About 20 minutes before his high school girls basketball team took on the always-dangerous Liz Dwyer and Mattituck Thursday, Shoreham-Wading River coach Adam Lievre announced to his team that it was going to deploy a new defensive strategy: a 3-2 zone defense.
“We didn’t even practice it and we ran it really well,” Lievre said.
So well that the Wildcats limited Dwyer to 20 points in a 48-36 home victory in a Coaches vs. Cancer game.
“That was a good win for us,” Lievre said. “Obviously, that’s a good team. I told the girls we were going to play some defensive sets that we don’t normally play just to see how it would work, looking forward to some league opponents. They did an awesome job with it. I was very happy overall with our play. Offensively and defensively it was one of the better games we played all year.”
Mikayla Dwyer led the Wildcats (6-4) with 15 points, Abby Korzekwinski added 12 and Michele Corona contributed eight against the Tuckers (7-2) in the non-league game.
Liz Dwyer, who entered the game as the eighth-leading scorer in Suffolk County (22.8 points per game), never really found the right rhythm. Only 13 seconds after tip-off, she converted a rebound to give Mattituck its only lead of the game at 2-0 before the Wildcats went on a 13-2 tear to close out the opening quarter behind Mikayla Dwyer (six points) and Corona (four points).
By the time Liz Dwyer scored again, sinking two fouls shots with 5:38 remaining in the second quarter, Shoreham had a 17-8 lead.
“I didn’t like our man-to-man matchups that well,” Lievre said. “Erin [Triandafils’] back-up was not here today. So I was a little concerned about Erin having to cover Dwyer the whole game and in foul trouble. The last couple of years Liz has killed us man to man, which we traditionally play. For future years and tonight, let’s give it a look and it worked.”
The Tuckers came within 28-24 with 4:53 left in the third quarter before a 14-2 burst gave the Wildcats a 40-26 advantage as Shoreham never looked back. Mikayla Dwyer scored six points during that surge, while Corona added four.
Photo caption: Shoreham-Wading River’s Michele Corona (4) and Abby Korzekwinski clamp down on Mattituck’s Liz Dwyer, who was held to 20 points. (Credit: Garret Meade)