At its root, there is a simplicity to basketball. The name of the game is putting the ball in the basket. When a team struggles to do that, it’s a problem.
Shooting has been Problem No. 1 in this young season for the Southold/Greenport high school girls basketball team. The Clippers believe their shooting woes have cost them games, including a Saturday matinee against Center Moriches.
Both teams have athleticism and play tough, scrappy defense, with not a great deal of finesse, so the type of game that materialized was what Center Moriches coach Rich Roberts expected. Unlike the entertaining junior varsity game that preceded it at Southold High School, the varsity contest was downright ugly at times, with just about as many turnovers as points scored. The score after the first quarter was 6-0 in Center Moriches’ favor. Southold/Greenport had no points, but 10 turnovers in the opening eight minutes. The Clippers didn’t get on the scoreboard until Angelica Klavas dropped in two free throws 2 minutes 4 seconds into the second quarter. At the half, the score was knotted at 12-12.
It was Center Moriches that shot better and eventually found its way, scoring the first 11 points of the third quarter and cruising to a 38-26 win.
The Clippers missed their first 10 shots of the game. They shot 4 of 24 from the field in the first half and finished the game at 10 of 42, which works out to a bone-chilling 23.8 percent.
Center Moriches (3-1 overall and in Suffolk County League VII) found the basket with more regularity, hitting 46.4 percent of its field-goal attempts, including 7 of 11 when it made its move in the third quarter.
Caroline Casey, a senior guard, picked up 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Red Devils while Kristina Baldanza added 13 points. Casey sank 6 of 7 free throws.
Madison Tabor was the top scorer for the Clippers (1-3, 1-2). The junior point guard hit three 3-point shots and netted 13 points. No other Southold/Greenport player had more than the 4 points that Ale Cardi and Grace Syron each put up.
Play was sloppy on both sides, with Center Moriches turning the ball over 32 times and the Clippers not doing much better, with 28 giveaways.
Photo caption: Southold/Greenport’s Ale Cardi examines her options while Center Moriches’ Sophia Sacknievich keeps an eye on her. (Credit: Garret Meade)