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Girls Basketball: Tuckers storm to victory in home opener

Mattituck basketball player Courtney Penny 122115

Having waited this long for its home opener, the Mattituck High School girls basketball team didn’t waste any time getting right to work.

The Tuckers made short work of Center Moriches on Monday night. Using a relentless press to force turnovers and squeeze points out of their opponents, the Tuckers stormed out to a 20-2 lead and coasted to a 50-25 romp.

A good number of those points came off the 20 steals the Tuckers (5-0, 4-0 Suffolk County League VII) made. Altogether, Center Moriches (3-2, 3-2) turned the ball over 37 times and was held to 28.2-percent shooting from the field.

The game was essentially decided in the opening quarter when Liz Dwyer scored 8 of her game-high 16 points. The sophomore forward, who made 6 of 12 field-goal attempts, spent some time on the bench, having picked up three personal fouls in the first half.

Tuckers coach Steve Van Dood, who picked up his 104th career win, played all 12 of his players — as he has done in all five games the team has played so far — and nine of them scored. Katie Hoeg (8 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals, 1 block) and Corinne Reda (8 points, 6 rebounds, 5 steals, 4 assists) both turned in well-rounded games for the Tuckers, who received 14 points from their bench.

Caroline Casey was the top scorer for Center Moriches with 9 points.

Center Moriches didn’t score its first point until Sophia Sacknievich made a basket late in the first quarter — after Mattituck had built itself a 13-0 cushion.

Mattituck’s athleticism and quickness caused Center Moriches problems. The Tuckers led by 25 points when Dwyer made a basket while being fouled, capping a 10-0 run for a 32-7 lead 2 minutes 11 seconds into the third quarter.

After a 3-point shot by Casey, the Tuckers stretched their lead to 28 points at 38-10 on successive baskets by Hoeg, Hoeg again, and Reda.

Center Moriches went on a 15-3 run of its own to whittle Mattituck’s advantage down to 16 points with 5:20 left to play, but that was as close as the Red Devils got.

One Center Moriches player, Mollie Dennis, walked gingerly off the court with 2:12 to go, complaining of an ankle injury.

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Photo caption: Center Moriches’ Alyssa Forsell and Mattituck’s Courtney Penny cross arms while trying to collect a loose ball. (Credit: Garret Meade)