By Bill Landon
Huntington led from the opening tipoff and never looked back, as the visiting Blue Devils held Newfield to just 13 points in a 59-13 victory in girls’ basketball action Tuesday night.
Huntington moved the ball effortlessly and controlled the tempo of the game for all 32 minutes, while the Wolverines had difficulty clearing the ball, and struggled to find a rhythm and the rim. The Blue Devils’ defense was overwhelming in the second half, where the team scored 24 unanswered points in the third quarter while holding the Wolverines scoreless.
“They’re a team that’s strong — they work very hard and their effort was nonstop,” said Newfield assistant coach Mike Weaver. “We warned our team at halftime that you have to be prepared, because [Huntington] is not going to give up, and that’s the reason the margin was what it was.”
Huntington head coach Michael Kaplan rested his starters for the final eight minutes of play as the Blue Devils coasted to victory and extended their winning streak to five games. Kaplan said the goal for his team in the game was for every player to get better and not turn the ball over.
“From a defensive standpoint, I thought we played great — we did a good job under the boards,” Kaplan said. “We’ll have to work on our rebounding and limit our offensive turnovers, but this game was a confidence builder.”
Topping the scoreboard for Huntington was sophomore guard Alex Heuwetter with 14 points, followed by junior guard Anna Gulizio with nine.
Gulizio said her team had good reads on the floor and good communication.
“Yes, we did well scoring-wise, but we played much better as a team in the second half,” Gulizio said.
Blue Devils sophomore guard Katie Seccafico, who tallied six points in the contest, agreed with Gulizio that her team was a little flat for the first 16 minutes.
“In that first and second quarter, we weren’t coming together on defense,” Seccafico said. “Coach told us we needed to work harder even though we were winning.”
Huntington junior guard Emma Petrizzi echoed her teammate’s assessment of the performance in the final two quarters.
“We played hard and we never let up,” she said. “We were able to hold the score so low.”
Huntington senior guard and forward Brooke Baade finished with eight points, senior guard Katie Reilly netted seven and Seccafico and senior guard and forward Taylor Moreno rounded out the score by banking six each.
Newfield senior guards Maria Daume and Muariana Milano, and senior forward Kelsey Larkin finished with four points apiece, while sophomore forward Emily Diaz completed the scoring with a free-throw point.
With the win, Huntington improves to 5-1 in League III and 7-2 overall, while Newfield falls to 1-5, and 2-7.
Both teams are back in action Friday as Huntington hosts Smithtown East at 5:45 p.m., while Newfield travels to North Babylon for a 4 p.m. game.