TUCKERS 85, MONARCHS 61
The Mattituck Tuckers have the formula for winning. Now, it may not be a groundbreaking concept, and it isn’t easy to achieve, but it is mighty effective. Put four players in double figures and scratch another check mark in the win column.
It’s not common for a high school boys basketball team to have four double-figure scorers in one game, so it’s hardly surprising that when it happens, a team’s chance of winning increases considerably. It hasn’t failed the Tuckers yet. In four of their nine games this season they have had four players in double figures, and in each of them the Tuckers have won.
The most recent occurrence was Tuesday night. With career-high point totals from junior Will Gildersleeve and sophomore Joe Tardif, the Tuckers proved to be too much for host Bishop McGann-Mercy, as the 85-61 final score attested. Gildersleeve rang up 30 points and Tardif dropped in 22. Both players knocked down four 3-pointers apiece on a night when not many shots didn’t fall for the Tuckers (7-2, 4-1 Suffolk County League VII).
Also reaching double figures for Mattituck were Gene Allen with 14 points and Chris Dwyer with 13. Allen also hauled in 15 rebounds to go with 8 assists and 3 steals.
The Monarchs (1-7, 0-5), who took their fifth straight loss, were led by Joe Jeskie with 19 points, Kurt Ryder with 14 and Nykel Reese with 11.
Mattituck’s offensive balance makes it a handful to defend and makes it hard for opponents to focus on any single player without paying a price for it. Plus, the Tuckers are even tougher when they shoot like they did on Tuesday. They connected on 51.6 percent (33 of 64) of their shots from the field. Not only that, but from beyond the 3-point arc, they were 11 of 22.
Mattituck opened the game with a 7-0 lead and never trailed.
The Monarchs turned the ball over on their first three possessions of the third quarter — a product of Mattituck’s press. Allen followed up a teammate’s missed shot with a two-handed dunk for a 50-28 lead 2 minutes 44 seconds into the quarter. The Tuckers were relatively safe the rest of the way, although from the point of Allen’s dunk on, Mattituck coach Paul Ellwood was unhappy with his team’s defense.