BAYMEN 67, TUCKERS 56
With one sentence, Hampton Bays coach Pat McGunnigle effectively pinpointed the big difference in his girls basketball team’s victory over Mattituck on Monday night. “Well, we had Alexis, they didn’t,” he said.
Simple as that.
The Alexis he was referring to is Alexis Fotopoulos, the 5-foot-7 sophomore with the nose for the basket who gave the Tuckers fits time and time again. Try as they did, the Tuckers could not stop Fotopoulos. They threw a multitude of defenses at her, and it still wasn’t enough. On one occasion, several Tuckers collapsed on Fotopoulos and she still found a way to somehow lay the ball in the basket. Another time, facing the other way with her back to the basket, she tossed the ball over her head — and it went in! Even she had to smile at that one.
That shot, however, didn’t count because a foul had been whistled beforehand, but enough of Fotopoulos’ shots did count. She poured in a season-high 31 points, fueling a 67-56 result for the Baymen (9-1, 3-0 Suffolk County League VII), their seventh straight win. In three other games this season, Fotopoulos scored 30 points. This time her 10-for-20 field-goal shooting (2 for 6 from 3-point range) helped send the Tuckers (5-5, 1-2) back to Mattituck disappointed. She sank 9 of 11 free throws.
Fotopoulos, who had been averaging 21.6 points a game, turned in a complete game with 9 rebounds, 7 steals, 4 assists and 1 block.
Hampton Bays knows a thing or two about scoring. The Baymen have an explosive offense that rang up 99 points against Wyandanch and 85 points versus Port Jefferson.
The Tuckers did a respectable job of keeping Hampton Bays from piling up crazy points. The Baymen were held to 37.9-percent shooting from the field, about 10 percent lower than what they normally shoot. But a 42-21 advantage in rebounds and a large disparity in fouls (21 by Mattituck and 9 by Hampton Bays) helped the Baymen.
Although the lead changed hands seven times in the first half (a 3-pointer by Fotopoulos late in the second quarter gave Hampton Bays the lead for good), the Baymen scored the first 8 points of the third quarter to give themselves some breathing room. An 11-2 burst bridging the third and fourth quarters made it 48-35.
Katie Hoeg’s fourth 3-pointer of the game pulled the Tuckers to within 6 at 58-52, but that is as close as Mattituck got down the stretch.
Also feeding Hampton Bays’ offense was Hannah Reed with 15 points and Patricia Liotta with 10. Alex Maitland-Ward grabbed 12 rebounds to go with 7 points.
Mattituck received 22 points apiece from Hoeg and Tiana Baker. Shannon Dwyer, who has been Mattituck’s leading scorer with a 14.0-points-per-game average, was held to a season-low 4 points. After making the game-opening basket, Dwyer missed her next eight field-goal attempts.