The Mattituck Tuckers played like warriors. Their problem was they played against actual Warriors.
For three quarters on Friday night the Tuckers played the first-place Wyandanch Warriors even. It was the fourth quarter that proved problematic for the Tuckers, though.
Wyandanch made 9 of 13 field-goal attempts and outscored the Tuckers, 27-14, in the fourth quarter to pull away to an 84-71 victory at Mattituck High School.
The loss left the Tuckers (9-7, 5-5 Suffolk County League VII) needing to win one of their final two regular-season games in order to qualify for the playoffs for the second time in three years. They have games remaining at Center Moriches (9-5, 4-4) on Feb. 5 and at home against Bishop McGann-Mercy (5-9, 2-6) on Feb. 8.
Back-to-back baskets by Mattituck’s Ryan Mowdy had tied the score at 57-57 by the completion of the third quarter. But Wyandanch (9-6, 7-2), which started the day in a first-place tie with Southampton (8-5, 6-2), opened the fourth quarter on a 10-2 burst, capped by a deep 3-point shot by Kashawn Charles.
Wyandanch, seeking its first league championship since 2009, turned on the offense. Tyler Damas poured in 22 points and Charles rang up 21. Quanel Robinson (16 points) and Stanley Joiner (11) also scored in double figures for the Warriors.
Joe Tardif brought the Tuckers 22 points and 8 assists while Mowdy added 19 points. Dan Fedun produced a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Parker Tuthill had 11 points and 7 assists.
The score was tied 10 times and the lead changed hands five times before Wyandanch asserted control in the fourth quarter.
The Tuckers didn’t shoot poorly, sinking 29 of 65 field-goal attempts (44.6 percent). But Wyandanch was hot, hitting 31 of 57 attempts (54.4 percent).
Photo caption: Mattituck’s Ryan Mowdy shooting over Wyandanch’s Tyler Damas while Mattituck’s Dan Fedun and Wyandanch’s Stanley Joiner jockey for position. (Credit: Daniel De Mato)