SUFFOLK COUNTY CLASS B SEMIFINAL | BAYMEN 61, TUCKERS 22
It was the start that finished the Mattituck Tuckers.
A high school girls basketball game is 32 minutes long, but it can be won in the first quarter. Exhibit A: Mattituck’s Suffolk County Class B semifinal in Hampton Bays on Monday evening. The Tuckers came out in a shooting funk and never got out of it.
After a Katie Hoeg basket gave Mattituck its only lead at 2-1, the Tuckers missed the target on their next 14 field-goal attempts. By the time Courtney Penny dropped in a baseline shot to end that drought, Hampton Bays had built a formidable 23-4 lead. The top-seeded Baymen would go on to make it 31-4 before cruising to a 61-22 win.
Defending Long Island champion Hampton Bays will play No. 2 Babylon or No. 3 Port Jefferson in the county final on Saturday at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue.
Hampton Bays (17-2), the League VII champion best known for its prolific scorer, Alexis Fotopoulos, was sharp from the start. Mary Kelly Hilton, a senior playing her final game in the Hampton Bays High School gym, hit three 3-point shots and Hannah Reed had another two in the first quarter. The Baymen shot 7 of 19 from beyond the arc in the first half.
Fotopoulos has a reputation as a scorer, and she led all scorers with 19 points, but she did much more than that. The junior also recorded 9 steals, 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
Hilton finished with 12 points, all from 3-pointers, and Reed added 10 points. Hampton Bays was helped in the rebounding department by Sarah Jiudice with 13 and Alex Maitland-Ward with 12.
The Tuckers (10-10), beaten in the playoffs by Hampton Bays for the second year in a row, struggled throughout with their shooting. They shot 19.2 percent (10 of 52) from the field and 0 of 14 on 3-point attempts.
Hoeg was Mattituck’s top scorer with 6 points to go with 6 rebounds.
It was the final game for Mattituck senior Courtney Murphy, who celebrated her 18th birthday the day before. The team’s only other senior, Lisa Angell, was away on vacation in Italy.
Hampton Bays beat the Tuckers twice during the regular season, 60-36 and 52-40.