Girls Basketball: Mattituck clinches playoff spot with victory over Greenport

Abby Woods could not have picked a better time to showcase her all-around basketball talents. 

With Mattituck High School ready to clinch a spot in the Suffolk County Class B girls basketball playoffs, the Tucker senior guard took charge on both sides of the ball in a 44-35 home victory over Greenport/Southold in Division 5 action on Thursday night.

Woods scored a game-high 22 points, connecting off three-point attempts, layups, turnovers and foul shots as the Tuckers (8-6, 7-3) secured a postseason berth. 

“Abby’s phenomenal,” head coach Steve Van Dood said after the game. “We counted on her to do so much last year. We had her off the ball. This year, she has to dribble the ball a lot more. She’s getting some scoring opportunities. She’s learned how to get to the basket well. She’s finishing and taking good shots. We asked her to do a lot and she’s doing a great job. She does a lot as captain and keeping the girls believing and buying in. They like her a lot, so they don’t want to let her down.”
The 5-foot-7 Woods certainly did not let her teammates down against the Porters (4-6, 3-5), whose chances of reaching the postseason got a little more difficult despite a fine 21-point effort by Brienna McFarland.


“Definitely coming into the season that was the goal – to make playoffs,” Woods said after the game. “We started off the season really strong, so I was anticipating playoffs. I’m just so excited that we have secured that.”

With three of Mattituck’ four remaining games away, Van Dood was happy to get a key win. \

“That’s great because we have a tough schedule coming up,” he said. “It’s a monkey off our backs. We just have to keep playing well and keep doing what we did tonight. If we keep doing that and carry that into the playoffs, it’s going to bode well for us.” 

Only 45 seconds after the opening tip-off, Woods made her first impact on the game when her impressive, no-look pass from the left side found junior forward Sofia Knudsen (eight points, six rebounds) on the opposite end for an easy layup and a 2-0 lead. 

“It was a great play,” Knudsen said. “Abby’s a really good basketball player. Whatever pass you get from her, it’s good.” 

Woods gave the credit to Knudsen. 

“She’s great. She’s tall. She finishes those layups,” Woods said. “I like giving her a nice hard pass because she’s someone who can catch it and do something with it.” 

Much the same could be said about Woods herself, who was the first-quarter sparkplug, scoring six points as the Tuckers took a 16-10 lead. 

When Mattituck went cold in the second period, Woods kept the hosts afloat with eight points, including converting a turnover early on and sinking two three-pointers 33 seconds apart late in the quarter on the way to a 28-17 halftime advantage. 


“Without her we probably would not get as far as we do, because the scores most of our points,” Knudsen said after the game.

Woods canned another three-pointer to start the second half before adding a layup and a rebound basket as Mattituck enjoyed as much as a 16-point lead. 

“I tried as hard as I can,” she said. “I usually score most of my points on fastbreaks I had a pretty good shooting night. I’ve been working on shooting lot in practice a lot. So that helps.”

Woods also had plenty of help. 

Senior forward Sage Foster (eight points) was a force on the boards (10 rebounds) and contributed two blocked shots and two steals. Senior guard Jenna Sledjeski (two points) did the little things that don’t show up in a game summary (six rebounds, five assists, four steals, three blocked shots).

Van Dood said that Greenport head coach Ev Corwin praised Sledjeski’s efforts to the Porters at halftime, “citing her as an example of hustle and effort.” 

The Tuckers avenged a 37-33 loss at Greenport on Dec. 13

“I’m very pleased,” Van Dood said. “We controlled the game. It seemed like an all ends – defensively. offensively. rebounding. So hard work is paying off. The girls are getting better. They’re believing in themselves.”

The Tuckers have won four of their last five games.

Woods said the team has improved due to its “basketball IQ and just having girls learn plays and [get] more comfortable with each other.”

Woods and the Mattituck Tuckers could not have timed it any better.