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Bay Shore

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By Bill Landon

Comsewogue senior Hannah Dorney recalled the first time her field hockey team played Bay Shore, losing a close 2-1 game back on Sept. 13.

“We went into the game today thinking about last time, and just how devastating that loss was,” Dorney said. “It was a long bus ride home, and [the whole time] you’re thinking, ‘What could we have done better?’”

This time, the No. 9-seeded Warriors had the offense to support a solid defense, to pull away with a 3-2 win over No. 8 Bay Shore in the first round of the Class A playoffs Oct. 17.

Sophomore Kayleigh Mimnaugh had two goals in the win, scoring first on a flick pass from junior Sophia Azzara and the game-winner on a player-down opportunity and a feed from senior Gabriella Ventura.

With the teams tied 1-1 heading into halftime after her first tally, she said a pep talk from head coach Jacqueline Wilkom got her juices flowing.

“Our halftime speech from the coach really pumped us up, and I think that we just worked harder overall in that second half,” Mimnaugh said. “We played well defensively.”

Dorney took working harder to heart, and opened the second half with a takeaway, outrunning defenders behind her as she carried the ball from the 35-yard line to the front of the cage for a solo shot and a 2-1 advantage.

Comsewogue had trouble capitalizing on its opportunities though, as Bay Shore committed six fouls in the striking circle, leading to six consecutive penalty corner shots from which the Warriors came away empty.

Being a player down for a majority of the second half — 20 minutes — defense was the name of the game for Comsewogue, but Bay Shore finally broke through, retying the game with 15:38 left to play.

Azzara said she was somewhat surprised with how her team weathered the storm in the second half.

“Honestly, I didn’t think we’d come out here and do this well against them,” she said. “But I knew we had it in us — we work really well together and we’re very close, so I think that helped us.”

Comsewogue, on a five-game winning streak, improves to 12-3 and advances to face No. 1 undefeated Ward Melville on the road Friday, Oct. 20 at 2:30 p.m.

“We have a talented group of girls — they’re fantastic athletes, and it’s just a matter of them coming out and giving it all that they have,” Wilkom said. “And so long as we play our game, I don’t think that there’s any team we can’t beat.”

For the Warriors, this bus ride home will be different.

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By Jim Ferchland

Going into the fourth quarter up 14-13, the Smithtown East football team could not contain Bay Shore’s defensive prowess.

The Marauders scored 20 unanswered points off turnovers during the 12-minute span to pick up a 33-14 win on the road at the Bulls’ Oct. 7 homecoming game.

Smithtown East quarterback Kevin Melore threw three interceptions with two of them landing in the hands of Bay Shore’s Josh Barker-Ortiz, who made his fifth and sixth interception of the season. He also had a fumble recovery. The Bay Shore defensive back is tied for first with Walt Whitman’s Jordan Lyons among Suffolk County’s interception leaders.

Smithtown East’s Kevin Melore passes the ball. Photo by Jim Ferchland

Smithtown East ended the game turning the ball over four times. Despite this, Smithtown East head coach Jonathan Woods was not disappointed by his quarterback’s performance.

“Kevin [Melore’s] got talent and he’s getting the chance to get a lot of experience,” Woods said of the sophomore. “He threw a couple of great balls on screens, but I think as an offense you can’t turn the ball over four times. We had a couple [turnovers] through the air and a couple on the ground but as an offense we just need to protect the ball.”

The first score of the game didn’t come until the second quarter, where the Bulls started just outside their own end zone. Melore’s pass was intercepted by Barker-Ortiz, who returned it back for a 10-yard touchdown. The extra point was missed, making the score 6-0 Marauders.

East retaliated on its next possession, when senior running back Lauden Hendricks found an opening on the left side and took the ball in for a 20-yard score. The extra point was good and East went into halftime leading 7-6.

During halftime, Woods encouraged his team play better offensively.

“We just need to be consistent,” Woods said. “We are not stringing together when 11 players do the correct thing. We are just trying to hammer the basics and the details.”

To start the third quarter, Bay Shore quarterback Casey Roan threw the ball to his 6-foot, 5-inch wide receiver Kevin Sammis for a 51-yard touchdown to give Bay Shore a 13-7 lead.

“Every week I really have a cornerback who’s not my size,” he said. “I think we should throw it all the time, but when we do throw it, I just do my best to get the ball.”

Woods though did not see Sammis as a difference-maker.

Smithtown East’s Lauden Hendricks carries the ball up the field. Photo by Jim Ferchland

“He is a good player,” Woods said. “We thought if we played good team defense that [Sammis] might catch a few deep balls. I don’t think he beat us when we had four turnovers. We had poor execution on offense.”

In the closing minutes of the third, East relied heavily on its running attack, and senior quarterback Austin Nasworthy punched it in the end zone from four yards out to put East back on top 14-13.

Even with the momentum in their hands, the Bulls were held scoreless in the fourth. Bay Shore’s comeback started with the Bulls’ defense allowing a 30-yard rushing touchdown to Nolan Epps on a sweep to the right side. Bay Shore went for a two-point conversion, but was unsuccessful, so the score was brought to 19-14 with the Marauders now holding the lead.

With 6:29 remaining in the game, Melore was looking for senior wide receiver Andrew Durland, but found Bay Shore defensive back Jalen Thompson instead. He made a diving catch and set up Casey Roan, who completed the drive with his legs, scoring a 3-yard rushing touchdown to expand the lead to 12 with 2:12 left.

Barker-Ortiz continued to excite at the expense of East’s homecoming celebration, and with 1:48 remaining in the game he recovered a Matt Cohen fumble and took the ball the other way until he was pushed out of bounds at East’s 7-yard line. On the very next play, Josh Parris took it in for a 7-yard rushing touchdown to give the game its final score.

The Bulls fall to 1-4 on the season and suffer their fourth consecutive loss after winning the first game of the season against Copaigue Sep 9.

“We are not meeting our capabilities, so there’s some frustration there,” Woods said.

Smithtown East’s next game is Oct.14 at at home against crosstown rival Smithtown West at 2 p.m.

Photo by Victoria Espinoza

Suffolk County Police Second Squad detectives are investigating a two-vehicle crash that killed a man and injured two others in Commack May 28.

Thomas Maloney was driving a 2012 Nissan Altima westbound on the North Service Road of the Long Island Expressway.  As he attempted to make a left turn onto Commack Road from the marked center turning lane, his vehicle was struck by a 2016 Ford van traveling in the left turning lane attempting to go straight.

Frank Stengl, 88, of Coram, the front seat passenger of the Nissan, was transported via Commack Volunteer Ambulance Corps to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, where he was pronounced dead.  The rear seat passenger, Joan Walsh, 86, of Central Islip, was transported via Commack Volunteer Ambulance Corps to Stony Brook University Hospital with minor injuries.

Maloney, 64, of Dix Hills, was transported via Dix Hills Fire Department Ambulance to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore with minor injuries.

The driver of the Ford, Jesse Lombardi, 36, of Patchogue, was not injured and remained at the scene.

Both vehicles were impounded for a safety check.  Detectives are asking anyone with information about the crash to call the Second Squad at 631-854-8252.

File photo

Suffolk County Police Third Squad detectives are investigating a motor vehicle crash that seriously injured a pedestrian in Bay Shore early May 14.

Jonathan Esposito, of South Setauket, exited his vehicle, which was pulled over on the side of the eastbound Sunrise Service Road, just east of 5th Avenue, and was struck by a 2017 Volkswagen.

Esposito, 30, was transported to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore where he was admitted for treatment of serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the Volkswagen, Kristen Erlwein, 21, of Islip, was not injured.

Detectives are asking anyone with information on this crash to call the Third Squad at 631-854-8352.

Photo by Victoria Espinoza

Suffolk County Police Fourth Squad detectives are investigating a single-vehicle crash that killed a man in Brentwood March 26.

Scott Henbest was driving a Dodge Durango east on the Long Island Expressway, just west of Exit 55, when the vehicle veered off the roadway into trees on the right side of the road at approximately 11:55 a.m.

Henbest, 52, of Commack, was transported by Central Islip Ambulance to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore where he was pronounced dead.

The vehicle was impounded for a safety check. The investigation is ongoing. Detectives are asking anyone with information to call the Fourth Squad at 6318548452.

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Greg Giordano moves the ball around a Bay Shore opponent. Photo by Desirée Keegan

By Desirée Keegan

Smithtown West will have a long offseason to swallow another early, albeit familiar playoff loss.

After finishing last season in the Suffolk County boys’ basketball Class AA semifinals, the Bulls were hoping to take it a step further.

Michael Gannon hurriedly looks to make a pass. Photo by Desirée Keegan

The team wanted a county title, but Bay Shore had other ideas in mind. Both years, as the No. 4 seed, Smithtown West found itself up against the top dog. Last year, the Bulls had trouble controlling a tough Brentwood team, losing 61-49. This time around, the team may have fallen behind early, but picked it back up to make it a close contest, falling this time in a close 66-59 battle Feb. 25 at Stony Brook University.

“We’ve been going for a long time,” Smithtown West head coach Mike Agostino said. “It’s more than just a season, it’s a 12-month commitment. Losing here, to this team, is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s just unfortunate that they were a little bit better today.”

The Bulls, who went undefeated in League III to claim their second straight conference title, fell behind 20-10 at the end of the first, despite senior Gordon Shouler swishing two 3-pointers in the opening quarter. By halftime, the deficit grew slightly, with the Marauders holding a 36-24 advantage.

Chris Crespo shoots from the free-throw line. Photo by Desirée Keegan

“They were hitting their shots and we weren’t,” junior Michael Gannon said. “They started off hitting three after three and jump shot after jump shot. And after the first quarter their shots weren’t really falling but at that point they had a good lead.”

Junior Chris Crespo took matters into his own hands to get the Bulls back in the game. He banked two shots from beyond the arc, a field goal and a free throw in the third quarter. Senior Kyle LaGuardia added two buckets to help the Bulls close the gap to 50-43 after eight minutes.

“Bay Shore was a tough team — no doubt about it,” Crespo said. “Very aggressive, and a good matchup for us I thought. What changed was we were getting stops defensively, and those stops turned to baskets, which gave us a huge momentum push.”

Senior Greg Giordano had the hot hand in the fourth, swishing two foul shots and scoring on a jumper before a field goal brought his team within four points, 55-51, its closest score since the first, and as close as the Bulls would come for the remainder of the game.

“The game was unlike any game I’ve ever played before,” Giordano said. “Especially at the end when the game was out of reach with a few seconds left, it just hit me that this is the last game I will play in a Smithtown West uniform, and that was just such an emotional feeling.”

Kyle LaGuardia makes a leaping cross-court pass catch. Photo by Desirée Keegan

Although the senior standout will be moving on after this year, he said he’s honored to be a part of some big Bulls moments.

“I have grown up right next to Smithtown West, and when I was in elementary school, I went to all the booster camps, would see the older guys and hoped that one day I could be like them,” he said. “It has been a dream come true to not only play for Smithtown West, but to be able to cement our team’s legacy with two numbers on the banner. I wouldn’t trade my playing experience for anything.”

Despite graduating nine major contributors, Smithtown West’s two scoring leaders in the loss, Crespo and Gannon, will return next season. Crespo finished with a team-high 18 points with four 3-pointers, and Gannon was close behind with 15.

“It was a testament to these guys, because we pulled within four at one point, and they kept battling — I’m proud of them,” Agostino said. “This wasn’t our goal, but I’m not disappointed in them at all. We wanted better results, but it wasn’t because of a lack of effort. They’re gladiators, and they fought tooth and nail to their last breath.”

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Smithtown West bounced back from a tough loss to Northport with a 9-7 win over Bay Shore Tuesday.

With one game left in the regular season — a tough matchup against Division I leader West Islip — the boys’ lacrosse team has lost just four games this season, all of them one-goal games. The Bulls’ defense had a target to keep all opponents under five goals this season, and came close with 10 of its 15 competitors scoring six or fewer.

“We’ve been playing some big games lately,” said junior attack Jimmy Caddigan, who tallied a hat trick and two assists in the win over Bay Shore. “I think today we got back on track a little bit. Our defense has been playing great all year. We had some man downs that they played big on.”

Smithtown West senior attack Danny Caroussos got his team on the board first to open the game, and although Bay Shore tied it up, sophomore attack and midfielder Kyle Zawadzki scored with 15.9 seconds left in the first quarter to give his team the advantage.

Being a man down, Bay Shore was able to capitalize on the Bulls’ yellow card to again even the score. But that would be the last time the Marauders would come that close.

“Overall I though we could’ve played better — definitely not up to our potential, but coming off a loss it’s great to get back in the win column and get some momentum going into our last game of the year against a very good West Islip team coming in, especially on senior night,” Caroussos said of the May 12 game, which kicks off at 5 p.m.

Caddigan assisted on Zawadzki’s final goal of the evening, and Caroussos assisted on Caddigan’s first when he passed to the sophomore, who swiveled around the cage from the left side and scored for the 4-2 advantage.

The Bulls led by four goals twice. First, when Caddigan whipped the ball into the netting from two yards out with 30.5 seconds left in the first half, and second, when his younger brother Matt Caddigan found the net off an assist from John Hoffman.

Right before that goal that gave Smithtown West an 8-4 lead, senior midfielder Danny Varello, who won 17 of 19 faceoffs, won the draw and raced into Bay Shore’s zone, rocketing a shot in, in a play that lasted just several seconds.

Despite the showing, Smithtown West head coach Bobby Moltisanti Jr. said his team has some more work to do.

“It was a gritty win,” he said. “I felt we were inefficient on offense. There was an opportunity throughout the game where we could’ve pulled away, but we didn’t. I feel like we can play better, and the boys know they can play better. But I give the boys credit. They fought.”

His athletes agreed, but still think they have what it takes to go far.

“I think this team can beat anyone,” Jimmy Caddigan said. “We’re getting over that hump of finishing the regular-season games and we’re looking forward to the playoffs.”

Although playoffs are looming in the near future, the Bulls are looking to take it one game at a time, with the immediate focus being on their senior night game.

“They’re No. 1 right now, we have a big rivalry between us and them,” Jimmy Caddigan said of West Islip. “We play them every year and we want one more big win.”

Zawadzki said the teams needs to clean up before heading into the next matchup, but added that the win over Bay Shore was important.

“This gives us confidence going into next week and we’ll just keep it rolling,” he said.

Smithtown West was a mixed bag this season, with strong senior leadership but some big contributing underclassmen. Although plenty of strong players will be left no matter what happens this postseason, for seniors like Caroussos, heading into his last few games will be bittersweet.

“There’s definitely mixed emotions,” he said. “We have a lot of potential and the county championship is one of the goals. I think we honestly have a chance to do that. We just need to come together as one unit and keep motivating each other to play better and better, and keep finding ways to win.”

File photo

Police subdued a man who had allegedly threatened bystanders and officers with a 20-inch machete on Monday afternoon in a Costco parking lot.

The Suffolk County Police Department said officers arrived on the scene shortly after 1 p.m., following numerous witness reports of a naked man waving a machete at people in the lot on Middle Country Road in Lake Grove. The suspect then barricaded himself in the cab of a 2007 Freightliner tractor-trailer, which police said he was operating for a New Jersey-based transport company but was also where he was living.

According to police, the man refused to exit his vehicle when Sgts. Keith Serper and Brian Michels and officers Richard Regula, Christopher Tenbrink, Anthony Sepe and Jean Hutchinson arrived on the scene. But he later attempted to leave the tractor-trailer cab with the machete in his hand, and the officers held the doors shut to contain him. Police said the suspect opened a small window and tried to exit the cab through it, and threatened the officers with the weapon.

Regula, Tenbrink and Serper approached the man closely enough to discharge a Taser. Police then entered the truck cab and subdued him.

No bystanders were hurt in the incident.

The 37-year-old man from Bay Shore, who police identified as Jose Amaya, was arrested and brought to Stony Brook University Hospital for evaluation.

He was charged with menacing a police officer, fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Attorney information for the suspect was not immediately available. He was scheduled to be arraigned on Tuesday.

Northport's Olivia Carner dumps the ball into the cage over the Bay Shore goalkeeper’s stick. Photo by Desirée Keegan

These Tigers are showing their teeth.

The Northport girls’ lacrosse team capped off the regular season with a six-game winning streak, holding Bay Shore scoreless through the first half Tuesday and trampling the Marauders 13-4, to prove they’re not a team to take lightly in the playoffs.

“I thought they played with confidence,” Northport head coach Carol Rose said. “We played aggressive on defense, fairly patient on offense and we were able to execute some of these fast-break opportunities that we had and not have any letdown in the second half like we had in the past two games. Maintaining the momentum was good.”

Northport senior attack Gabbi Labuskes put the team’s first point on the board after a foul call, and from there the team kept the ball rolling, scoring four more unanswered goals — with Labuskes scoring the last one — to take a 5-0 lead into the halftime break.

Northport's Gabbi Labuskes moves the ball across the field past two Bay Shore players. Photo by Desirée Keegan
Northport’s Gabbi Labuskes moves the ball across the field past two Bay Shore players. Photo by Desirée Keegan

“I think a big part of our win was going to be who won the first draw of the game; who came out 100 percent,” Labuskes said. “Moving the ball up the field was probably our biggest help throughout the game because we were able to transition the ball with half-field passes really quick and get it over the defense’s head. I think that played a really big factor.”

The senior attack scored the opening goal of the second half after she bulled her way up the middle and lobbed the ball overhead for her hat trick goal.

Northport junior midfielder Natalie Langella was next to score, followed by eighth-grade midfielder Olivia Carner, who dumped the ball in top center over the goalkeeper’s stick for her second goal of the game.

“They felt good about themselves and I think that that was key, especially when we were losing draw controls” Rose said of her team’s ability to score. “I think we only won four out of 18 draws. That’s not so good. To be able to come out on top with a 13-4 win and lose all the draws is pretty amazing. It also shows a great defensive effort.”

Northport junior attack Courtney Orella whipped one past the keeper next, and with 11:36 left to play, Bay Shore finally put a point on the scoreboard to avoid the shutout.

Labuskes took over on the draw and helped her team win possession, and on the next scoring play, two of Northport’s youngest players connected for a goal. Carner dished the ball in front of the net to seventh-grade attack Danielle Pavinelli, who scored for a 10-1 advantage.

Bay Shore tacked on another goal when an opponent beat out Northport eighth-grade goalkeeper Claire Morris. Labuskes followed with her fourth goal of the game, after clashing with two Bay Shore defenders and shooting over a cluster of defenders while sliding into the turf, and Bay Shore scored again to bring the score to 11-3.

“I think the defense has come a long way,” Rose said of her team. “They’ve been experimenting with three or four different types of defenses and they’re finally comfortable with a couple of them.”

Labuskes scored her fifth goal of the game off an assist by senior midfielder and co-captain Victoria D’Amato. After a Bay Shore goal, Pavinelli tallied the final goal of the game on a bounce shot with 23 seconds left on the clock.

Heading into playoffs, Rose would like to see her team focus on winning more draws and limiting the turnovers, but she’s confident in her Tigers, who finished the regular season 12-4 overall with an 11-3 mark in Division I.

“We only had three loses in the regular season — they were close, and I think it’s anybody’s game,” Rose said of heading into the postseason. “Whoever plays with the most head, heart and hustle will come out on top.”

The No. 3-seeded Tigers will face off against the winner of Saturday’s No. 6 Ward Melville versus No. 11 Half Hollow Hills game at home on Tuesday, May 19. The opening draw is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Like her coach, Labuskes is sure her team has what it takes to make a run this postseason.

“It feels deserved,” Labuskes said of the win. “I think this team can do whatever we want it to do. I think we have the potential to go all the way if we want to put the work in and if we want it that bad.”

Jennifer Jordan mugshot from SCPD

A woman allegedly crashed through a fence as she fled from an officer who was attempting to pull over her car on Tuesday afternoon, but she was later apprehended.

According to the Suffolk County Police Department, 3rd Precinct officer Craig Knudsen tried to pull over the 2010 Volkswagen at Manor Lane and Bay Shore Road in Bay Shore when the driver fled. Jennifer Jordan, 25, crashed through a fence on the side of the road, at the Sunrise Highway South Service Road near Howells Road.

A short time later, Knudsen arrested the suspect at Howells Road and Richland Boulevard.

Police said Jordan, a Centereach resident and the Volkswagen’s only occupant, was not hurt.

Jordan, who lives on Bonnybill Drive, was charged with fourth-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, seventh-degree criminal possession, driving under the influence of drugs and unlawfully fleeing a police officer.

Attorney information for Jordan was not immediately available. On a previous unrelated charge pending against her, for petit larceny, she was listed in the New York State court system’s online database as representing herself. She is also separately facing prior charges of speeding and unlicensed operation of a vehicle.

Police said Jordan is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday.

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