Tuckers topple Center Moriches for county ‘B’ crown

by |
02/25/2011 8:20 PM |

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Wearing a determined look on his face, Mattituck's Mike Mangiamele attacked the basket.

FARMINGDALE — During the regular season, the Mattituck Tuckers lost twice to the Center Moriches Red Devils, both times by 19 points. With that in mind, prior to the Suffolk County Class B boys basketball final between the two teams on Friday, the Tuckers might have been thinking something along the lines of, “We have them right where we want them.”

Did those losses to Center Moriches hurt Mattituck’s confidence?

“Not at all,” Mattituck guard Tom Ascher said. “I think it motivated us even more. I think it hurt them. They probably came in with a sense of being relaxed.”

Whether the Red Devils suffered from a false sense of security or not, there was no doubt that Mattituck was on top of its game. The Tuckers executed. They attacked Center Moriches’ press. They hit their shots.

And then they celebrated.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Steve Ascher, who scored 15 points for Mattituck, leaned forward for a shot while Maleek Harris of Center Moriches defended.

Four Mattituck players scored in double figures as the Tuckers triumphed, 64-52, for their first county championship since 2004. Center Moriches had won the previous eight meetings between the two teams, which shared the League VII title this season.

With Mattituck fans clapping and hollering, the Tuckers dribbled out the game’s final seconds at Farmingdale State College, and then the players jumped for joy and hugged each other.

“We stepped it up big time,” Mattituck center Cody Huntley said. “The way we came out, we just wanted it.”

Mattituck Coach Paul Ellwood, whose first season in charge of the team was highlighted by that county title in 2004, said his team played its best game of the season. “This is the most rewarding day of my life from a coaching” perspective, he said. “It’s not going to be topped any time soon.”

Then again, the second-seeded Tuckers (15-5) will have more opportunities. They assured themselves of at least two more games. With this victory, they qualified for a Southeast Region semifinal against the Malverne Mules on March 9 at SUNY/Old Westbury. Before then, though, Mattituck will play the Port Jefferson Royals in the Suffolk Class B-C-D game on Wednesday at Farmingdale State College.

If Center Moriches was expecting to see the same team it beat twice during the regular season — the second time to clinch a share of the league title — it had a rude awakening.

“It motivated us,” Huntley said. “It’s like, we know they’re not ready for how well we played today. It just gave us that extra edge, I think.”

Steve Ascher and Connor Davis scored 15 points apiece, Yianni Rauseo netted 12 and Tom Ascher had 10. Davis also had six assists. Huntley had a big game, totaling eight points, 13 rebounds, five assists and four blocks.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Tom Ascher held the prized county championship plaque during the postgame ceremony.

No. 1 seed Center Moriches (12-8) was led by Maleek Harris, who accounted for 16 points, seven rebounds, five steals and four assists. George Williams added 10 points. Elijah Gonzalez and Harvey Houpe chipped in nine each.

Mattituck knocked down 62.5 percent of its field-goal attempts to Center Moriches’ 39.6 percent. While the Tuckers shot 5 for 7 from three-point range, the Red Devils struggled at 3 for 14.

“We’re playing some of the best basketball that we’ve played in a while,” Huntley said. “I think we just wanted it more than they did. It meant so much more to us because we haven’t even made the playoffs in seven years.”

Mattituck looked sharp from the start. Four Tuckers scored in the opening five and half minutes for an 11-5 lead. Center Moriches started the game on a 3-for-15 shooting funk and trailed, 15-8, after the first quarter.

With good work under the boards by Huntley, who grabbed rebounds and swatted away shots, Mattituck built its lead to 20-12 about midway through the second quarter.

Center Moriches pulled to within 20-18 on three straight baskets by Houpe, Gonzalez and Williams, prompting Ellwood to call a timeout with 2 minutes 13 seconds left in the second quarter.

The Red Devils went on to tie the score three times in the final 63 seconds of the first half on a layup by Harris and two free throws apiece by Houpe and Williams. That left the score at 26-26 at the half.

It seemed as if momentum was turning Center Moriches’ way early in the third quarter when the Red Devils scored the first six points of the quarter for a 32-26 lead.

That was when Mattituck showed its quality, going on a 15-4 run that featured three three-pointers, including two by Davis. The Tuckers took a 51-42 lead going into the fourth quarter, the last two of those points coming on a fine spinning move for a layup by Steve Ascher that beat the buzzer ending the third quarter.

Mattituck used a 9-0 spurt to build a 62-46 advantage with 3:11 remaining.

It was over.

“Unbelievable,” said Tom Ascher, clutching the championship plaque during an interview. “It looks like a plaque, but the emotions going with it are awesome.”

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37 Comment

  • Valid points considering Sean’s administration is all about doing things behind the scenes in secrecy, and whose motto is “the less town residents and employees know the better”. Anything to avoid exposure of the truth. On top of that, he has an “assistant” making $70K to boot.

  • The Conflict of Interest Policy of the town and the financial disclosure requirements, reviewed by the ethics committee of the town provide for the adequate protection of the public interest. If the ethics board has reviewed the disclosure forms and has not determined there is a conflict of interest, then the activity is not prohibited. The time this supervisor, or any other past or future one, spends in the position, should not be judged by the number of hours on the job, but how effective they are in moving the town forward in accomplishing its goals of making this town a great place to live, work and play. Given a two year term, I don’t blame anyone in the position for protecting themselves and their family, unless of course the residents are happy with a career politician in the job and not a citizen public servant.

  • What is with the News Review digging up these Democrat hacks for opinion pieces?

    Vinny, if we wanted to do things YOUR way, we wouldn’t have fired (and continue to at every opportunity) you and your cronies.

  • About the economics of continuing to work in private practice while Supervisor: I agree w/Ron that results matter more than hours on the job. However, the fact that Walter didn’t reveal his intention to continue lawyering while in office until AFTER the election is stunning. If there was nothing wrong with that plan, why not share it with those about to vote?

    Since every prior lawyer-Supervisor has set his legal practice aside while serving Town business, did Walter mislead voters by letting them assume he’d do the same? I’d like to see the News-Review conduct a poll next time around on whether people think the Supervisor should pledge full-time commitment to the Town.

    As for the ethics issue: “appearance of impropriety” is the term used to describe what elected officials [& lawyers] must avoid. Does anyone really think there’s no appearance of impropriety in:

    A] the Town CEO appearing as advocate for some client or cause having Town business…as if his presence won’t influence in the slightest the Assessors, Planning Board Members, Town Attorney & others, who either report to the Supervisor or were appointed by him?

    B] the Supervisor telling the Ethics Committee that the names of clients he’s representing on business with the Town, while he’s employed by the Town, need not be disclosed?

    C] Town employees, who work for the Supervisor, refusing to disclose to the public—via FOIL—what clients, on what business with the Town, the Supervisor is representing?

    If Wikipedia seeks an example to illustrate the concepts of “appearance of impropriety” & “conflict of interest,” they need look no further.

  • Anyone who believes Vinnie Villela wrote that article, stand on your heads?

  • I have to question how the town supervisor can represent ANYONE in any case involving the town.

  • Next election, break the Riverhead incest circle. Vote for everyone who has not been in the past half dozen administrations. Time to flush.

  • …and as long as we are looking at changing contracts, let’s recall all the tax breaks for business buddies. These are hard times (so I am told) and we should make businesses pay their fair share instead of hiking our property taxes. Time for a real overhaul of the budget, both revenue and expense.

  • just another politician taking advantage of his popsition. still refuses to put epcal to good use. 2 year waste of time coming up. we could of had a motorsports facility hiring people and paying taxes for ten years now.

  • **Yawn**

    Vroom Vroom, watch the little cars go around! Get a job taking tickets and selling beer and hot dogs! I know those are the kind of jobs I want!

  • small mind there pace, this is why there are so many problems in RHT, you can’t think and see the bigger picture…but don’t worry if there was a club for missing the picture, you would have plenty of company

    Let me give you a town to watch that is using our plan , except for the free driving school for kids
    Americus GA,. compare there economy to yours in another year, then compare there businesses and jobs created…

    Motorsports brings manufacturing from companies testing products, nothing is more in demand then automotive break thru tech, new designs…
    With a govt demanding big increases from the automotive market this is the wave to be on, not watching it go by…. Motorsports is where the ideas and tech come from…then the business, and then jobs..

    Your small mind, while not alone, is killing this island

  • Check a map of the US and look at how central Americus, Georgia is to the rest of the country. It is not at the end of an island like Riverhead is. I don’t believe you will see the growth and demand as there. There are many better uses for the site.

  • Lets goooo

  • Congratulations Tuckers!! What a great team effort! You came out strong in the second half with everyone contributing, gave it your all, and took the game away from them. You should all be very proud- now bring home the Long Island Championship!!
    Papa P.

  • congratulations to a wonderful group of men both on and off the court,all the hardwork payed off.Lets support our champions as they continue there banner season on wednesday in farmingdale versus port jefferson. Hoop Troop

  • Riverhead was going to IMPEACH Walter,but they could not afford a lawyer.

  • Build it,and they will come.You have no CLUE how much growth the Motorsports industry will bring to Long Island.

  • “The State of New York actually started sanitary the land fill in 1975 and in 1978 it was turned over to Brookhaven Town. The original plan called for the use of the sanitary landfill for 15 years. The land fill itself was to be built into a ski slope and the surroundings turned into town park. That of course never happened. The first two cells leaked toxic leachate southerly and cntaminated all the wells south of the dump, leading to the town to install water mains to the housholds south of the dump. The dump was built in the head waters of Beaver Dam Creek and the toxic leachate entered the Beaver Dam creek and may very well leach into The Carmans River which is part of the Wertheim Wildlife Refuge, a state designated scenic river and one of the few rivers still pristine. The dump was and may still be a hot bead for all kinds of illegal dumping too. The dump was and still is poorly managed and nothing more then a cash cow for Brookhaven Town. Most of the houses south of the dump predate the dump. Meaning the dump was built in our back yards we did not build around the dump it moved in behind us. In 1985 the State of New York wanted to start the Long Island Regional ashfill, meaning incinertor, that would burn all garbage for all the towns. That was opposed by local citizens and it was never developed but the ash could be buried there, better known as trash for ash, and that is in effect today. Babylon Town burns Brookhaven town’s garbage and Brookhhaven town gets Babylon and Brookhaven towns ash and Brookhaven Town would charge Babylon a fee or their ash.The town of Brookhaven has been a bad neighbor and has lied from day one. “

  • We need to go back to basics we learned as children, “Protect Mother Nature” as she provides for us.

    Well, as I stated at the Brookhaven Town Hall meeting, “We need to stop Prostituting our very limited land resources!”

    I also “recognized our Town Supervisor, Mr. Lesko and the Council Members” who passed wonderful legislation to save homeless dogs in our Town Shelter. This proves to us that they are knowledgable in knowing how to do good things to save living things.

    Our land, our forests, rivers, streams, lakes, parks and waterfronts are filled with living things! And… SO ARE WE, OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN AND THE GENERATIONS TO COME!

    PROSTITUTION is the only word I can find that fits!

    No, the current administration IS NOT TO BLAME, but, THEY ARE CHARGED WITH CURRENT OVERSIGHT AND RESPNSIBILITY TO OVERSEE OUR SAFETY AND BEST INTERESTS!

    All that seems to be of concern is to build more “affordable housing” to bring more VICTIMS to live under these deplorable conditions that someday MAY KILL YOU!

    I have to laugh out loud that that is complimented with thousands of dollars in studies to justify that a “sidewalk on King Road will save lives. In 2008, a completed and costly study report was sent to Brian X. Foley, brookhaven Town Supervisor, and Councilwoman Jane Bonner. It referenced reports from Federal Accident Mandatory reporting agencies, and reported King Road had no recorded injuries or fatalities. Further outlined problems in doing such a project and a clear statement of no need could be justified for such a sidewalk. The document was FOIL requested from Brookhaven Town Hall and is on record.

    I urge everyone to find the time to watch government closely, stay in touch with what is going on, and more important, if something bothers you… make it a point to attend a Town Hall Meeting, arrive early, appraoch the desk at the left – front location and ask for a “Speaker card” which will give you 3 minutes to voice how you feel. You have rights, use them!

  • We need to go back to basics we learned as children, “Protect Mother Nature” as she provides for us.

    Well, as I stated at the Brookhaven Town Hall meeting, “We need to stop Prostituting our very limited land resources!”

    I also “recognized our Town Supervisor, Mr. Lesko and the Council Members” who passed wonderful legislation to save homeless dogs in our Town Shelter. This proves to us that they are knowledgable in knowing how to do good things to save living things.

    Our land, our forests, rivers, streams, lakes, parks and waterfronts are filled with living things! And… SO ARE WE, OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN AND THE GENERATIONS TO COME!

    PROSTITUTION is the only word I can find that fits!

    No, the current administration IS NOT TO BLAME, but, THEY ARE CHARGED WITH CURRENT OVERSIGHT AND RESPNSIBILITY TO OVERSEE OUR SAFETY AND BEST INTERESTS!

    All that seems to be of concern is to build more “affordable housing” to bring more VICTIMS to live under these deplorable conditions that someday MAY KILL YOU!

    I have to laugh out loud that that is complimented with thousands of dollars in studies to justify that a “sidewalk on King Road will save lives. In 2008, a completed and costly study report was sent to Brian X. Foley, brookhaven Town Supervisor, and Councilwoman Jane Bonner. It referenced reports from Federal Accident Mandatory reporting agencies, and reported King Road had no recorded injuries or fatalities. Further outlined problems in doing such a project and a clear statement of no need could be justified for such a sidewalk. The document was FOIL requested from Brookhaven Town Hall and is on record.

    I urge everyone to find the time to watch government closely, stay in touch with what is going on, and more important, if something bothers you… make it a point to attend a Town Hall Meeting, arrive early, appraoch the desk at the left – front location and ask for a “Speaker card” which will give you 3 minutes to voice how you feel. You have rights, use them!

  • SOME MORE COMMENTS…..The State of New York actually started sanitary the land fill in 1975 and in 1978 it was turned over to Brookhaven Town. The original plan called for the use of the sanitary landfill for 15 years. The land fill itself was to be built into a ski slope and the surroundings turned into town park. That of course never happened. The first two cells leaked toxic leachate southerly and contaminated all the wells south of the dump, leading to the town to install water mains to the housholds south of the dump. The dump was built in the head waters of Beaver Dam Creek and the toxic leachate entered the Beaver Dam creek and may very well leach into The Carmans River which is part of the Wertheim Wildlife Refuge, a state designated scenic river and one of the few rivers still pristine. The dump was and may still be a hot bead for all kinds of illegal dumping too. The dump was and still is poorly managed and nothing more then a cash cow for Brookhaven Town. Most of the houses south of the dump predate the dump. Meaning the dump was built in our back yards, we did not build around the dump, it moved in behind us. In 1983 the town was not covering raw garbage with the mandatory DEC requirement of six inches of sand. Debris from the dump blew all over. The smells admitted were terrible and fires at the dump were rampant. Again the local citizens and the Brookhaven Fire Dept. complained to DEC. In time the problem was stopped. In 1985 the State of New York wanted to start the Long Island Regional ash fill, meaning incinerator, that would burn all garbage for all the towns. That was opposed by local citizens and it was never developed but the ash could be buried there, better known as trash for ash, and that is in effect today. Babylon Town burns Brookhaven town’s garbage and Brookhhaven town gets Babylon and Brookhaven towns ash and Brookhaven Town would charge Babylon a fee or their ash. In 1995-2001 Supervisor Felix Grucci allowed construction debris to be brought in from any town for a fee and would balance the budget of Brookhaven Town. In seven years the town filled a cell that was designed for eighteen years! The town of Brookhaven has been a bad neighbor and has lied from day one. ”