Now is not the time for reflection.
Liz Dwyer said that in time, well after she graduates from Mattituck High School and whatever college she decides to attend, she will reflect back on her time playing basketball for the Tuckers. She will have a lot to reflect on, too, including perhaps some memories that haven’t been created yet.
Dwyer still has one more basketball season ahead of her, and it promises a bounty of highlights and memories to cherish.
The senior forward, who has to be considered one of the best players Mattituck has produced, has already achieved so much. Since joining the varsity team as an eighth-grader, she has accumulated 1,398 career points in 86 games, leaving her only 67 points shy of Mattituck’s all-time leading scorer, Stephenie Pisacano (Class of 2010).
Dwyer said none of this would have been possible without passes and picks from her teammates, “but it does feel cool.” She said: “I never thought I was going to be really good or get even to like a thousand [points]. In my eighth-grade season I was just trying to make the starting lineup and trying to get time here and there.”
Ever since she was eased into the starting lineup early in her eighth-grade season, Dwyer has seen her point production go up and up. Last season she averaged 21.7 points per game, to go with 8.0 rebounds, 3.0 steals, 2.2 assists and 1.3 blocks. She made the All-State ninth team the last two years. Dwyer is averaging 16.3 points per game for her career, with 43-percent shooting from the field.
“She’s really amazing,” said coach Steve Van Dood.
While scoring may be what she does best, Dwyer does so much else, both on and off the court.
“She’s resilient,” Van Dood said. “She has great stamina. Some of her best quarters are the last quarter of a game.”
Coaches like her because of her competitiveness and athleticism. Teammates like her because she is so personable. Reporters like her because she makes for a good interview.
“She has made an impact on this team, on everybody,” Van Dood said. “That’s Lizzie Dwyer. She makes an impact on everyone, socially and on the court. She’s a funny girl. She has a lot of personality.”
Not to mention talent.
Dwyer has led Mattituck to two straight Long Island Class B championships, and the team looks poised to make a strong run at a third. Mattituck has never won a regional championship, falling one win shy in each of the past two years. Dwyer would like to experience that this coming season. “This is the year, fingers crossed,” she said.
Van Dood said, “She’s hoping this year will be her grand finale, her grand opus.”
Dwyer said this being her final go-around “feels so weird because you always see people going and then it’s almost my turn to leave.” She said she wants to draw the most enjoyment possible out of her senior season, “get every memory, everything I can, get all the wins we can and make the most of the last season.”
What will come to Van Dood’s mind when he hears Dwyer’s name mentioned in years to come?
“A great kid, a great student and I guess the greatest player who ever played basketball at Mattituck High School,” he said. “That’s what you have to think.”
Photo caption: Liz Dwyer is 67 points away from tying Stephenie Pisacano as Mattituck’s all-time leading scorer. (Credit: Garret Meade)