Girls Basketball: Tuckers still have a Dwyer to count on

Mattituck freshman Liz Dwyer shooting over Sayville's Molly Andrews during Monday evening's summer league game at Patchogue-Medford High School. (Credit: Garret Meade)
Mattituck freshman Liz Dwyer shooting over Sayville’s Molly Andrews during Monday evening’s summer league game at Patchogue-Medford High School. (Credit: Garret Meade)

When Shannon Dwyer left the Mattituck High School girls basketball team, she told her younger sister Liz, “You’re going to miss me.”

No doubt about it, the Tuckers do miss the graduated Shannon Dwyer, a two-time Times/Review Newsgroup athlete of the year and an All-Conference forward who averaged 13.3 points and 5.6 rebounds per game last season.

Perhaps there is some consolation, however, in that they have a living, breathing reminder of Shannon Dwyer in the form of her sister. It isn’t that Liz Dwyer bears a striking facial resemblance to Shannon so much as a similar speech pattern, athleticism and gait on the basketball court.

When she makes a snappy jump pass or a fluid drive to the basket, her coaches call it “a Dwyer move.” One of Mattituck’s summer team coaches, Allie Wilcenski, pointed out, “They’re usually good moves.”

The 5-foot-9, sandy-haired Liz Dwyer is a 13-year-old freshman and she already has one full varsity season under her belt. She started every game but one in the 2013-14 school season and her numbers were good: 9.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.0 steals and 0.5 blocks per game. She was named the player of the game last December when she put up 18 points on 9-for-13 shooting from the field against Pierson/Bridgehampton.

“Liz has got a lot of time left and she’s already really good,” said Wilcenski.

With the departure of her sister, though, one can expect Liz Dwyer to have a more influential role next season. Undoubtedly, more will be placed on her shoulders and the ball should be in her hands more.

That should be fun, right?

“I just got to do something with it after I get it,” she said.

Although she was listed as a guard last season, Dwyer may be better suited as a forward, although coaches say she can play any position, even point guard, which she played Monday evening in a Town of Brookhaven Summer League game against Sayville.

“She’s a good post player but she has such a good jump shot, too, so she could really play anything, honestly,” said Alexa Orlando, who coaches the Tuckers’ summer team along with Alex Berkoski and Wilcenski.

Dwyer made her feelings known about playing point guard after the 29-18 loss at Patchogue-Medford High School. When one of her coaches was asked what Dwyer’s best position is, Dwyer interjected, “Not point guard.” She explained, “I don’t like that because I know I have to work mostly on dribbling.”

Like her older sister, Dwyer has the confidence to attack the basket and take defenders on. “She’s not really afraid to go to the basket and take over,” Orlando said, “not afraid to go to the basket and take a few people out along the way.”

And then there is the way Dwyer can thread a pinpoint pass between defenders to a teammate. She did it Monday.

“It’s all really good stuff,” said Wilcenski.

What Dwyer said she likes best, though, is blocking shots. She had one of them, too, against Sayville. She went on to score 2 of her 9 points off that block. (Courtney Murphy also had 9 points for the Tuckers.)

The Tuckers came within seconds of having to forfeit the game. They had only two players, Dwyer and Murphy, in the gym before Taylor Berkoski, Courtney Penny and Sam Smilovitch arrived literally at the last minute, giving the team the minimum needed five players for a game.

“Just in time,” said Wilcenski.

The Tuckers (4-2) have played with only five players in four of their six summer games. “It’s really tiring but you have to push on,” said Penny.

Sayville (5-1) had good scoring balance and dominated the boards, 45-19. Serin Baldante (11) and Erin Gunther combined for 21 Sayville rebounds.

This has been a busy summer for Dwyer, who is also playing tennis and club lacrosse. She has played every minute of every basketball game this summer except for five minutes.

“The only day I’m free is Friday,” she said.

Told that she doesn’t play like a freshman, Dwyer exhibited some of the humor her sister is known for, saying, “I act like one.”

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