He’s sure not your average Joe.
But even by the lofty standards that Joe Tardif has set for himself, his play on Friday night had to be considered above average. A dynamo who brings relentless energy to the basketball court, Tardif uses his speed, quickness and hustle to make steals that lead to transition points. What the 5-foot-9 guard lacks in height, he makes up for with tremendous jumping ability and a motor that never stops.
Tardif typically lets his play speak for itself, and it spoke volumes on Friday. One may have suspected that some cloning technology was involved because at times the Mattituck High School senior seemed to be everywhere on the court at once, making things happen with his on/off switch set to on.
In addition to all of that, the Tuckers came out ready to play from the start of their home opener, canning nine of their first 15 field-goal attempts and storming to a 73-45 rout of local rival Greenport in a non-league game that was expected to be close.
Who saw that coming?
Surely not Greenport’s coach, Ev Corwin, who looked a bit stunned following his team’s season-opening game.
And it was actually worse from Greenport’s perspective — 2 points worse, to be precise. Because of a scorekeeping error at the official scorers’ table, the Tuckers (1-2) were shortchanged 2 points that they should have been credited with during the second quarter. As it turned out, the bookkeeping oversight didn’t come close to having an impact on the result.
Tardif scored 9 of his game-high 19 points in the first quarter, which ended with the Tuckers holding a 26-10 advantage, thanks in part to a pair of 3-point shots by Jon Dwyer and another by Parker Tuthill.
The Porters pulled no closer than 11 points the rest of the way, and trailed by as many as 30 when Mattituck’s Ryan McCaffery nailed down a 3-pointer with a little over a minute left in the game.
Tardif, who does so much, turned in another all-around performance, with 11 assists, 6 steals and 3 rebounds by the time he made his exit to applause from appreciative Mattituck fans with 2 minutes 56 seconds left.
Dwyer had a strong game as well. He, along with Dan Fedun and Carter Montgomery, tangled under the boards to help neutralize Greenport’s big men, Julian Swan and Sam Strickland.
Dwyer had a full day, sticking three 3-pointers (the Tuckers shot 8 of 18 from beyond the 3-point arc) while putting up 16 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Tuthill had 15 points.
Jordan Fonseca hit three 3-pointers and led the Porters with 15 points. Swan, a formidable inside presence, grabbed 11 rebounds to go with 9 points, 6 blocks and 2 steals.
Tardif’s quick feet and hands helped the Tuckers pressure the Porters into 24 turnovers, 14 more than the Tuckers.
Photo caption: Mattituck’s Jon Dwyer, who scored 16 points, soaring over Greenport’s Brendan Walker during Friday night’s non-league game at Mattituck High School (Credit: Garret Meade)