FIRST SETTLERS 57, HURRICANES 42
The Joe Read system is working. All the indications are there.
For one thing, the high-energy game that the new Southold girls basketball coach has introduced seems to be becoming second nature to his players. How can he tell? It’s simple: They’re yelling at him.
“That’s a good sign,” Read said. “When they start yelling back, then that means they’re getting comfortable with it.”
Another sign was seen Friday in the form of a 57-42 non-league victory over Westhampton Beach. Despite sitting out most of the second half because of an ejection, senior guard Sydney Campbell led eight Southold scorers.
More good signs for Southold.
“That is a good sign,” Southold guard Carley Staples said, “and it just shows that we all contribute to the win.”
Defending Long Island Class C champion Southold showed that it may not be a typical League VIII team. It has the depth and talent to do some good things this season.
With a new coach and a new concept, the First Settlers don’t waste time firing the ball up the court after grabbing a defensive rebound. And their hounding defense can be exhausting for opponents to deal with.
“We call it tenacious,” said Read.
Southold (3-3, 2-0) keeps fresh legs on the court with mass five-for-five player substitutions. Twelve First Settlers played on Friday.
Campbell produced 16 points for Southold before picking up her fifth personal foul with 1 minute 22 seconds left in the third quarter.
Visiting Southold, which trailed in the game only once at 6-4, also received 12 points and 6 rebounds from Nicole Busso as well as 9 points from Staples.
“I’m really proud of us,” Staples said. “We came in and we knew what we could do and we proved that we are capable of anything.”
Westhampton Beach senior guard Samantha Vickers led all scorers with 23 points. She fouled out with 1:20 to go in the game.
“She was the one we wanted to stop, and we didn’t do a good job of that,” said Read.
The Hurricanes, a League V team, dropped their overall record to 2-7.
After Westhampton Beach took that 6-4 lead in the early going, Southold reeled off the next 10 points, 7 of them coming from Campbell.
The Hurricanes pulled to within 18-17, but then Southold went on another 10-0 run during which Campbell hit two of her three 3-point field goals.
Southold managed to withstand several threats by Westhampton Beach the rest of the way.
“I think it helped us mentally realize how good we are and how much potential we do have,” Campbell said. “We have a lot of good players, and a lot of people can shoot and contribute. Every single person contributed today, so that was really helpful. It’s not just based on one person or the starting five; it’s really not.”
Southold’s biggest drawback, perhaps, was turnovers — 23 of them, to be exact. Westhampton Beach made 16 steals, including 6 by Katelyn Ogeka.
Other than that, though, it was a feel-good day for Southold. Read was obviously feeling good about what he saw in a game that he said his team “needed” to win.
“We’re going in the right direction,” he said.
How does he know? Why, players are yelling at him, of course.