Going into last Friday’s game against Wyandanch, Liz Dwyer was told to expect a bigger role. The Mattituck freshman had already established herself as one of the Tuckers’ top players, but on this particular night, she needed to do a little bit more.
The Tuckers, playing in their final regular season home game of the year, were without Katie Hoeg. The standout lacrosse player was on an official visit to the University of North Carolina.
So Mattituck coach Steve Van Dood put the ball in the hands of Dwyer.
She delivered with a career night.
Dwyer scored 31 points, the most in a single game in her young career, to help lead the Tuckers to a 60-34 win. She also grabbed 14 rebounds with 5 blocked shots and four steals.
“We were getting the ball to her in the low post and her moves were on and her shots were dropping,” Van Dood said.
Dwyer shot 12 of 15 from the field, Van Dood said.
Dwyer took over the main ball handling duties playing point guard. She was able to break the Warriors’ press, then get the Tuckers into their offense, which ended up with the ball finding its way back to Dwyer down low.
“She knew she had to do a little more,” Van Dood said. “I said to the girls before the game, everyone’s got to step up and rebound. Everybody has to make up the 15 points Katie usually gets. And Lizzie was one of them.”
Even as the double teams came, Dwyer still broke through and kept the baskets coming, Van Dood said.
“It was almost a storybook night,” Van Dood said.
It also happened to be Senior Night and the Tuckers’ Coaches vs. Cancer fundraiser game.
“Our seniors played exceptionally well,” Van Dood said. “And we raised a lot of money and awareness for cancer.”
At 6-1 in League VII, the Tuckers are now tied for first place with Hampton Bays. The two teams are scheduled to meet in a showdown Thursday in Hampton Bays that will go a long way toward determining the league champion.
The Tuckers will take a three-game win streak into the game, including an impressive win over Babylon Jan. 15. Babylon is the one team to beat Hampton Bays so far this year.
The Tuckers were soundly defeated Jan. 8 by the Lady Baymen, 60-36.
Van Dood said that with the team playing better now, and with contributions coming from more players, he’s hopeful for a better outcome.
“We’re moving the ball on offense better and I think we can be a little more successful than we were the first time,” he said.
The Tuckers will have to contend with Hampton Bays’ star player, Alexis Fotopoulos, who dominated in the first meeting with 32 points.
Van Dood said they’ll try a couple different things to slow down Fotopoulos, a junior who has a 50-point game on her résumé this season.
“We know we have to stop her and hopefully some of their other girls don’t step up that night,” Van Dood said.
The Tuckers will go into the game without having practiced in four days because of the blizzard. It’s not the ideal scenario, but Hampton Bays will be in the same boat.