ROYALS 50, TUCKERS 44
Putting a basketball through a hoop that is 18 inches in diameter is not as easy as it might seem. Some days it is harder than others. When shots don’t drop, there is not much a team can do.
Tell the Mattituck High School girls basketball team about it.
The Tuckers shot, shot and shot again. Much more often than not, they missed the mark and it cost them.
The Tuckers couldn’t complain about not having enough field-goal shooting opportunities. They made 66 attempts at the basket, yet connected on only 18 of them against Port Jefferson on Monday. A look at their quarter-by-quarter shooting is telling enough: 5 of 16 in the first quarter, 4 of 17 in the second, 6 of 20 in the third, and 3 of 13 in the fourth.
They were consistently inconsistent.
Despite dominating the boards, the Tuckers’ shooting woes proved to be too much to overcome. They left too many points on the floor and were beaten, 50-44, in the non-league game at Mattituck High School. It was their fourth loss in five games.
In contrast, Port Jefferson shot a sizzling 61.8 percent (21 of 34) from the field.
Port Jefferson (8-3, 4-0 Suffolk County League VIII) closed the game on an 8-2 run. The Royals broke a 42-42 tie on back-to-back baskets by Corine Scannell and Annabelle Soucy.
After a bucket by Mattituck’s Chelsea Marlborough pulled the Tuckers (5-7, 3-1 League VII) to within 2 points at 46-44. The teams exchanged possessions in a furious series of three turnovers within seconds of each other before Port Jefferson’s Courtney Lewis made a steal. Moments later, the Tuckers were whistled for an intentional foul and a flagrant foul on the same play. Lewis made one of the resulting free throws and Jillian Colucci netted another for a 48-44 lead with 12.4 seconds to go.
Mattituck’s Liz Dwyer, who played despite neck pain, misfired on a 3-point attempt with 3.0 seconds left and Port Jefferson gained possession on a held ball. Colucci then knocked down a pair of free throws in the final second for the game’s final points.
All 50 of Port Jefferson’s points came from sophomores. Lewis scored 20 points, Colucci added 12 and Scannell chipped in 10.
Port Jefferson won despite being dominated in offensive rebounds, 23-6, and outrebounded altogether by 43-20. The Royals also struggled at the foul line, going 8 of 25.
Katie Hoeg turned in a complete game for Mattituck, equaling her season-high by scoring 19 points for the third time this season. The junior guard also turned in 16 rebounds, 6 steals, 2 assists and 1 block.
Courtney Penny, a junior forward, had a productive outing in her first varsity start for the Tuckers. She had 6 points, 11 rebounds, 5 steals and 3 assists. Dwyer grabbed 10 rebounds to go with her 8 points.