FIRST SETTLERS 59, CRUSADERS 18
When the Southold First Settlers woke up on Friday morning, they were in the enviable position of first place in Suffolk County League VIII. When the day ended, they were still sitting in the top spot, ahead of six other high school girls basketball teams.
“Exciting,” said Southold coach Amanda Barrilo.
Southold hit six of its first seven field-goal attempts, scored the game’s first 18 points and breezed to a 59-18 win over host Smithtown Christian on Friday to protect its high place in the standings.
Sydney Campbell had a hot hand for the First Settlers (5-5, 4-0), knocking down three 3-point shots and scoring 15 points. Abby Scharadin netted all 12 of her points in the second half. Melissa Rogers totaled 9 points, 9 rebounds, 7 steals, 4 assists and 1 block.
Half of Smithtown Christian’s points came from Shannon Casey. The Crusaders dropped to 1-4, 0-4.
Campbell canned her third 3-pointer to give Southold a safe 28-3 halftime lead. It was 44-7 after three quarters, and Smithtown Christian didn’t reach double figures until the fourth quarter when a basket by Vicki Linsalato made it 47-11.
Southold was in full control, allowing the Crusaders only three offensive rebounds, outrebounding them by 36-10 and forcing 35 turnovers (24 of them coming on steals). That’s a sure recipe for a blowout.
The First Settlers’ good start to the league season comes despite the fact that they have been without one of their first-string players, Lauren Ficurilli, who missed her seventh straight game since injuring an ankle Dec. 13 in a 50-28 loss to Mattituck.
“When she comes back, we’ll be that much better,” Barrilo said in an interview before Friday’s game.
In Ficurilli’s absence, Sarah Manfredi and Carley Staples have seen more playing time. “They’ve both really done a great job to make up for having that loss,” said Barrilo.
“It’s a good start,” the coach continued. “I really like that every game is a team effort.”