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Basketball

The Royals of Port Jefferson stayed just ahead of the Frogs of Carle Place on March 9 in the Class C Long Island Championship game at Shoreham-Wading River High School until halfway through the 3rd quarter when the Nassau champions tied the game at 28 all. 

From there, Carle Place edged ahead with their surging defense controlling the boards and put the game away 55-44 to advance to the New York State regional finals Mar. 12. 

Lola Idir topped the scoring chart for the Royals with 3 triples, 3 field goals and a pair of free throws for 17 points. Senior forward Abigail Rolfe scored 4 from the floor and was again perfect from the charity stripe — sinking 5 for 13 points — and senior Annie Maier nailed 3 triples and a field goal for 11. The Royals conclude their 2021-22 campaign with an impressive 17-4 record.

Port Jeff junior Amy Whitman boxes out in the class C/D championship game Feb 19. Bill Landon photo

The Royals of Port Jefferson continued their winning ways with another victory in the Suffolk Class C/D Championship round of the playoffs at Newfield High School Feb. 19 where they steamrolled over Smithtown Christian 63-20.

Port Jeff senior forward Abigail Rolfe did what she’s done all season doing her damage from the paint leading her team in scoring with 25 points. Lola Idir a long-distance threat netted 20 and teammate Amy Whitman banked 5. Rounding out the game book for the Royals were junior forward Alexa Ayotte with four points and senior Camryn Spiller drained a triple, as did freshmen Anna Matvya and Maitreyea Driscoll-Stremich.

The win lifts the Royals 10-0 in league VII 16-2 overall where their only losses this season were against two top tier League I teams, Sachem North by only five points and to William Floyd by seven points. Talk about playing up!

Port Jeff continues the 2021-22 campaign with in the sub-regional final, aka the Long Island Championship round at home March 9. Game time to be determined.

All photos by Bill Landon

Shoreham-Wading River junior Tim Manzello looks for the rebound for the Wildcats in a league VI home game against Bayport-Blue Point Jan 28. Bill Landon photo

Bayport-Blue Point at 6-2 was too much for Shoreham-Wading River where the Wildcats fell 62-32 in a league VI matchup Jan. 28. Senior Liam Leonard’s pair of three pointers and Joey Marchese’s three field goals led the Wildcats with six points apiece, Aidan Clifford followed with five and Joey Marchese netted four. The Wildcats retake the court with a road game at Mt. Sinai Feb 3 with tip-off scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

Photos by Bill Landon 

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Port Jeff senior Camryn Spiller looks for the rebound in a league VII road game against Center Moriches. Photo by Bill Landon

The Port Jefferson Royals led from the opening tip with senior Abigail Rolfe battling in the paint all game to lead her team with 18 points in a 50-37 victory over Center Moriches Jan. 18. 

Rolfe scored 4 fields goals and went 10 for 11 at the free throw line in the league VII road game. 

Lola Idir nail 3 triples and a pair of field goals for 13 points, Annie Maier and Amy Whitman scored 7 points a piece, Camryn Spiller hit a trey and Caitlyn Dickhuth banked two. 

The win lifts the Royals to 3-0 in league 7-2 overall. The Royals retake the court where they’ll host Babylon on Jan. 21. Game time is 4:30 p.m.

— All photos by Bill Landon

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Comsewogue had their hands full in their league IV season opener against West Babylon, where the Lady Warriors faced a stout defense resulting in several turnovers in the 58-28 loss at home Dec. 18. 

Jalyn Kirschenhucter was the bright spot for the Warriors scoring 3 triples, 4 field goals and a pair of free throws for 19 points. 

The Lady Warriors retake the court with a pair of road games against Hauppauge on Dec. 20 with a 4 o’clock start, and the following day against Eastport South Manor with a game time scheduled for 5:45 p.m.

— All photos by Bill Landon 

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone introduced a plan Jan. 25 for the return of high-risk sports. Photo from Bellone’s office

High-risk sports such as basketball, wrestling and cheerleading can resume, days after Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) gave local health commissioners the green light to allow these sports to restart.

Suffolk County has developed a sports plan in connection with Suffolk County School Superintendents Association and Section XI Athletics.

“We know how important sports are in our kids’ lives,” County Executive Steve Bellone (D) said during a Jan. 25 press conference announcing the resumption of high-risk sports. “If we can get kids back on the field in as safe a way as possible, we know it’ll bring great benefits.”

As a part of the sports program, all student-athletes will have to take weekly tests for the COVID-19 virus. The county will provide free, rapid tests to school districts, which school nurses will administer.

“Testing is critical,” Bellone said.

New York State is expected to provide an initial allocation of 20,00 rapid tests and will look to provide more tests for schools to use each week.

Positive tests will result in a 10-day quarantine. Each coach is required to supply information to the Suffolk County Department of Health Services for an extensive contact tracing investigation.

The county issued several guidelines, including taking temperatures of players and coaches before practices and games, encouraging mask wearing whenever possible, enforcing social distances when student-athletes are not playing, minimizing equipment sharing, and requiring hand washing before and after practices and games as well as after sharing equipment.

The county also advised programs to play outdoors if possible and to use well-ventilated spaces.

Through Bellone’s office, the county has created the Champion of the Community Pledge, which encourages athletes to take numerous safety measures.

After they read the pledge, students will be asked to sign it and give it to the school.

As a part of this agreement, students accept that if they don’t honor their pledge, they “would be failing to comply with a legitimate school directive and pursuant to school and Section XI policies, students, faculty and staff will be subject to the appropriate accountability measures and disciplinary actions,” according to the pledge.

Athletes must stay safe, healthy and informed of COVID-19 updates, unite with team members and the community to have a memorable season, follow face mask, hygiene and social distancing guidelines, follow additional health and safety requirements, which may include testing and self-quarantining, operating in a healthy environment and completing daily declarations, lead by example and serve as a role model for team members and the community.

Boys and girls basketball, wrestling and competitive cheer will resume Feb. 1 and will conclude Feb. 27.

On average, more than 60,000 student-athletes participate in various high school sports during a normal school year.

Bellone also directed the Suffolk County Parks Department to work with Section XI to set up a fair process for districts to schedule cross-country meets in county parks.

Park sites that the county will make available for competition include West Hills County Park in Melville and Blydenburgh County Park in Smithtown.

The cross-country season will begin March 1.

Stony Brook University has changed its class policy during the coronavirus outbreak. File photo

As colleges across the nation have done, Stony Brook University will go to remote instruction for the remainder of the semester, starting on March 23rd. Classes and finals will meet remotely at their regularly scheduled times.

While students will take classes remotely, they can access services on campus, including academic advising, dining services, residence halls, library services, recreation programs, athletic facilities, and hospital and clinical services. Students who live on campus may continue to stay in their residence halls and will receive the same services.

Transitioning to remote learning was something the school did to “curtail large group gatherings and reduce time spent in close proximity with one another in classrooms, lecture halls, dining facilities, and campus residences,” Interim President Michael Bernstein said in a statement. “Our actions are consistent with the guidance of public health agencies on how to limit the spread of Covid-19 and it is also similar to decisions made by peer institutions.”

The school’s business and administrative operations will also be open and athletic events will continue as scheduled until further notice.

The only remaining indoor event is Friday’s America East women’s basketball game. Tickets will remain available through Friday at noon and will be capped to ensure space for fans who would like to watch the game. Outdoor sporting events are unaffected by the changes.

Most non-classroom events and large gatherings will be canceled or postponed starting this week through at least the end of the month.

The school awaits guidance from local and regional public health agencies to determine when to reopen classrooms for face-to-face teaching.

As for the hospital, Stony Brook has developed a revised visitor policy. All visitors have to fill out a health declaration form before entering the hospital. Visitors who are sick will be asked to leave. Stony Brook is also restricting the number of ways people can enter the building. Visitation rules vary depending on the department and are as follows:

  • Adult patients can have one visitor at a time. Visitors have to be 18 and over.
  • Pediatric and NICU patients can have two visitors per patient. The visitors must also be 18 or older. Parents, guardians and support persons only.
  • Labor and Delivery/ Postpartum can have two visitors per patient. Visitors must be 18 and older and are restricted to partners or support persons.
  • Emergency Department will not permit visitors for adult emergency department patient areas. Patients requiring assistance can have one visitor. One visitor per pediatric patient is allowed in the pediatric emergency department and that visitor must be a parent or caregiver.
  • Outpatient and Ambulatory Surgery Center Locations can have one person at the time of visit. The ambulatory care center will make exceptions for pediatric patients and others requiring an aide or additional assistance.
  • Patients who cough or show other signs of illness will be asked to leave.

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Port Jefferson struggled to stay with Carle Place in the Long Island Championship round March 6 where the Lady Royals trailed by six after the first 8 minutes of play. They then went down by 16 at the half, and the Frogs never let up the rest of the way to put the game away 70-42 at Newfield High School.

Carle Place advances to the Regional finals March 15. 

Port Jeff concludes their season as League VII champions with a 13-3 league record, adding post season victories against Babylon and Mattituck to reach the LIC title game. 

The Royals — a very young team — will lose just two seniors to graduation, including Jacqueline Lambe and Samantha Ayotte, and if the bulk of the remaining roster returns Port Jeff stands to be the powerhouse in their league again next season.

It was fun for all ages at the annual Mount Sinai faculty basketball game March 6. Bill Landon photo

The Mount Sinai middle school All-Stars squared off against the high school Elite varsity squad in the annual Battle of the Educators faculty basketball game March 6. The fundraiser was organized by Diane Tabile and Carmella Stein, the respective president and treasurer of the Mount Sinai Booster Club, and again drew a capacity crowd for the 18th year running.

Athletic Director Charlie Delargey charges down court. Photo by Kyle Barr

By Rich Acritelli

On Feb. 28, at Rocky Point High School, administrators, teachers, coaches, support staff and even district groundskeepers participated in the 2nd annual Swooping and Hooping basketball game. It was a night filled with cheers, laughs and comradery to raise money for the school’s Kids in Need Fund and VFW Post 6249 program to aid our local Wounded Warriors. Since the early fall, the game and fundraiser were led by the creative efforts of math teachers Jenessa Eilers and Carly Tribby. Through their efforts, the school raised $3,400 this year.

Guidance counselor Jimmy Jordan, also the boys basketball coach, passes to an open player. Photo by Kyle Barr

At the start of this year, the two younger educators took control of the Be a Nicer Neighbor Club after social studies teacher Brooke Bonomi retired last year. From looking at their ability to handle this lively night, a new torch has certainly been passed and accepted by Eilers and Tribby to continue making the school a “better place.” While the activity was flawlessly guided, these two educators put in countless hours in planning the fundraiser. They were present to guide the student-based process of organizing teams, general managers, coaches and entertainment for the night. Like that of Bonomi, it was the goal of Eilers and Tribby to give the students the responsibility in establishing the roots of success that will allow Swooping and Hooping to be a strong tradition for the high school.

Several weeks before this game, students organized a draft to pick the players for the night. With an assortment of background music, every participant was chosen by the leadership of groups named Hoops We Did It Again, Strawberry Thunder, the Dunkin Dino’s and the Flipping Mandalorians.  Up until the game, the students were expected to organize their rosters, make trades and sign free agents. For several mornings of the past week, Eilers and Tribby were surrounded by their club members to sell early tickets and team shirts which were worn by staff and alumni. Every part of the school district was represented within these four teams, from Principal Jonathan Hart and Athletic Director Charlie Delargey to the girls basketball coach Reagan Lynch and the athletic groundskeeper Aaron Lipsky. Armed with big smiles, the players arrived early, where they practiced shooting, stretched and organized some lay-up drills. Bonomi, a familiar face, wore a huge smile over the positive actions of Eilers and Tribby to build on a the event that he help create.

After a rousing national anthem performed by senior Molly Lambert and the presentation of the colors by Post 6249, its commander, Joe Cognitore, started the game with the tip-off. First-year assistant principal Lauren Neckin started the evening off on a high point by hitting a 3-pointer.  Right away, the students chanted for their fan favorites and intently watched the staff members who drove to the net and dove for loose balls. As longtime guidance counselor Tammy McPherson was bringing the ball up the court, she heard the warm gestures of her family including her baby granddaughter that came out to see her play.  This energy was repeated with math teacher Jason Rand hitting a jump shot in the last seconds of the first half. With over 400 tickets sold, the smiles were easy to detect among both fans and players.

Halftime entertainment of Rocky Point student dribbling blindfolded. Photo by Kyle Barr

After a rousing victory by Hoops We Did It Again, there was a musical halftime show performed by guidance counselor Michael Conlon and his Sound Choice club.  They brought the fans to their feet through their electric playing of Queens “We Will Rock You” and White Stripes “Seven Nation Army.”  To keep the people entertained, students and faculty tossed shirts into the stands, along with shooting contests, and many basket raffles. For the second time, Cognitore was the grand marshal for the game and he marveled over the wonderful job that Eilers and Tribby did to bring the staff and students together.

The second game demonstrated the athletic prowess of Strawberry Thunder and the Dunkin Dino’s.  While it was expected that the Dino’s would have a difficult game, this team hit their shots and kept the game close. Through the leadership of Delargey and guidance counselors Jimmy Jordan and Matt Poole, the Dino’s advanced to the finals where the crowd was at the edge of their seats. Science teacher Mark Brienza energized the fans through his superb shooting and the chants from the student body who said he should earn the most valuable player award for this evening. Opposing him was the point scoring strength of physical education teacher Kelly Calamita and Joseph A. Edgar special education teacher Lauren Boyle.

Again, the fans were into this game from the championship tip off to the final moments which saw Hoops We Did It Again named the 2020 victor. After the final moments of this game, the fans rushed the court and showed their appreciation for a wonderful night. It was a chance for the players to dust a little rust from their basketball skills and raise much needed funds through the kindness of the Be a Nicer Neighbor Club. Looking at the energy of this night, high school principal Hart said these, “ladies went above and beyond to ensure this year’s event was as successful as last year’s.”  

Through the efforts of Eilers and Tribby, they certainly have made strides to fill the major shoes left behind after Bonomi retired last year. Through his mentorship, these two young educators have proven themselves to be up to the task in organizing and running major programs that have turned into traditions for the district.