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Girls Basketball: Locust Valley brings too much for Porters to handle

When the fourth quarter began Wednesday, Greenport/Southold’s best player, Adrine Demirciyan, wasn’t on the basketball court. The senior was standing behind the team bench, sobbing in the arms of assistant coach Madison Tabor.

That’s the sort of game it was for the Porters.

Demirciyan, who needed time to compose herself before reentering the game, clearly saw the writing on the wall, not to mention the scoreboard. By then the final score was a mere technicality. This Long Island Class B final had essentially been decided well before halftime.

Greenport coach Chris Golden was true to his word. Last week, referring to Locust Valley’s 56-16 win over Cold Spring Harbor in the Nassau County Class B final, he said his team was more than capable of defeating the Falcons. “We’re not going to get blown out by 40 points, that’s for sure,” he said.

Well, they didn’t. They lost by 38 instead, with a similar final score, 55-17, in the Long Island final at Shoreham-Wading River High School.

Golden laughed afterward when a reporter brought up his 40 points quote. “Don’t hold me to that,” he said.

Greenport did trail by as many as 43 points after a Lindsay Hogan three-pointer and an Olivia Del Tatto chip shot almost midway through the fourth quarter.

From the corner of the court, Brienna McFarland shoots a 3-pointer with Olivia Del Tatto nearby. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

“I definitely think that we knew what their strengths and weaknesses were going into the game, but I don’t think we thought that this was going to be the outcome,” said Greenport senior Hayley Skrezec.

It was the 54th straight win by Locust Valley (23-0), a Long Island record, according to Newsday, which traced the Falcons’ last loss to Feb. 15, 2019, against Floral Park in a first-round playoff game.

Yeah, Locust Valley is that good.

“I think we knew it was coming,” Greenport senior Amelia Woods said. “I just don’t think we prepared as well as we could for it.”

The game closed the book on Demirciyan’s high school career. Locust Valley clamped down on Demirciyan and quickly threw multiple defenders on Greenport’s all-time leading scorer whenever she received the ball. In her final game for Greenport, she had four points on 2-for-9 shooting, three rebounds, two steals and an assist. She totaled 1,192 points for her five-year varsity career.

“I couldn’t ask for anything more,” Demirciyan said. “I wanted a county championship and that’s exactly what I got. We got it as a team. I couldn’t have gotten here without them, and I’m just beyond thankful to have these girls beside me in the process.”

Greenport/Southold (15-5) was denied in its bid for what would have been its first Long Island championship as a combined team. Brienna McFarland was Greenport’s top scorer with six points as the Porters were held to a season-low total.

Greenport made only one basket in the first quarter, one basket in the second and managed only a single point in the third to fall into a massive 47-7 hole. The Porters shot 2-for-29 from the floor in the first three quarters and 6-for-38 (15.8%) for the game. Greenport didn’t reach double figures until a Demirciyan basket made it 52-11 with 3 minutes, 38 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Seniors Adrine Demirciyan and Brienna McFarland embrace near the end of the game. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

Locust Valley’s height and length was a problem. Two 6-1 players, Hogan (21 points, five three-pointers, 10 assists, six steals, five rebounds) and Del Tatto (four points, 11 rebounds), were a source of trouble, along with Payton Tini (13 points).

“I don’t want to say I underestimated them, but in person watching them play, I’m very impressed,” Golden said. “They’re a very good team.”

It was also the final game for Golden, who said he will not return as the team’s coach next season.

“As I kind of exit the teaching and coaching profession, for me, I enjoy the moments,” he said. “The moments for me are so much more important now. So, the message I want to leave the girls is thank you. Thank you for four months of like laughing and giving somebody like me an opportunity to coach, to just have the opportunity to be able to do something like that.”

Demirciyan’s exit came with 1:29 to go. She made her way to the bench and buried her face under the top of her jersey.

Skrezec said she has seen Demirciyan do things on the court “that have made me literally speechless. I’ve watched her become an amazing basketball player. I mean, she was always good, but she worked so hard. She worked every day, all the time. I’ve never seen someone in the gym like her, I mean six hours a day, off-season. I’ve never ever seen someone work so hard. She deserves everything she’s accomplished.”

Demirciyan, who will play for East Stroudsburg University (Pa.) at the NCAA Division II level, said: “I’m just glad I made my mark. I’m just thankful for everything I’ve experienced on this team throughout the years, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”