07/14/14 10:49pm
07/14/2014 10:49 PM
Mount Sinai's Julia Golina and Victoria Johnson (14) try to stop Mattituck's Liz Dwyer, who produced 15 points and 11 rebounds. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Mount Sinai’s Julia Golina and Victoria Johnson (14) try to stop Mattituck’s Liz Dwyer, who produced 15 points and 11 rebounds in Monday’s game. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Nowadays, perhaps more than ever before, the words of their past coaches echo in the minds of Alex, Alexa and Allie, the three A’s who constitute the new coaching troika for the Mattituck girls basketball summer team.

Alex Berkoski, Alexa Orlando and Allie Wilcenski, all members of the Mattituck High School Class of 2013 and former prominent players for the Tuckers, are the new coaches for the summer league team and they laugh when recounting how they find themselves repeating what their coaches told them when they were players. (more…)

02/15/13 10:06pm
02/15/2013 10:06 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Allie Wilcenski, who led Mattituck with 19 points and 13 rebounds, looking for a shooting opening while Center Moriches' Vanessa Lewis guarded her.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Allie Wilcenski, who led Mattituck with 19 points and 13 rebounds, looking for a shooting opening while Center Moriches’ Vanessa Lewis guards her.


Victoria Fahie’s uniform number is 4, but her relevant number was 3 on Friday night. That’s right, 3, as in one successful 3-point shot after another.

If Fahie wakes up on Saturday morning wondering if what happened on Friday night was only a dream, it would be understandable. The Center Moriches junior played what she called the best basketball game of her life. She drilled seven 3-pointers and scored a game-high 25 points for the Red Devils, who held off Mattituck, 80-69, in an intense, energy-charged Suffolk County Class B Tournament outbracket game at Center Moriches High School.

“I was so happy and so excited to be a big part of the game,” said the 5-foot-4 Fahie.

Fahie’s performance was not something Center Moriches coach Kelley Watts had not seen from her before. Fahie, who along with Claire Brady are the team’s most productive 3-point shooters, drained seven threes in a game against Wyandanch this season. She entered Friday night’s game with 28 treys.

“She’s a fantastic shooter,” Watts said. “As of late, I’d say the last six or seven games, she’s really been on fire from the arc.”

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mattituck's Katie Hoeg taking aim at the basket while Center Moriches Tamia Rowland and Takia Plummer (11) try to stop her.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mattituck’s Katie Hoeg taking aim at the basket while Center Moriches Tamia Rowland and Takia Plummer (11) try to stop her.

The 80 points was a season-high figure for second-seeded Center Moriches (12-4), which will play top-seeded Southampton (14-3), the League VII champion, in a county final on Tuesday night.

Friday night’s game was marked by its intensity and physicality, from start to finish.

Asked how she would describe the game, Mattituck senior point guard Alex Berkoski replied, “Intense, physical, and very tearful at the end.”

Berkoski added: “We left everything out there. We came out with scratches and bruises, for sure.”

Mattituck’s only lead was at 2-0, but the third-seeded Tuckers (11-8) stayed close enough to Center Moriches to remain a threat. A basket by Takia Plummer gave Center Moriches a 42-26 lead late in the second quarter. In the fourth quarter, Mattituck pulled as close as 6 points at 66-60 thanks to a Shannon Dwyer bucket, but no closer. Whenever Mattituck tightened the gap, it seemed that the sharpshooting Fahie was there to respond with a 3-pointer.

“We were close at some points, and then we just couldn’t get to that level where we could push over,” said Berkoski.

The foul-filled contest saw 32 fouls whistled by halftime and 48 for the game. Those fouls caught up with Mattituck. Three Mattituck starters — Berkoski, Dwyer and Alexa Orlando — had four personal fouls marked near their names by the time the fourth quarter was 23 seconds old. Dwyer and teammate Allie Wilcenski later fouled out.

The amount of energy both teams expended from start to finish was considerable.

“Every time we play Mattituck, that’s how it is,” Watts said. “The kids play very hard on both ends, both teams, and that’s how it’s always been.”

Vanessa Lewis provided Center Moriches with a season-high 17 points as well as 9 rebounds, 5 steals and 4 assists. Plummer added 16 points and 9 assists, and Brady had 11 points.

As a team, Center Moriches shot 9 for 17 from beyond the 3-point arc.

Wilcenski, a senior playing in her final game for the Tuckers, turned in a big game with 19 points and 13 rebounds, both team-leading numbers. Dwyer netted 18 points, Berkoski scored 13 and Orlando 11. Katie Hoeg came off the bench for 8 points and 6 assists.

Center Moriches defeated Mattituck in all three meetings between the teams this season. It couldn’t be said, however, that Mattituck went down Friday night without a heck of a fight.

“I’m proud of my girls,” Mattituck coach Steve Van Dood said. “They showed up tonight. They really did a good job.”
But Fahie was the difference-maker. “She was unreal,” Van Dood said. “… She lit it up on us.”

Standing outside her team’s locker room afterward, Fahie tried to explain how she approaches outside shooting. “I never know if my shot’s on,” she said. “Once I start getting into it, I feel it and I just start shooting.”

Mattituck had four of its players recognized as all-league players: ALEX BERKOSKI, SHANNON DWYER, ALEXA ORLANDO and ALLIE WILCENSKI. In addition, Wilcenski is on the all-county ballot, said coach STEVE VAN DOOD.

Reflecting on his team’s season, Van Dood remarked: “I would say good job. The girls played hard. To get 11 wins in a tough league like we have, it’s a successful season.”

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02/05/13 8:17pm
02/05/2013 8:17 PM


The game didn’t have any meaning for either the Wyandanch or the Mattituck girls basketball teams in terms of the playoffs or the League VII championship. Wyandanch had already been eliminated from playoff contention. Mattituck had already secured its place in the posteason (the Tuckers are locked in as the No. 3 seed in the Suffolk County Class B Tournament, according to coach Steve Van Dood), and the league title was already beyond its reach.

And yet, for four players in white and blue uniforms, there was a good deal of significance to Tuesday night’s game.

Senior Day 2013 at Mattituck High School left some good memories for Mattituck’s four seniors: Alex Berkoski, Nicole Murphy, Alexa Orlando and Allie Wilcenski. They walked away with their teammates as 77-48 winners over Wyandanch.

As if often the case, some emotions were as much a part of the evening as the blue and white balloons and the personalized posters younger teammates made for the seniors, who played in their home gym for the last time.

“It’s really emotional,” said Wilcenski, whose eyes watered while talking about her final home game during a postgame interview. “I’m going to miss this so much, and I’m so sad.”

By contrast, Berkoski had a strikingly unemotional reaction to the proceedings. “I feel like it was just any ordinary game,” she said. “I guess the whole senior thing hasn’t really hit me yet.”

It was a junior, Shannon Dwyer, leading the way with 21 points for the Tuckers (11-6, 8-1), who recorded their fourth win from five games. Wilcenski had a productive evening as well with 20 points, and Berkoski supplied 13 points.

All 12 Tuckers who were in uniform played, and nine of them made it into the scoring column.

But the statistic of the night was in the assists category. Mattituck totaled 30 of them, with 9 coming from Katie Hoeg, and Berkoski and Orlando providing 6 apiece.

“They were moving the ball well,” Van Dood said. “We saw a lot of scoring off of three, four passes. They were running the offense. I think we did a good job of being patient with the ball.”

Wyandanch (4-13, 2-9) received 16 points from Symphony Paschall and 15 from Quiana Sutton, who hit four 3-point shots.

The only threat Wyandanch posed came early in the second quarter when it twice pulled to within 4 points of Mattituck at 22-18 and 24-20 from a straight-on 3-pointer that Sutton banked in and a basket by Paschall.

“Wyandanch actually came back a little bit,” Berkoski said, “but we finally pulled it back together and we finally got in the swing of things and we pulled it off.”

Mattituck proceeded to go on an 11-2 run and kept building on its lead from there.

“When we stick to the game plan, good things happen,” said Van Dood.

Among those good things for Mattituck were high-percentage shots. The Tuckers finished with 56.3-percent shooting from the field. They also forced 41 turnovers by Wyandanch.

Mattituck’s final regular-season game will be Friday night against Southampton. A week later, the Tuckers will play their playoff game. Van Dood expects Mattituck to be paired against Center Moriches in a county semifinal. Center Moriches defeated the Tuckers twice this season, 58-50 and 60-40.

As well as Mattituck played against Wyandanch, Van Dood didn’t overlook a couple of layups that the Tuckers missed along the way.

“You do that against Center Moriches, you do that against Southampton, and you’re not going to get the W,” he said. “We have to come out ready to play. We have to play four quarters.”

Still, it was a happy night for Mattituck’s seniors, who have played together for a handful of years.

“They’re great kids,” Van Dood said. “They’re great leaders. They’re great role models for the younger kids and just a pleasure to coach, an absolute pleasure to coach.”

Asked how much he thought the game meant to them, Van Dood answered: “I think it was a huge night for them, absolutely. They have good memories of their last game on this home court. That’s tremendous for them.”

After most of her teammates had left the gym, Wilcenski was trying to come to terms with the reality that her final days in a Mattituck uniform are nearing an end.

“I just can’t believe it,” she said. “It still doesn’t feel real to me. I don’t know, it’s so bizarre. It just came so fast.”

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07/26/11 11:55pm
07/26/2011 11:55 PM

BOB LIEPA PHOTO | Mattituck's Lauren Guja had both feet off the ground after launching one of her five shots against Rocky Point on Tuesday evening at Diamond in the Pines.

The Mattituck High School varsity girls soccer team has known Liz Lasota primarily as a defensive player, but it wasn’t always that way for Lasota. Before playing at this level, Lasota routinely played as a forward or central midfielder. Now, as the four-year varsity player prepares for her upcoming senior season, she is getting reacquainted with the other end of the field, and she likes it.

Lasota, who split her junior season at sweeper and central midfield, has been getting a look at forward with the Tuckers’ summer league team.

“To be honest,” she said, “I was put on defense for so long that I just want to go up and score goals.”

Because of work commitments, Lasota hasn’t played much with the Tuckers this summer, but she did make an impression Tuesday in her third appearance with the team. She scored twice — her only two goals of the summer — as the Tuckers closed out their Town of Brookhaven Summer League regular season with a 3-0 shutout of the Rocky Point Eagles at Diamond in the Pines in Coram. It was a must-win game for the Tuckers (3-5-2), who need help in order to reach the playoffs. They left the field Tuesday night not knowing whether they would have a playoff game on Thursday or not.

Lasota took five shots, tying her for the game-high with teammate Lauren Guja, and scored a goal on either side of halftime in the 60-minute contest.

BOB LIEPA PHOTO | Liz Lasota has acquired a taste for goal scoring. The Mattituck senior netted two goals against Rocky Point.

It’s still uncertain what position Lasota will play this fall.

“Liz is like the major utility player,” Mattituck Coach Ed Barbante said. “She started off in the back as a sweeper. Then she moved to center mid. So, she might be a forward. I don’t know. Nothing’s etched in stone yet.”

With her speed (Barbante said Lasota is one of the fastest players on the team along with Nicole Zurawski) and the ability to shoot with either foot, Lasota has shown she can play up top and give opposing defenders trouble. If Lasota is asked to be more of a scorer this year, well, that’s just fine with her.

“I love it,” she said. “I just love like being able to try and score because I feel I have more of a rage to want to go and score.”

Lasota opened the scoring in the 21st minute, putting away a ball from Alex Berkoski, the first of Berkoski’s two assists. Goalkeeper Cheyenna Hoffman got a hand on the ball, but was unable to prevent the hard shot from flying into the net.

The second Lasota goal made it 3-0 with 1 minute 51 seconds left in the match. Lasota latched onto a through ball from Guja and showed composure in finishing.

“It’s a good feeling,” Lasota said afterward. “It’s a really good feeling.”

It was the first time that Barbante, who missed five games this summer while away on a honeymoon, had seen Lasota play this summer. He liked what he saw. “She looked very good today,” he said.

Sandwiched in between the Lasota goals was a nice strike by Shelby Britt in the 44th minute. Berkoski laid off a ball for the junior, who found the right corner of the goal with her left foot.

“You can’t draw a more picture-perfect goal than that,” said Barbante.

The Tuckers looked good. Goalkeepers Abigail Graeb and Stephanie Reisenberg were so well-protected by their defense that neither needed to make a save. Mattituck outshot Rocky Point by a 12-1 count, and the Eagles (3-7) didn’t get their only shot until Whitney Owensby hooked a free kick wide to the right of Mattituck’s goal in the 51st minute.

The Tuckers are considerably changed. They lost 13 seniors, including some eight starters, from the team that walked off the field for the last time following a 1-0 loss to the Center Moriches Red Devils in last year’s Suffolk Class B final at Diamond in the Pines. That means more than a few positions are up for grabs. “A lot of positions are available,” said Barbante.

One of them could very well be won by Berkoski, a junior forward who underwent back surgery at the end of last season.

“She’s very smooth on the ball,” Barbante said. “She’s very confident with the way that she plays the game. She doesn’t overdo things. She simplifies the game.”

And then there is Lasota, an all-county player who would undoubtedly be an asset at just about any position.

Lasota plays on the front line for her club team, Sound Beach Barnsley, and has worked on things that a forward needs to, such as making different runs and creating space for herself.

You know, just in case.

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