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Centereach Cougars

Centereach senior Josh Ortiz drives the ball deep. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

The Cougars of Centereach looked to make it a clean sweep when they hosted Copiague Saturday morning, April 27, in the last of a three-game series when they notched another win with a decisive 9-1 victory. The Cougars won game one 6-0, and followed it up with an 11-2 victory in game two.

Centereach senior James Krause was credited with the win, pitching five innings and allowing just the one run in the League III matchup.

Seniors Sal Gangi and Joe Desantis both had two hits as did Anthony Gagliardi and Logan Norman.  

The win lifts the Cougars to 8-4 to sit atop the leaderboard tied with Half Hollow Hills East, their next opponent.

Shoreham-Wading River senior Alex Makarewicz battles his way to the rim in a road game against Centereach. Photo by Bill Landon

The Cougars of Centereach opened their season when they hosted the Shoreham-Wading River Wildcats (0-2) where both teams looked to put a “W” in the win column in a nonleague matchup Tuesday night Dec. 5.

Shoreham-Wading River had lost to Smithtown Christian and Hampton Bays to begin their season. Although the Wildcats had a 10-point advantage in the final minute of play, the Cougars closed the gap in the timeout-riddled final 20 seconds, where Shoreham escaped with a 42-38 victory.

Centereach retakes the court Dec. 9 when they host their crosstown rival Newfield before league play begins Dec. 12.

The win lifts the Wildcats to 1-2 with two more nonleague matchups before they hit the road to take on Port Jefferson to begin league play Dec. 21.

— Photos by Bill Landon

Newfield struck first at home on the second play from scrimmage on a flea-flicker play that went 74-yards on a pass play to Kenny Petit Frere to break the ice against crosstown rival Centereach Saturday, Oct 7. 

It would be Newfield’s only points in the game as the Cougars went to work when LaRawn Robinson punched in from short yardage for the touchdown and finished it running in for the two-point conversion for the lead.

Centereach quarterback T.J. Doyle on a keeper found the end zone and, with a two-point run after, took a 16-7 lead into the locker room. Robinson, a wide receiver, threw to Jason Zaita on a 13-yard touchdown pass-play to open the second half to make it a three-score lead. Centereach senior running back Anthony Prince broke to the outside on a 12-yard run for his touchdown score and finished it by running in the two-pointer after, in the Cougar’s 32-7 victory in the Division II matchup.

— Photos by Bill Landon

It was Luke Ciminiello’s bat that spoke first with a home run to drive in a run for the Bulls of Smithtown East in the opening inning for the early 2-0 lead in a road game against Centereach Thursday, April 13. The Cougars battled back, edging ahead to win 10-6 in the final game of a three-game series where Centereach won two out of three in the League IV matchup.

The win lifts Centereach to 2-6 in the early season as the Bulls drop to 3-5.

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The Cougars of Centereach softball took on the Bulls of Smithtown East in their season opener at home on a cold and windy afternoon under brilliant sunshine Thursday, March 30.

Smithtown East took the lead in the top of the second inning, but the Cougars mounted a rally in the bottom of the third, looking to stay within striking distance. It would be the Bulls’ bats that did the talking the rest of the way, putting together a scoring frenzy that Centereach was unable to counter winning the game, 27-8, in the League IV contest. 

Smithtown East senior pitcher Gabby Amicizia was credited with the win.  

Centereach will look for their first win of this early season with a road game against crosstown rival Newfield April 5. Game time is 11 a.m. 

The Bulls are back in action with a non-league road game against William Floyd April 1 at 10 a.m. before resuming league play at home April 3 against Bellport. First pitch is scheduled at 4:30 p.m. 

Ward Melville senior point guard Julia Greek made history during the Suffolk Class AA quarterfinal playoff game between Ward Melville and Centereach, scoring her 1,000th career point before her home crowd on Saturday, Feb. 18.

The game’s outcome was a toss-up as both teams deadlocked at 45-45 with 1:49 left in regulation. But the Patriots were successful in containing the Cougars’ last-minute surge. 

Ahead by three points in the final 30 seconds, Centereach had no choice but to foul Greek to stop the clock. The senior made the Cougars pay at the charity stripe, securing a 54-46 victory and leading her team to the semifinal round.

Greek again led the way in scoring for the Patriots with four field goals, two triples and eight free throws for 22 points on the day. Grace Balocca added 15, and Catie Edson netted eight.

Centereach freshman Hayley Torres topped the scoring chart for the Cougars with 19 points. Sophomore Meaghan Grieco netted 15, and senior Alexandra Madrigal added six. Centereach concluded its 2022-23 campaign with a respectable 12-8 record.

The third-seeded Patriots will face second-seeded Walt Whitman on Wednesday, Feb. 22, at Longwood High School. Gametime is set for noon. Tickets for the game can be purchased at gofan.co/app/school/NYSPHSAAXI.

— Photos by Bill Landon

Andrew Miller scored 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Northport Tigers boys basketball team defeated the Centereach Cougars 58-45 on Tuesday night in their opening round Suffolk County playoff game.

The Tigers played a stifling brand of defense and had too much size for the visiting Cougars, who were limited to six points in the second quarter and nine points in the third. Northport dominated the glass, outrebounding Centereach 44-29 for the game.

The Cougars had no answer for Miller, and they tried to guard him with a rotation of different players, each having little luck against the 6’4” bruising senior. Miller dominated the painted area, slicing and dicing his way to easy layups. Northport senior guard Brendan Carr had 14 points, including six big ones in the fourth quarter. 

The Tigers enjoyed a double-digit lead for most of the game, but when Cougar guard Christopher Buzaid hit a three pointer midway through the fourth quarter, Centereach cut the Northport lead to eight. It would be the closest the Cougars would get — as baskets by Miller, Carr and sophomore Owen Boylan gave the Tigers a 54-37 lead with two minutes to go in the contest.

Senior guard Evan Grant led Centereach with 11 points and Buzaid had 10.

In a Battle of the Ports, Northport will battle the Bellport Clippers on Friday, Feb. 17, in the Suffolk County quarterfinal round at Bellport. 

The Cougar season ends with a mark of 13-8 overall and 10-6 in league play.

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