said.

The test, known more commonly as a TBD4 test, checks for Lyme, babesiosis, anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis – the four most common tick-borne illnesses in this area, he said. Three of these will show up in tests almost immediately, but it can take up to four weeks for Lyme to register in any of these tests, Dr. Fernando said.

“Unfortunately a lot of doctors aren’t exposed to this and they do the blood test too soon,” he said. This means that some infected patients may walk away without being diagnosed. Should someone get bitten and see any sort of rash, Dr. Fernando said his suggested protocol would be to start antibiotic treatment and “tell your doctor it’s going to take four weeks to do the test.”

Ms. Abolafia of Orient was one of those Lyme disease patients who was tested the second she walked into a doctor’s office – about six days after she believed she was bitten. Luckily, she tested positive, she said.

But because of her ordeal, she’s now worried that she may be in the category of people who suffer from what’s known as chronic Lyme.

Ms. Abolafi a said she has been tested three times for the disease – and has gotten mixed results. In the past six-plus months, despite consulting several different doctors, she said she’s taken only 10 days’ worth of antibiotics, the minimum standard course of treatment according to CDC guidelines.

“If I could give advice to anyone, keep pushing your doctor until you get the care you need,” she said. “It’s never going to get better unless you become your own advocate.”

Dr. Fernando said there’s controversy regarding the treatment guidelines for patients who test positive for Lyme.

CDC guidelines for treating Lyme disease state that patients should be put on antibiotic such as Doxycycline for 10 to 21 days but Dr. Fernando said the guidelines should not be used as the end-all for all cases.

“The patient in front of you is what matters the most,” he said. “It’s important to think outside the guidelines in some cases.”

He said about 25 percent of patients may come back within six months of treatment, some suffering from chronic Lyme disease.

But experts are still fighting over whether this chronic stage of the disease even exists.

“It’s very political,” the doctor said.


10/30/13 7:37pm
10/30/2013 7:37 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | The Tuckers rejoiced following their comeback triumph over Southampton on Wednesday.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | The Tuckers rejoiced following their comeback triumph over Southampton on Wednesday.


There’s a reason why he has been nicknamed Super Mario, and Mario Arreola demonstrated why in the final 20 minutes of Mattituck’s exciting comeback win over Southampton on Wednesday.

Arreola took the game into his own hands, actually his feet, as the senior forward struck for the equalizer midway through the second half and the game-winner with 5 minutes 28 seconds left to rally the Tuckers to a thrilling 3-2 victory over Southampton in a Suffolk County Class B boys soccer semifinal in Mattituck.

“That’s the Mario we’ve known from the summer,” Mattituck goalkeeper and co-captain Steven Ostrowski said of Arreola, whose 17 goals helped Mattituck to the Town of Brookhaven small schools summer league title. “I knew he was going to come out sooner or later. I knew he was going to put us on his back.”

And back into the Suffolk Class B final for the fourth consecutive year. The three-time defending county champion Tuckers will meet Center Moriches, a 2-1 winner over Hampton Bays, at Diamond in the Pines in Coram at 5 p.m. Saturday.

“It was a fantastic game. They guy showed a lot of grit, showed a lot of heart,” Mattituck coach Mat Litchhult said. “It’s the first time we faced a lot of adversity this year, giving up a goal early. We’ve lost two games in double overtime. When you’re in double overtime, you get scored on and the game’s over. This was the first time we were down in a game all season long. It always made me a little nervous.”

But the Tuckers (14-2) found a way.

“That is the definition of Mattituck soccer,” Ostrowski said. “We will come through anything. They put us through hell. That’s what you have to face when you play a team three times. You know them and they know you. You beat them twice and they know how you beat them and they can work on that. We knew it was going to be a tough battle. And that’s an understatement.”

The Mariners (10-6-1) pressured the hosts from the opening kickoff, winning 50-50 balls and marking their foes closely. They grabbed a 2-1 halftime lead on goals by Gianluca Santacruz (12th minute) and Jesse Scanlon (34th), sandwiched around the one by Tuckers forward Kaan Ilgin (32nd).

“Our halftime speech was that we wanted to win the second half two-nil,” Litchhult said. “There was a lot of game to play.”

It took a while before the Tuckers solved goalkeeper Garrett Pike and Arreola took center stage.

“The first 60 minutes I was testing my groin,” Arreola said. “The last 20 minutes I just turned it on. I guess it’s getting better.”

First, on a give-and-go with Joe Tardif, Arreola bolted down the right flank, turned inside and powered home a 10-yard shot.

The equalizing pass actually came off the right shoe of midfielder Kevin Diffley, which Tardif was forced to wear because he had torn his right cleat in practice, and did not have another.

“They were the same brand as mine. So I ended it up putting that one on,” he said. “Hey, it worked.”

Arreola played like a player possessed. Central defender Patrick Hayes, who cleared a ball off the goal line two minutes before the equalizer, had his header saved in the 63rd minute. Arreola sent a header wide right a minute later and his shot from the right side sailed wide left in the 65th minute.

Arreola was only warming up. Right fullback Erik Schwartz sent a long ball down the right flank to the striker, who chipped Pike to the far post for a 3-2 advantage to complete the comeback in the 75th minute.

“Great pass, great finish,” Litchhult said. “The last goal was Mario from the summer. Something went on. There was a switch there. I’ve been trying to get that switch on a little earlier throughout the year.”

Immediately after the game Mattituck coach MAT LITCHHULT did not know if junior central midfielder KEVIN WILLIAMS would be available Saturday. Williams suffered a possible broken left arm in the 48th minute. He was to be operated on Wednesday.

“We’re hoping for the best-case scenario that he gets to wrap it up,” Litchhult said, “but we don’t know. It’s too early to tell.”

10/28/13 7:27pm
10/28/2013 7:27 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Southampton's Ana O'Shaugnessy, left, and Greenport/Southold's Adrianna Chandler pursuing the ball during Monday's playoff game.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Southampton’s Ana O’Shaugnessy, left, and Greenport/Southold’s Adrianna Chandler during Monday’s playoff game.


The third time wasn’t the charm for the Greenport/Southold field hockey team. Then again, the fact that the Clippers had a third time at all was gravy. Pure gravy.

After not having reached the playoffs since at least 1987, the Clippers made it to the postseason in 2011. They built on that this season by scratching into the playoffs for the second time in three years. That in itself was an achievement for a team that had won only one game in 2012.

In discussing the season during an interview that lasted less than two minutes, the Clippers’ junior sweeper, Liz Powe, used the word “amazing” no less than 10 times.

Amazing, indeed.

“It’s unreal that we came this far and got into the playoffs this year,” said Powe.

The strides were considerable, but No. 3 seed Greenport/Southold’s season came to an end on Monday with a sound 5-1 thrashing by No. 2 Southampton in a Suffolk County Class C Tournament outbracket game. Meggie Gallo scored a goal and assisted on three others for the Mariners (12-5), state finalists last year who will face No. 1 Pierson/Bridgehampton (10-4) in a county final Thursday night at the Dowling Sports Complex.

“We didn’t play our best game, but we played good enough for today,” said Southampton coach Jessica Zukosky, whose team hasn’t played the Whalers this year. “Our game is going to have to be our best game for Thursday. It will be a good one.”

Immediately following a 2-1 loss to Babylon in their final regular-season game last Thursday, the Clippers (5-10) did not know for sure what their status was in terms of whether they would be in the playoffs or not. It wasn’t until Friday morning when scores and standings were posted on the Section XI Web site that Clippers coach Rebecca Lillis learned that her team had a postseason to look forward to.

“They did it,” she said. “They deserved to be here. They definitely did. The game against Harborfields [a 1-0 Clippers victory] was really what put us on the map for this playoff game.”

Southampton is a young team. Without a single senior on its roster, the team has four juniors. The rest of the players are underclassmen. But they can play.

Coming off a memorable season and having lost eight players from the 2012 team to graduation, the Mariners have had to prove themselves all over again.

“These girls have had some big shoes to fill, and they’ve done a nice job,” said Zukosky.

During the regular season, Southampton twice defeated the Clippers, 3-0 and 4-1. Monday’s game at Southampton High School’s Richard M. Smith Field was even more decisive. Southampton outshot the Clippers, 16-5, and held a 9-3 advantage in penalty corners.

Both teams scored on their first shots of the game. Shelby Pierson, set up by Gallo, connected off the first penalty corner 2 minutes 37 seconds into the contest.

Madison Tabor pulled the Clippers even with her 16th goal of the season. Sarah Tuthill whacked a free hit down the left side for Tabor to latch onto. Tabor charged toward goaltender Alex Ambrose and pushed a shot to the far right corner before being tripped up.

Gallo provided the go-ahead goal on a penalty stroke with 3:11 left in the first half. She beat goaltender Brandi Gonzalez (9 saves) to her stick side.

But the goal of the game — and possibly the season — was Pierson’s second of the day, 1:19 into the second half. Southampton dissected the Clippers’ defense with a succession of four precise passes, a nifty display of stickwork.

That pretty much sealed the result. Goals by Miranda Maloney (assisted by Leila Thomas) and Shelby Fullam (assisted by Gallo) were the final pieces of ornamentation.

The loss aside, the Clippers had a good deal to feel good about. Their one-win season of a year ago now seems like ancient history. The scoring talents of Toni Esposito (10 goals) and Tabor, who are both freshmen, along with Gonzalez’s goaltending made a big difference.

“It’s like we broke through that wall, that invisible wall in terms of not scoring,” said Powe.

The Clippers will lose five seniors: Mary Creedon, Kelly Dacimo, Victoria Hilton, Gina Seas and Gonzalez. But what they gained from this season’s experience should help them next year.

“Just the fact that we got into the playoffs is amazing and, you know, we can always learn from what happens in each game,” Clippers right fullback Maria Soriano said. “We’re going to take that and take it to the next season.”