PANTHERS 42, TUCKERS 25
After a rather forgettable 42-25 defeat to host Babylon in its Suffolk County League VII regular-season finale Friday night, the Mattituck High School girls basketball team will have a week to forget about the loss and prepare for the Suffolk Class B Tournament.
The Tuckers (9-9, 7-3) are expected to begin their quest for county glory against an opponent to be determined on Friday, Feb. 13, although the way they played at times, it seemed they had walked under a ladder prior to tip-off and endured more than their share of bad luck.
While they hustled on defense, they struggled on the other side of the ball, shooting only 15.8 percent from the field (9 of 57). In contrast, the Panthers (13-5, 8-2) converted 34.8 percent of their attempts (15 of 43).
Overcoming a 5-point deficit in the second quarter, the Tuckers took their first and only lead of the night after freshman forward Liz Dwyer (team-high 17 points) sank back-to-back shots 34 seconds apart to give the visitors a 16-15 lead with 5 minutes 30 seconds remaining in the third period.
The Panthers then reeled off 16 consecutive points to grab 31-16 advantage and never looked back. Meghan Nerney collected 6 of her 10 points during that span. She could have had more, but canned only 2 of 6 foul shots.
The Tuckers never recovered. They had only three players who hit the score sheet. Guard Katie Hoeg finished with 5 points and added 10 rebounds and Brianna Perino had 3 points.
Emily Guerra led Babylon with 14 points.