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Centereach Cougars

It was the battle between the cross-town rivals on Saturday, Feb. 4, when the Newfield Wolverines hosted the Cougars of Centereach. With playoff implications, both teams entered the Div. II contest with 6-7 records.

Newfield broke out to a seven-point lead after eight minutes and took a 10- point lead going into the locker room at half. 

The Cougars exploded in the third quarter, scoring 14 while holding Newfield to just six points to begin the final eight minutes of play. Newfield battled back, swapping a one-point lead in the closing minutes, but Centereach staved off the late game surge to win the game, 54-49.

Raiyah Reid did what she’s done all season, leading the Wolverines in scoring with 17 points despite not playing most of the fourth quarter. Senior Madison Brooks banked 12 points and Payton Martin netted eight.

Freshman Hayley Torres topped the scoring chart for the Cougars with 21, and teammates Meaghan Grieco and Mia Juvelier banked 12 and 11 points, respectively.

The win lifts Centereach to 7-7 with two games remaining before postseason play begins.

— Photo by Bill Landon

After dropping their season opener to Bayport, the Cougars of Centereach looked to get into the win column during a road game against Rocky Point. They did just that, winning 46-28 in the non-league contest Wednesday, Dec. 7. 

The Eagles, fresh off their win over Babylon the day before, struggled against the Centereach defensive press. 

The underclassmen led the way for the Cougars, with sophomore Meaghan Grieco hitting five field goals and a free throw. Freshman Hayley Torres nailed three triples and a pair of free throws. Grieco and Torres matched one another in scoring, with 11 points apiece. 

Rocky Point senior Leela Smith scored seven points for the Eagles. Sarah May added five and McKenzie Moeller netted four points.

Centereach had another non-league contest before beginning league play with a road game against Smithtown East on Dec. 12.

The Eagles retook the court on Dec. 13 with a road game against Westhampton, opening their league season play.

— Photos by Bill Landon

The Cougars of Centereach had their hands full when they hosted Newfield, their cross-town rival, trailing 22-0 at the halftime break. 

Newfield’s JJ Deliat punched in from short yardage, as did Kenny Petit-Frere, then Payne Weinhauer picked off a pass for the interception and went 43 yards for the score. 

Centereach senior quarterback Riddick Drab broke the ice for the Cougars on the opening play of the third quarter, finding the endzone to remove the goose egg from the scoreboard. 

Newfield receiver Dylan Smith answered back, catching an 8-yard pass from quarterback Matt Evers followed by an 11-yarder to take a commanding lead.

In this Div. II matchup on Saturday, Oct. 29, Drab scored on a 31-yard run in the 4th quarter. But that was all the Cougars could muster, falling 35-12 to conclude both teams’ 2022 campaigns.

— Photos by Bill Landon

For the Centereach Cougars, it was a low-scoring battle during a League II road game against Connetquot on Friday, Oct. 14

Connetquot struck first, coming out to a 1-0 lead just 23 minutes into the first half. But Centereach senior co-captain Lauren Hoppe’s foot evened the score with a solo shot in the closing minutes. Following the equalizer, time ran out, and the contest resulted in a draw.

Keeper Gabrielle Hirsch made six saves in net. At 6-2-2, the Cougars will have their hands full on Tuesday, Oct. 18, during their upcoming road game against undefeated Ward Melville. This matchup will be their regular season finale, one last test before postseason play begins. Game time is scheduled for 5 p.m.

— Photos by Bill Landon

Under brilliant sunshine, the Cougars of Centereach hosted the Bulls of Smithtown East in their Homecoming weekend football matchup on Saturday, Sept. 24.

The game would go scoreless through three quarters of play. On the opening possession of the fourth quarter, senior linebacker Xavier Calixte scooped up a Bulls’ fumble and went the distance, covering 27 yards for the score. Jason Zaita’s foot tacked on the extra point, putting the Cougars out front 7-0.

Smithtown East began to move the chains when senior runningback Ryan Rooney, with less than a minute left on the clock, punched into the endzone on short yardage. Smithtown East went for the win, attempting a two-point conversion run. But this bold maneuver came up short, handing Centereach a 7-6 victory.

Centereach quarterback Riddick Drab had 20 carries for 106 yards in the Div. II contest. The win lifts Centereach to 2-1 in this early season while the Bulls drop to 1-2.

Centereach is back in action on Friday, Sept. 30, when the team will host Huntington at 6 p.m. Smithtown East will celebrate its homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 1, when it will host Connetquot. Kickoff is at 2 p.m.

— Photos by Bill Landon

The Newfield Wolverines had their hands full with crosstown rival Centereach during a League IV girls volleyball matchup Thursday, Sept. 15. 

Both teams at 0-2 looked to notch their first win of this early season. Newfield would have to wait another day as the visiting Cougars never let up, sweeping their hosts in three games 25-10, 25-13, 25-14.

Senior Emma Tsaknakis and junior Mackenzie Marquardt teamed up for 15 kills between them. Senior Kate Timarky had 33 digs and Leah Kaplan, also a senior, notched 12 assists. 

Both teams retake the court Monday, Sept. 19. Centereach will be seeking its second straight win when the team travels to Longwood, and Newfield hopes to get its first win in a road game against Walt Whitman. First service is 5:15 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., respectively.

— Photos by Bill Landon

With both teams at 4-3 it was Smithtown West who came to Cougar Country to take on Centereach in a League III softball match-up Tuesday, April 12, where the Cougars had a productive first inning, breaking out to a 4-0 lead. But the Bulls battled back to draw within one run in the third only to have Centereach rallied with four more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning in what would be a final 8-3 victory. 

Both teams have a rematch April 13 at Smithtown West. First pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.

The Centereach Cougars at 1-4 had their hands full when the Huntington Blue Devils (2-2) came to visit in a Division II matchup Oct. 15.

If the Blue Devils meant to set the early tone, they did, when senior defensive back Ryan Porzio picked off a Justin Robbert pass and went the distance for a pick six touchdown a minute into the game. Lucas Petrizzi found the endzone at the 5:01 mark and with the point after Huntington led 14-0. Senior running back Josiah Melendez off a slant pass eluded two would be Centereach tacklers, bolted to the outside and jetted 53 yards for his second touchdown to put Huntington out front 28-0 at the half. After a dormant third quarter Centereach wide receiver Riddick Drab caught a 15-yard pass from Robbert to take the goose egg off the board. Huntington delivered a one two punch midway through the fourth when Huntington senior Robbie Smith found the endzone on a 20-yard jaunt and followed by Josiah Melendez’s interception then ripped a 60-yarder for the score to take a 42-7 lead. With two minutes left senior running back Markus Figueroa punched in on a 20-yarder for the final 42-14.

The loss drops Centereach to 1-5 while the win lifts Huntington to 3-2 with two games remaining before post season play begins.  

The Cougars of Centereach fresh off their season opening victory two days earlier, chalked up another one in the win column when they edged visiting Smithtown East 2-1 at home Sept 4.

Senior mid-fielder Oscar Garces struck first scoring at the 27-minute mark off an assist from senior forward Robert Arenas. With 4 minutes and 42 seconds left, Smithtown East senior Alex Palas drove his shot home to make it a new game. Thirteen minutes into the second half, Arenas scored off an assist from Garces to put his team out front, 2-1. Centereach senior goal keep Ryan Jenkins was kept busy in the final minutes with a late game attack from the Bulls but finished the game with seven saves to secure the win.

Centereach is back in action Sept 9 hosting Half Hollow Hills East while the Bulls have a road game against Huntington. Both games start at 4 p.m.

Trailing the Bulls of Smithtown East, 15-2, late in the opening quarter the Cougars of Centereach clawed their way back to draw within 6 at the halftime break Feb. 14. The Cougars found their rhythm in the third quarter and closed the gap to a single point in the last three minutes of play, but the Bulls were able to hold off the late game surge and win the non-league matchup, 35-28.

Ava Mueller topped the scoring charts for Smithtown East with two field goals, a triple and 4 from the charity stripe for 11 points. Teammate Paige Doherty netted 8 and Josie Lent banked 6.

Two sophomores led the way for Centereach with Juliana Speziale netting 9 for the Cougars, and Ashlynne Gangji tacked on 7.

In this COVID shortened season, Centereach has three games left as Smithtown East has four before post season play begins on Feb. 26.