05/22/14 5:00pm
05/22/2014 5:00 PM

McGann-Mercy senior Danisha Carter, shown here Monday in the preliminaries, ran a personal best time in the 200-dash Wednesday at the Division III Championships. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

McGann-Mercy senior Danisha Carter, shown here Monday in the preliminaries, ran a personal best time in the 200-dash Wednesday at the Division III Championships. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

In a 4 x 100-meter relay, every handoff is crucial. One small misstep can be all that it takes to squash a top time.

When McGann-Mercy’s relay team ran the preliminaries of the Division III Championships Monday at Connetquot High School, a shaky handoff between the first two legs served as important reminder. Back at practice the next day, the Monarchs spent a good chunk of time rehearsing the critical handoffs.  (more…)

02/18/14 10:06pm
02/18/2014 10:06 PM

Mattituck's Shannon Dwyer shooting over Hampton Bays' Hannah Reed during the county Class B final at Northport High School on Tuesday. (Garret Meade photo)

Mattituck’s Shannon Dwyer shooting over Hampton Bays’ Hannah Reed during the county Class B final at Northport High School on Tuesday. (Garret Meade photo)

SUFFOLK COUNTY CLASS B FINAL | BAYMEN 58, TUCKERS 44

Alexis Fotopoulos is one of those talented basketball players who is going to get her points one way or another. On Tuesday she scored 33 of them.

Fotopoulos, a sophomore already in her fourth varsity season with Hampton Bays, has an uncanny knack for putting the ball in the basket. Despite Mattituck’s efforts in the Suffolk County Class B final, Fotopoulos kept finding ways to get to the basket. She defied the odds with one shot in the second quarter when she managed to score a layup while falling to the floor. Another time, she evaded a thicket of Mattituck arms to scoop in a layup. (more…)

02/14/14 8:47pm
02/14/2014 8:47 PM

From left, Tiana Baker, Christine Bieber and Shannon Dwyer embrace each other following Mattituck's county semifinal victory over Center Moriches. (Garret Meade photo)

From left, Tiana Baker, Christine Bieber and Shannon Dwyer embrace each other following Mattituck’s county semifinal victory over Center Moriches. (Garret Meade photo)

SUFFOLK COUNTY CLASS B SEMIFINAL | TUCKERS 49, RED DEVILS 44

By all accounts, the Mattituck Tuckers were one happy group on their bus ride to Center Moriches High School on Friday. They were singing happily as they headed toward their biggest game of this high school girls basketball season.

“Oh, we sing so loud,” forward Shannon Dwyer said. “We have a chorus group. It’s a little pitchy, but we were awesome.” (more…)

12/14/13 2:24pm
12/14/2013 2:24 PM

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Shannon Dwyer passing the ball during the first quarter. Dwyer shot 7 of 10 from the field and scored 19 points in Mattituck's win over Westhampton Beach.

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Shannon Dwyer passing the ball during the first quarter. Dwyer shot 7 of 10 from the field and scored 19 points in Mattituck’s win over Westhampton Beach.

TUCKERS 49, HURRICANES 36

A sly grin flashed across Shannon Dwyer’s face as she dribbled the ball during the waning moments of the Mattituck High School girls basketball team’s game on Saturday. That may be because Dwyer knew the Tuckers were about to secure the non-league win at Westhampton Beach High School even though they had not exactly played their “A” game.

As it was, though, the Tuckers played well enough for a 49-36 win, their fourth in six games.

While the game may have not have won many points for artistry, the result is what counted most to coach Steve Van Dood. “A win’s a win,” he told his players afterward.

The Tuckers can thank Dwyer, their athletic senior forward, for the role she played. As is usually the case, Dwyer delivered, putting up a game-high 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting from the field and 4-for-5 shooting from the foul line. She also had 8 rebounds.

Mattituck led since early in the second quarter when a Dwyer basket broke a 10-10 tie, but an improved Westhampton Beach team (3-2, 1-1 League V), which is one win shy of equaling its total from last season, kept threatening to come back.

Dwyer scored 10 points during a 14-2 run that gave the Tuckers a 22-12 lead in the second quarter. But Westhampton Beach didn’t fold. The Hurricanes cut their deficit to 3 points twice and 2 points once.

Each time, though, the Tuckers had an answer.

A basket by Westhampton Beach’s Brooke Alpert opened the third quarter, making the score 24-21. But then Liz Dwyer and her older sister Shannon came back with successive baskets.

Later in the quarter, a layup by Westhampton Beach’s Lauren Smith made it 28-25. Mattituck responded with a free throw by Liz Dwyer and a hoop by Tiana Baker to restore some breathing room.

Shortly after that, Westhampton Beach tightened things up again when a layup by Ivonne Grunseich made it 31-29. Yet again, Mattituck replied, this time with back-to-back buckets by Baker and Liz Dwyer.

A 3-point play the old-fashioned way by Shannon Dwyer 1 minute 17 seconds into the fourth quarter ignited a 7-0 run for the Tuckers, the other points coming from Baker. That may have been the coup de grace.

Baker, a freshman, scored 10 of her 14 points in the second half.

Katie Hoeg brought the Tuckers 8 rebounds, 7 assists and 6 steals to go with 5 points.

Smith was Westhampton Beach’s top scorer. The senior guard registered 10 points before fouling out with 27 seconds remaining. All five of her fouls were committed in the second half.

It was a sloppy game, with the teams combining for 48 turnovers.

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11/04/13 7:19pm
11/04/2013 7:19 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Shannon Dwyer (16) had a match-high 11 kills to go with 4 blocks for Mattituck, which picked up its fourth county championship.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shannon Dwyer (16) had a match-high 11 kills to go with 4 blocks for Mattituck, which picked up its fourth county championship.

SUFFOLK CLASS C FINAL | TUCKERS 25, 27, 25, PANTHERS 20, 25, 21

Playoff pressure is nothing new to the Mattituck High School girls volleyball team. As the team’s coach, Frank Massa, explained, the Tuckers have essentially been playing under pressure through much of the regular season in their efforts to reach the postseason.

They rose to the occasion by qualifying for the playoffs, and then rose to the occasion again on Monday, capturing their fourth county championship in 11 years. During that time they have played in nine county finals.

In their latest, the Tuckers unseated the defending Suffolk County Class C champion, Babylon. The teams had split the two matches they played during the regular season, with each side winning on its home court in three games. Monday’s final was at a neutral site, Patchogue-Medford High School, and it was the Tuckers who appeared to make themselves more at home. With precise serving (they missed only four serves in the match), the Tuckers scored a 25-20, 27-25, 25-21 triumph.

When Babylon couldn’t handle Emily Reimer’s serve, which fell for an ace on match point, the jubilant Tuckers mobbed each other on the court, with hugs and smiles all over.

“It’s amazing,” Mattituck’s junior libero, Julia Orlando, said. “We’re on Cloud Nine. I just can’t even believe it.”

With the victory, Mattituck (9-7) advances to the Long Island regional final against the Nassau County champion on Sunday at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue.

Mattituck’s consistent serving didn’t give Babylon (9-9) many breaks. The Tuckers may have won the match at the service line, where they went 69 for 73 (94.5 percent). Babylon served 60 for 70 (85.7 percent).

The Tuckers were steady servers. Reimer went 17 for 18 with 4 service aces, but she wasn’t the only Mattituck player serving well. There was Julia Orlando (13 for 13). There was Shannon Dwyer (12 for 13). There was Lizzie Wilcenski (10 for 11). There was Casey Rugnetta (9 for 9). There was Laurel Bertolas (8 for 9).

“I did not see the girls wilt under the pressure at all,” Massa said. “Their serving was outstanding, especially at key times of the match.”

That would include the wild second game, when Mattituck went 24 for 26. Although the Tuckers blew an 18-10 lead, they managed to scratch out the win.

“Crazy, huh?” Massa said. “That was a huge game.”

After a Babylon service error evened the score at 25-25, Bertolas scored on a dink to set up game point. Reimer then popped up a Babylon hit for Dwyer, who put the ball away for the game. The Tuckers had survived two game points.

“That was a close one,” said Dwyer.

Bertolas said, “When they took the lead, that gave us more motivation to want to win even more, and that’s what we did.”

Taking that game swung the odds in Mattituck’s favor dramatically.

“I knew we could do it,” Orlando said. “You just got to dig down deep and know that the girls next to you have your back and that you’ll make it through it.”

Dwyer finished with a match-high 11 kills, and Reimer added 8. In addition, the athletic Dwyer gave Babylon hitters something to think about at the net; she had 4 blocks.

After the game, Dwyer credited the setting she received. Carly Doorhy produced 12 assists and Bertolas had 11.

What makes Mattituck a champion?

“I think that it’s not about all the time how good you are, it’s how bad you want it, and I think we really wanted it,” said Orlando.

The ability to perform under pressure is something else that championship teams have. Those pressure-packed matches the Tuckers played during the regular season seem to have served them well, providing them good preparation for the postseason.

“I think we like the pressure a little bit, which is nice,” said Dwyer.

As is a fourth county championship. It never gets old, even for a veteran coach like Massa, who is in his 27th year in charge of the Tuckers.

“It’s something you don’t forget, especially as a coach,” he said. “You’re not going to forget this. That moment when that last ball hit the ground, that’s frozen in time. You can’t ever take that away from them.”

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09/19/13 8:46pm
09/19/2013 8:46 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mattituck middle hitter Shannon Dwyer tries to direct the ball past an attempted block by Center Moriches' Caroline Casey.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mattituck middle hitter Shannon Dwyer tries to direct the ball past an attempted block by Center Moriches’ Caroline Casey.

TUCKERS 25, 23, 25, 25, RED DEVILS 13, 25, 19, 21

The Mattituck High School girls volleyball team has traditionally been known for tenacious defense, but hitting? Not exactly.

Well, that may be changing. This season the Tuckers have some big swingers. The high-flying Shannon Dwyer may be the most well-known of them, but Emilie Reimer is the hardest hitter on the team, according to coach Frank Massa. Also, Pam Batist can put some balls away with force, too.

Mattituck’s hitting ability was prominent Thursday night when the Tuckers knocked down 26 kills in a four-game win over Center Moriches. Reimer, a junior in her second varsity season, smacked down 8 kills, Dwyer had 7 and Batist 5 as Mattituck spoiled Center Moriches’ home opener with a 25-13, 23-25, 25-19, 25-21 result in the Suffolk County League VII match.

The setting of Laurel Bertolas (13 assists) and Carly Doorhy (10) gave Mattituck’s hitters something to swing at.

Desiree Warnken had 7 kills and Emily Pettit contributed 10 assists for Center Moriches.

The win brought Mattituck’s record to 3-2, 2-1 in the league. Center Moriches is 0-2, 0-2.

01/15/13 8:48pm
01/15/2013 8:48 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Alex Berkoski of Mattituck appeared to be running on air as she pushed the ball forward, with Southampton’s Noel Hodges in pursuit.

MARINERS 69, TUCKERS 52

A chance to see the difference between the top two girls basketball teams in Suffolk County League VII presented itself Tuesday night when first-place Southampton played second-place Mattituck. So, what exactly was the difference?

Seventeen points.

Paris Hodges brought her career scoring total to 998 points by striking for 25 points in Southampton’s 69-52 win at Mattituck High School. The result clinched a playoff berth for the defending Long Island Class B champion Mariners (8-3, 6-0) for the fourth year in a row.

The game also gave Mattituck (7-5, 4-2) an idea of what it needs to work on for when the two teams play again on Feb. 8 in Southampton, the final regular-season game for both teams. Plus, should Mattituck join Southampton in the playoffs, it is possible the teams could meet yet a third time with a whole lot more at stake.

For one thing, Mattituck has to cut down on the turnovers (the Tuckers had 25 of them on Tuesday) and not miss layups and easy putbacks like it did in the first half. That sort of stuff can come back to haunt a team.

“You have to be perfect to beat a team like that,” said Mattituck coach Steve Van Dood. He added: “We did all the things we needed to do. Unfortunately, we couldn’t make the layups. If you make the layups, that’s a different game.”

By the next time the teams face each other, Southampton should have two 1,000-point scorers on the court, with Hodges on the verge of the milestone. Kesi Goree, who became the fourth Southampton girl to score 1,000 points in the team’s previous game against Bishop McGann-Mercy, went to work on her next thousand on Tuesday. Goree totaled 11 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocks before fouling out with 6 minutes 6 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Allie Wilcenski, rising over Southampton’s Carley Guida for a shot, brought Mattituck 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Others made significant contributions for Southampton as well. Cassidy Guida knocked down four 3-point shots and had 14 points. Noel Hodges, who is Paris’ sister, registered 12 points and 7 assists.

A hefty chunk of Mattituck’s offense came from Shannon Dwyer, the junior who provided the Tuckers with a career-high 24 points in addition to 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal. Dwyer, who said she played loose, also drew three fouls by Goree.

“She did a good job,” Van Dood said. “She’s not afraid to drive, and that’s what we need to do against a team like that. When you drive, things happen.”

Allie Wilcenski supplied Mattituck with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Aided by a 15-2 run, Southampton stormed out to a 25-10 lead before later stretching its advantage to as many as 23 points after consecutive 3-point shots by Sydney Katz and Guida made it 49-26 about midway through the third quarter.

But Mattituck gradually inched back closer and closer. The Tuckers used a 16-7 spurt to slice Southampton’s lead down to 8 points at 59-51.

“That was nice,” said Dwyer.

It didn’t last long, though. The Mariners scored 10 of the game’s final 11 points to wrap it up, with back-to-back treys by Guida and Paris Hodges helping to nail things shut. Dwyer called them 3-pointers “on demand.”

Southampton is a tough team to defend. It has an inside game and it has an outside game. Both are effective.

“We have a lot of dimensions,” said Goree.

But Southampton coach Rich Wingfield believes the key to his team is what it does when it doesn’t have the ball. “Defense is our bread and butter,” he said. “Once you stop [playing defense], momentum changes uniforms.”

With seven seniors, Southampton is a team that is built to win. Making a comparison to last season’s team, which wasn’t too shabby, Goree said: “We just got better. Last year we were great. Everybody worked hard over the summer. A lot of our girls played AAU over the summer. So, it was just like we were at a good level, and now we’re just like 10 times better.”

That has to be a sobering thought for Mattituck and the rest of Southampton’s opponents.

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12/04/12 7:32pm
12/04/2012 7:32 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Courtney Murphy of Mattituck taking on an Our Lady of Mercy defender.

LINDENHURST TOURNAMENT | TUCKERS 51, LADY MUSTANGS 41

Two games into the high school girls basketball season, the Mattituck Tuckers have learned a couple of valuable things about themselves. Not only can they win without Lauren Guja, but they can come back from a sizable deficit to win.

Mattituck, which trailed by as many as 13 points in the first quarter, recovered to take a 51-41 triumph over Our Lady of Mercy in the first round of the second annual Lindenhurst Tournament on Tuesday. The Tuckers (1-1) will play host Lindenhurst (1-0) in tomorrow night’s championship game, Lindenhurst was a 52-27 winner over Amityville in its tournament opener. The Bulldogs won last year’s tournament.

“It’s great to see that we can fix our mistakes and come back and we’re a team that can win,” said Mattituck forward Courtney Murphy.

Mattituck took the lead for good when a pair of free throws by Alexa Orlando made the score 29-28 with 3 minutes 59 seconds left in the third quarter. The Tuckers twice stretched that lead to as many as 10 points as momentum swung their way.

After a three-point shot by Our Lady of Mercy’s Gabriella Genna cut Mattituck’s lead to four points at 45-41, Alex Berkoski canned a big jump shot for a 47-41 Tuckers lead.

“That was the dagger,” Our Lady of Mercy coach John Kiffel said. “I mean, if she misses that and we score again, it’s a different game.”

Katie Hoeg and Berkoski both knocked down two free throws apiece in the final minute to seal the victory.

This is a different season for Mattituck, minus Guja. The senior forward, who had been the team’s top player, did not come out for the team this season.

“That was a little bit of a monkey wrench in the system, her not playing, but I think you got to work with who comes, and we’re doing a good job with that,” said Mattituck coach Steve Van Dood.
Guja was a reliable player in the post for the Tuckers, a steady supplier of points and rebounds. But the Tuckers have to put the past behind them and move on.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Shannon Dwyer, shooting over Our Lady of Mercy’s Renee Rios, led Mattituck with 16 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists.

“She was definitely a big part, but I think it’s O.K. because our chemistry is good together,” Mattituck forward Shannon Dwyer said. “We miss her, but we can work together. We can get the parts together and make it work.”

They did just that on Tuesday.

Dwyer was a force, leading Mattituck with 16 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists before fouling out with 2:40 to go. Allie Wilcenski added 13 points, 8 rebounds and 5 steals.

Samantha Lynch scored 14 first-half points for Our Lady of Mercy (0-2). She didn’t play in the second half because of a cut to her face that required stitches, Lady Mustangs coach John Kiffel said.

As it was, the Lady Mustangs were already without one of their best players, Shannon Brady, a junior point guard who has been a starter since she was a freshman. It is hoped that Brady returns from an ankle injury next week.

“It’s a big miss for us,” said Kiffel.

In Brady’s absence, Marilyn Lehmuller, normally a shooting guard, played the point. The junior provided 11 points and 9 assists.

“Honestly,” Kiffel said, “I thought she played an unbelievable game.”

Our Lady of Mercy also received 12 points from Renee Rios.

Turnovers bedeviled Mattituck in the early going. “We may have been a little frazzled,” Dwyer said. “We got it back.”

The Tuckers made defensive adjustments, throwing a mix of defenses at the Lady Mustangs. Mattituck went from a man-to-man to a 1-3-1 to a full-court press to a 2-2-1. Our Lady of Mercy, which hit on 8 of 14 3-point attempts, was guarded more closely on the perimeter in the second half.

Something else helped Mattituck: free throws. The Tuckers shot 19 of 29 from the foul line. Foul shooting cost Mattituck in its season-opening 45-42 loss to Centereach on Saturday.

“We really emphasized foul shooting, and I think tonight it really paid off,” said Van Dood.

Now the Tuckers are in the win column.

“Just having a win is great,” Courtney Murphy said. “I think as a team overall we played really well today and just having this win under our belts, it boosts our confidence.” She added, “We’re making it work, and it’s really great to see.”

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10/15/12 7:47pm
10/15/2012 7:47 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Alexa Orlando of Mattituck tries to hit the ball past Dora Mayen of Center Moriches.

TUCKERS 25, 25, 25, RED DEVILS 21, 12, 20

What has become something of a Mattituck girls volleyball tradition this time of year may be in jeopardy.

Mattituck has qualified for the playoffs every year since switching from the spring to the fall season. That makes eight years in a row. Whether the Tuckers will see their way through to a ninth straight playoff berth this fall remains to be seen.

Mattituck needs to win two of its three remaining regular-season matches in order to make it to the postseason. The Tuckers, who have played in county finals in seven of the past eight years, reached the New York State Class C semifinal pool the last two years.

Of course, that is past history. What concerns the Tuckers mostly now is the present and their immediate future. That immediate future includes three Suffolk County League VII matches — all on the road — against Hampton Bays on Wednesday, against Shoreham-Wading River on Oct. 22 and against Southampton on Oct. 29. Mattituck lost to Hampton Bays during the first half of the season, but beat both Shoreham-Wading River and Southampton earlier in the season.

“I think as a team we’re pretty focused right now,” Mattituck middle hitter Shannon Dwyer said. “It’s not going to be fooling around in practice tomorrow, I can say that. It’s kind of exciting, though. That’s what you got to do and there’s not really any other way around it to get [to the playoffs]. I think it’s going to happen.”

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Shannon Dwyer, making contact with the ball while her teammate Emily Reimer watches, connected for eight kills in Mattituck’s victory over Center Moriches.

If nothing else, it makes for good drama, something Mattituck coach Frank Massa could do without. Speaking of his team’s eight-year playoff run, Massa said: “We want to keep that streak going. We have to make two out of three. We’ll see how it goes.”

What are the team’s chances?

“It’s a possibility,” Massa said. “We got to suit up and play. It’s always doable.”

The Tuckers gave their chances a boost on Monday night when Dwyer put away eight kills and Courtney Ficner went 19 of 20 serving with five aces in a 25-21, 25-12, 25-20 win in Center Moriches. The result snapped a three-match losing skid for Mattituck (4-10, 4-5).

In the first game on Monday night, Mattituck made things a little more interesting, perhaps, than Massa would have liked against winless Center Moriches (0-9, 0-9). The teams traded leads four times, the last time when an ace by Emily Reimer made the score 18-17 in Mattituck’s favor.

“We all knew this game was important to us,” Ficner said. “We were kind of a little nervous, but then we shook everything off and we got through it.”

Mattituck fell behind, 8-5, in the second game before using a 9-0 spurt that included three aces by Ficner to take charge. The Tuckers never trailed in the third game, jumping out to a 15-6 lead.

Mattituck served well, putting 69 of 73 serves (95 percent) in play, 14 for aces. Laurel Bertolas finished with 12 assists for the Tuckers.

Center Moriches received nine kills from Dora Mayen.

“It was just another rough day,” said Center Moriches coach Bryan Ramirez, who must have scratched his head more than once this season while trying to figure out his team’s travails.

“It’s a puzzler, that’s for sure,” he said. “Game to game, it’s just been little stuff that’s not pulling together, little mistakes here and there. I look at the team, the players that I have, we should be 6 and 2, not 0 and [9].”

Part of the puzzle has been Center Moriches’ ever-changing lineup.

“We’ve had lineup changes all over the place,” Ramirez said. “Sometimes it works better, sometimes it doesn’t.”

Mattituck is hoping things work out down the stretch so it will have a postseason to defend its Long Island championship.

“It’s really important because you don’t want to break tradition,” Ficner said. “It’s a little scary because if you’re having an off day, you can’t, you don’t have another day to help you. I think we can do it.”

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07/26/11 12:03am
07/26/2011 12:03 AM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Alexa Orlando of Mattituck ran into an obstacle in the form of Westhampton Beach's Kristen Polan.

Before she had ever played in a high school varsity girls basketball game, Shannon Dwyer had already experienced the school of hard knocks in the form of — would you believe family pickup games?

Those games in the Dwyer driveway of their Cutchogue home are not for the faint of heart. They get physical.

“No blood, no foul,” said Dwyer.

Dwyer and her three younger siblings, two of whom are brothers, tangle under the basket. Sometimes their mother, Tracey, who played for St. John Fisher College (N.Y.), gets into it, too.

“Last night we were playing at like 1 in the morning,” said Shannon Dwyer.

That sort of a background has helped make Dwyer a more valuable member of the Mattituck Tuckers basketball family. A player of undeniable talent, Dwyer was the rookie of the year in Suffolk County League VII the last school season as a freshman. This coming school season she will undoubtedly be one of the players who will have her hands on the ball for the Tuckers.

“She’s really smart,” junior guard Alexa Orlando said. “She always knows what to do. She’s good at making things happen.”

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mattituck's Shannon Dwyer looked to shoot over the taller Kristen Polan of Westhampton Beach.

The Tuckers suffered a blow before last season even started when they lost their point guard, Alex Berkoski, to an injury. Coach Steve Van Dood went to a point guard by committee. Sometimes the Tuckers played with a three-guard lineup on the floor. Other times they had four bigs on the court at one time. “It’s all about matchups in that league,” explained Van Dood.

Van Dood saw some good things from his mix of Liz Lasota, Dwyer and Orlando at point guard. Berkoski has returned from her injury, and all of them except Lasota are playing for Mattituck’s summer league team.

Dwyer, who like Lasota and Orlando saw time as a starter last season, is seen as a player the Tuckers can build around. She has already shown that she can handle the pressure of playing against tough teams like the Wyandanch Warriors and the Center Moriches Red Devils.

“She’s a young kid and she’s been put in some tough roles, and she’s been put in some pressure-cooker situations for us last year, and I thought she did a good job,” Van Dood said. “She has a good composure about her.”

In outlining Dwyer’s game, Van Dood said: “She’s got a good basketball IQ. She can go left, she can go right. She’s not one-dimensional. She has a decent shot when she takes it. She’s got to shoot a little bit more.”

Van Dood said Dwyer’s love of the game should serve her well. “The girls who show up to play and play with a smile on their face are going to get better, and she’s going to get better,” he said. “She’s one of those kids.”

This summer has been an adjustment for the Tuckers. Dwyer, Orlando and junior Allie Wilcenski are the only players on the summer league team who have prior varsity experience.

Those three veterans led the way Monday evening when the Tuckers defeated the Westhampton Beach Hurricanes, 28-19, in a Town of Brookhaven Summer League game at Eastport/South Manor High School. The result left both teams with 3-5 records.

Wilcenski put in a full day’s play despite fouling out with 60 seconds to go. She totaled 10 points, 10 rebounds, four steals, two assists and a block. In addition, Wilcenski defended two of Westhampton Beach’s taller players, Kristen Polan (13 points) and Alex Walker.

“I was especially impressed with Allie Wilcenski tonight,” Van Dood said. “I thought she did a very good job. The ball didn’t drop for her in the basket, but she got a lot of rebounds, a lot of second, third and fourth rebounds. She’s a hard worker. Even though she fouled out, she was still a good presence on defense.”

Who will be running the point for the Tuckers when the school season starts?

“I don’t know,” Van Dood said. “It could be both of those girls, [Dwyer and Orlando]. I don’t even want to designate a point at this point. It’s going to be in the hands of a couple of girls.”

What Van Dood does know is that he can rest easy when Dwyer or Orlando have possession of the ball.

“The one thing that impressed me, though, was the number of turnovers that those girls had last year,” he said. “For young girls, they didn’t turn the ball over much, and that’s a stat that I like to check. It doesn’t show up in the papers much, but I know when those girls are in tough situations, you can trust them with the ball. That’s important.”

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