It was a trifecta for Miller Place in the opening round of post season play, having defeated Elwood John Glenn twice during the regular season. The Panther’s made it three-in-a-row, taking down the visiting Knights 66-52 to survive to play another day.
Miller Place senior Daniel Barrios was lights-out driving the lane seemingly at will and netting a team high of 22 points. Matt Frank’s eight points in the 3rdquarter extinguished a Glenn rally, banking 14 points on the night while teammate Justin Leichter did his damage from long-distance draining four triples for 12 points.
The Panthers are seeded No. 4 and will have their work cut out for them when they collide in a road game against Amityville, the No. 1 seed, Feb. 19. Tipoff is at 5:00 p.m.
Kyle Boden and Xavier Arline made Wyandanch pay for its kickoff return touchdown Sept. 23, combining for six scores to lead Shoreham-Wading River to a 49-12 homecoming win.
“Our offensive line did a great job today — they made so many holes,” Boden said. “We were a little slow to start the second half, but we picked it up and everybody was just flying around.”
Boden, a senior running back, powered his way up and down and scored all three of his touchdowns by the end of the first quarter. He finished the game with 108 yards on 12 carries. Arline scored on a 2-yard touchdown run, lunging to the left of two defenders, and again on a 45-yard run after a Wyandanch fumble. Senior Tyler McAuley, who was perfect on the day, split the uprights with each opportunity, and helped the team extend its advantage by nailing the extra-point kick attempt following the fumble recovery touchdown to put Shoreham-Wading River up 35-6 at the halftime break.
The team’s quarterback was quick to compliment the offensive line, and his kicker.
“I can run, but it doesn’t happen unless the linemen make the holes — they did their job,” Arline said. “[Tyler McAuley] did his job. He finished, and if we do that every week I feel that there’s no one that can stop us.”
Arline carried the ball 65 yards for a touchdown return of his own on the second-half kickoff. McAuley was money once again, to bring the score to 42-6.
“I’ve got to give credit to the entire field goal unit, if the snap was there, if the hold was there and the blocking was there, that gives me an opportunity,” McAuley said.
Wyandanch quarterback Dionte Jordan helped cut the deficit on a keeper, and for the second time the Warriors failed to convert a two-point conversion attempt.
Quarterback Noah Block took over as quarterback and the senior didn’t skip a beat, taking in his own touchdown for the final score of the game.
“We’re going to enjoy it for now,” Arline said, “but we’ve got to get back to looking at film and keep working, because we’ve got a good team coming up.”
The quarterback was referring to his team’s next opponent: Elwood-John Glenn.
Shoreham-Wading River head coach Matt Millheiser said depth in the Sept. 29 matchup will be an issue.
“We’ve got to find ways to give breaks for guys here and there,” he said. “We’re going to have to play deep into the fourth quarter because you can’t let a small lead or a small deficit become real big —exhaustion or a cramp or an injury will turn the tide.”
The Wildcats kick off against the Knights at 6 p.m. Arline said his team will work hard to be ready.
“They’re a good team,” Arline said of Elwood-John Glenn. “We take every team seriously but they’re just going to get harder and harder from here on out.”
A late Long Island-hit drew a penalty, leaving New York City with an even bigger advantage with two seconds left on the clock in the 22nd annual Empire Challenge football game. Monsignor Farrell kicker Paul Inzerillo tried to draw Long Island offsides without success, but just ahead of a delay of game flag, sent the ball flying as the clock ran down to zero, and nailed the 32-yard field goal attempt to snatch a second straight NYC victory, 37-35, from Long Island. The June 21 loss marks the second year in a row Long Island lost in dramatic fashion at Hofstra University’s James M. Shuart Stadium.
“That penalty hurt us,” Elwood John Glenn wide receiver Damien Caffrey said. “But to play in this game is a dream come true.”
“That penalty hurt us, but to play in this game is a dream come true.
A Long Island interception led to NYC’s first touchdown of the game, with four minutes left in the opening quarter. But Ward Melville senior John Corpac received a pass from Long Island quarterback Aaron Ruthman, of Elmont, and bolted down the right sideline for the touchdown. Christian Carrick added the extra point to tie the game, 7-7.
NYC took the lead with the team’s second touchdown of the game, but the kick failed, and left Long Island with a chance to pull ahead. Ward Melville wide receiver Dominic Pryor, already looking comfortable on his new field, where he will instead though play lacrosse next year, was found twice for big yardage. The first connection was for 18 yards to NYC’s 40-yard line and the second, was for 28 yards to the 5. Two plays later, Farmingdale running back Jordan McLune took advantage of that opportunity by capping of a six-play, 58-yard drive, and Carrick’s kick gave Long Island the lead, 14-13, with 7:14 left in the first half.
Unfortunately, the lead was short-lived as NYC scored another touchdown, put the 2-point conversion play failed.
“It’s tough to come out and play football in June, but I was so motivated to come out here and play with such great athletes, and play my hardest,” Pryor said. “[NYC is] just a hard-nose team with great athletes.”
It looked like a Ward Melville football game from there on out though, as Pryor, who caught give passes for 89 and two touchdowns, scored his first on a 24-yard pass from Elmont quarterback Aaron Rutgman on fourth-and-seven.
Pryor got the call again on the next score, as the Ruthman-Pryor tag-team connected on a 17-yard pass. Carrick’s kick lifted Long Island to a 28-19 advantage.
“[This game] it’s just something that I’m blessed to be in,” Pryor said. “It’s a great event with everything that it stands for, and I’m glad to be a part of it.” Prior to Wednesday’s game, no Patriots had played in the Empire Challenge. With cornerback Eddie Munoz also on the field, it put not two, but three Patriots in the Empire Challenge for the first time.
“[This game] it’s just something that I’m blessed to be in. It’s a great event with everything that it stands for.”
But New York, held to 17 yards in the second half until midway through the fourth quarter, exploded for a five-play, 75-yard drive that was capped by a 45-yard touchdown from Christian Anderson to Seba Nekhet. The PAT made it 28-26 with seven minutes left in regulation. NYC’s defense forced Long Island to punt from deep in its own end and the city took advantage of the favorable field position to score on Siddiq Muhamad’s 12-yard run that made it 34-26. The special teams completed a 2-point conversion that brought the score to 36-28.
Corpac continued the strong Ward Melville showing as he handled another punt return 83 yards, going coast-to-coast to tie the game.
“I was telling my teammates on the sidelines: ‘I gotta take this one back,’” Corpac said. “’I got to do it.’ And sure enough, I saw the hole and I took it.”
Carrick, who was perfect on the evening, put Long Island ahead with 2:44 left in the final quarter.
NYC threw the ball out of bounds to stop the clock, and got a gift when Long Island was flagged for a late hit. The 15-yard penalty brought NYC to Long Island’s 22-yard line.
“I was scared leading by a point with eight seconds left,” Caffrey said. “It was pretty crazy, because their offense is really good. They brought it to a whole new level.”
Corpac, who is bound for Stony Brook University’s football team in the fall, echoed his longtime teammate-s sentiment of the significance of the Empire Challenge.
“[To play in this game] — it’s a great honor,” he said. “It’s the best way I could ask to end my high school football career.”
Mount Sinai junior Victoria Johnson scores her 1,000th career point in loss
By Bill Landon
Harborfields enjoyed a 22-point lead midway through the third quarter, and despite Mount Sinai rallying to close within seven points with just over two minutes left in the game, the Tornadoes’ girls’ basketball team closed with a late surge of its own, to claim a 58-47 victory in the opening round of the Class A playoffs Saturday morning.
Mount Sinai led 13-12 after eight minutes, but managed just four points to Harborfields’ 19 in the second.
Harborfields point guard Christiana de Borja had the hot hand through the first half, as she drove the lane and muscled her way to the rim, drawing fouls along the way. The five-foot, two-inch junior tallied 13 points over the two quarters.
As Mount Sinai double-teamed de Borja, the Mustangs left the lane opened for Harborfields sophomore guard Erin Tucker, who netted four field goals and a free-throw to add nine more points to the Tornadoes’ 31-17 halftime advantage.
“We always play Mount Sinai in other sports, so we know not to underestimate them, and they came out very strong in the first quarter,” Tucker said. “It’s what we expected. They had a tough second quarter, but we knew they’d come back.”
Three-pointers were flying to open the third quarter, as de Borja banked a pair and Mount Sinai junior guard Victoria Johnson swished her second and third of the game, but still, the Tornadoes edged ahead 43-28 to begin the final quarter.
The Mustangs opened the last eight minutes with two fast breaks that paid dividends for Johnson, who was fouled while shooting, and calmly swished both. The back end marked her 1,000th point of her varsity career.
“They’re really tough on defense,” Johnson said of Harborfields. “We ran on them because they’re a very fast team and they were going to try to stop us in the middle. We had one rough quarter, but we gave it our best. We’re a young team so we’ll make a run next year.”
She’s the first basketball player to score 1,000 points as a Mustang.
“That is truly an amazing accomplishment,” Mount Sinai head coach Michael Pappalardo said. “We are so proud of her.”
Tucker netted two more points at the free-throw line for the Tornadoes, to again make it an 11-point game.
Mount Sinai inbounded the ball, throwing it the length of the court, where freshman guard Margaret Kopcienski gained possession and, with a spin move, found the rim to trim the deficit back to nine points.
Mount Sinai junior center Veronica Venezia made here presence known down low as the she muscled her way to the rim on a put-back to help her team trail by seven with 1:41 left in the game, but the Mustangs would not come any closer.
“The second quarter is where we got hurt, but we’re graduating two seniors and we’re returning 12 — including all five starters — so we’re looking forward to the off-season,” Pappalardo said. “[Harborfields has] great players, and to be with them in the final minutes makes me proud of our team.”
In a foul-riddled final minute, both teams traded points at the charity stripe. Mount Sinai’s Gabby Sartori went to the line shooting three, and the ninth-grade guard swished all of her opportunities.
“They were very good, and we knew they were going to come up strong on defense,” Sartori said. “I was getting face-guarded the whole time, but my team knew what to do. We gave it all we had; we rose the challenge — last year we came here and lost by 30.”
With six seconds left, de Borja, who led her team in scoring with 23 points, put the final points on the scoreboard off of free throws. Tucker finished the game with 12 points.
Atop the leaderboard for Mount Sinai was Johnson with 16 points, followed by Sartori, who sank 13.
“They spotted us 22 points, and we knew they would come back because they have a lot of talented players, but I thought our kids had the resolve to make the big plays to stop those runs,” Harborfields head coach Glenn Lavey said. “Any time we see trouble we get the ball to Christiana de Borja, and having her on the floor is like a security blanket. As much as they were cutting into our lead, I knew we had Chris de Borja on the court.”
With the win, Harborfields advances to the next round, where the Tornadoes take on Elwood-John Glenn on the road Tuesday. Tipoff scheduled for 2 p.m.
The girls from Elwood-John Glenn were in the stands throughout most of the game, sitting quietly together as they scouted their next opponent. The squad left midway through the fourth to get ready for their 2 p.m. game.
“It was really a motivator for us having them watching, because we wanted to show them that we’re a force to be reckoned with,” de Borja said. “We’re excited about playing John Glenn. They’ve always been a rival, so we’re excited about that game.”
It was senior night on Friday, Jan. 22, and the Miller Place wrestling team pounced on Islip to win 34-31.
With the victory came something even sweeter: the Panther’s first piece of a League VI title in 36 years.
“We graduated a quality group of seniors last year, and I think people expected us to take a hit as far as our dual-meet team,” Miller Place head coach Matt Kaszubski said. “In the beginning of the season, we took a couple of losses that we shouldn’t have, and then after Christmas we really started rolling and coming together, and the group bought into what we were doing. The league title was a result of a lot of hard work over many years, and it was awesome to achieve that with this group.”
The Panthers finished last season 13-4 overall, and were 12-4-1 heading into the senior night dual meet, which was the team’s final match of the regular season.
At 106 pounds, senior David Selg found himself down in a match against a good opponent, but pinned him at the 4:36 mark.
“He’s very strong and his pin was huge for us,” Kaszubski said of Selg. “We also had Eddie Marbot, who is probably one of the scrappiest kids we have on the team, have a nice win for us.”
Marbot, a senior who weighed in at 138 pounds, won with a 5-2 decision over his opponent. Needing to win one more match to earn the win and a share of the league title with Elwood-John Glenn and Mount Sinai, sophomore Anthony McNaughton pinned his opponent in 1:25 at 220 pounds to clinch the meet.
“Everyone was celebrating,” Kaszubski said. “The motto of the night was wrestle for each other — wrestle for somebody else other than yourself. The kids really stepped up and it was a cool experience.”
For Marbot, it was a once-in-a-lifetime event.
“It was an almost unbelievable experience to be a part of, and something that none of us will ever forget — especially me being a senior,” he said. “To win the league title on senior night was icing on the cake.”
Selg said the team environment became that of a family from the start of the preseason to the present.
“Everyone did what they needed to do,” he said. “When everybody left last year, nobody expected anything, just like coach said, and this year we came back and we were all a family, we stuck together and we won the league title. I’m really proud of my team.”
Marbot added that the camaraderie couldn’t be matched.
“Everyone dedicated their time to improving — going to open mats, going to camps — everyone really came together to build the team,” he said. “And coach Kaszubski, he’s the best coach and teacher that you could ask for.”
The Panthers made it to the postseason as the No. 12 seed, but fell to No. 5 Lindenhurst, 57-9, in the opening round Jan. 27. No. 1-seeded Rocky Point made it all the way through the bracket to claim the Section XI title.
As the wrestlers prepare for leagues and counties, Kaszubski said he has two grapplers, 132-pounder Eric Schreck and 160-pound Joe Bartolotto, who are looking to place high in the county. Selg and Marbot, along with seniors 126-pound Dan Curcio and 154-pound Ryan Ammirato, are also looking to make some noise in the postseason by being league champions and placing in the county tournament.
“We knew we had a good crew,” the head coach said. “It’s nice to see all the hard work over the last couple of years come to fruition. Everyone feeds off of each other and they want to win for each other, so it’s been a blessing to coach these kids.”
For wrestlers like Marbot, being a part of the Panthers’ team is something he’ll never forget.
“I’d be lost without wrestling,” he said. “To end the regular season like this, as a senior, it couldn’t have ended any better. We had a good run. Especially being that no one thought we were going to be anything this year, we really showed everyone.”
The Shoreham-Wading River girls’ basketball team struggled to recover after an 11-0 start by its opponent as the Wildcats fell to Hampton Bays, 51-30, in their first League VI loss Tuesday.
“Being down 11-0 was a problem,” Shoreham-Wading River head coach Adam Lievre said. “We talked a little bit about that before the game — I don’t know if I jinxed us — but we played hard. Offensively, at times, we struggled to score, and against a team that can shoot the ball well from the outside, it’s hard for us to trade missed layups for them to get open threes.”
Shoreham-Wading River sophomore guard Mikayla Dwyer put the Wildcats’ first points on the board, and junior forward Lindsey McKenna followed right behind her. Dwyer was fouled heading to the basket after her team forced a turnover, and she sank her first free-throw attempt to cut the deficit, 11-5.
The Baymen went on another tare, this time scoring six straight points, before McKenna scored another field goal. Hampton Bays countered with a field goal of its own, and added a long field goal at the buzzer to bring the score to 22-7.
“Execution is hard,” Lievre said. “We do as much as we can, and sometimes they fall and sometimes they don’t. Tonight was a night where, early on, in the first couple of minutes, they didn’t fall, and it led to a hole that we just couldn’t recover from.”
The hole continued to grow, despite junior guard Jesse Arline coming off the bench to score half of the team’s points in the second stanza, with a long field goal and a three-pointer. At the end of the eight minutes, the Wildcats fell behind 38-17.
“We just need to strategize, but there’s no problem with effort,” Arline said. “We tried really hard and we did a good job. I think movement of the ball was really good. Some of our shots weren’t landing, but you need to play fast against a team like that.”
Lievre said he agreed that despite the loss, he’s never had a problem with his girls giving him their all.
“My girls always play hard until the very end,” he said. “We never have to question effort or intensity, we just have to execute offensively. I never have to worry about them putting everything into a game, because they will — they’ll battle no matter what the score is, good or bad.”
McKenna led the team with six points on the evening, Arline and Dwyer tacked on five apiece, junior forward Maddy Bottari and junior forward Sophie Triandafils finished with four each, junior guard Mackenzie Zajac added three, and junior guard Sam Higgins and junior forward Maria Smith rounded out the scoring with two points and one point, respectively.
The Wildcats were off to a 3-0 start in the league before the loss. The head coach said that although the team is halfway to the playoffs wins-wise, they still have some tough competition ahead when they travel to Elwood-John Glenn tomorrow at 4:15 p.m., and then host Mount Sinai on Tuesday at 4 p.m.
Arline said her team would recover from the loss and use it to fuel them for their upcoming league matchups.
“We lost, and we’ll take it as a learning experience,” she said. “We’ll put what we’ve learned here into the game ahead. We try to keep a game-to-game mindset, so we’re just worried about the next opponent.”
Lievre also thinks his team will be more prepared moving forward. He liked some of what he saw, and hopes that if his team can execute, they’ll have a better shot of remaining in games against tough opponents.
“There were a lot of good looks and good shots I’d like to repeat again, we’ve just got to hope next time that they fall for us,” he said. “It’s one game; we’ll regroup and move on.”
Since November 2013, all the Shoreham-Wading River football team has known is how to win football games, and although the Wildcats had their hands full with No. 2 Elwood-John Glenn, the team was able to grind out a win, 24-14, for the Suffolk County Division IV title Thursday night at Stony Brook University’s LaValle Stadium.
“When you work hard this is what you get — a county championship,” Shoreham-Wading River junior quarterback Kevin Cutinella said. “It’s been a battle throughout the season. We’ll watch film and practice late to prepare for the Long Island championship the same way we did for this game.”
Amid rain and harsh winds, Elwood-John Glenn lined up in punt formation after a three-and-out, and snapped the ball to the punt protector, who was unable to handle the wet ball, and the Wildcats pounced on it, recovering the fumble at the nine-yard line. Two plays later, Cutinella punched in for the touchdown, and with the extra point good, helped put his team out front 7-0 at the 8:42 mark of the first quarter.
With the Knights unable to answer, the Wildcats were on the move again. On the first play from scrimmage, senior running back Chris Rosati drove the ball down to the nine-yard line with just over four minutes remaining in the stanza. Two plays later, Rosati pounded his way into the end zone for the score, and with senior kicker Daniel Mahoney’s extra-point attempt successful, the Wildcats edged ahead 14-0.
On Elwood-John Glenn’s ensuing possession, Chris Forsberg almost went the distance as he broke free of tacklers and covered 81 yards. Shihan Rudyk finished it as he punched it in from three yards out to put the Knights on the scoreboard. With the point-after attempt good, Elwood-John Glenn trailed 14-7 with 7:37 left in the half.
The Knights struck again soon after, when quarterback Wayne White found Kyle Tiernan for a 25-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 14-14 heading into the break.
The rain intensified and the wind picked up in the second half, leaving both teams struggling for traction in the third quarter.
After an injury timeout, Shoreham-Wading River senior Jason Curran took over under center, but it was Mahoney who helped his team score next, as he attempted a 33-yard field goal attempt in the fourth. The senior made it look easy, as he split the uprights to put his team out front, 17-14. According to the kicker, it wasn’t as easy at it looked.
“It was like kicking a rock,” he said, adding that he was exhilarated to see the ball go between the posts. “It felt like my leg was 10 pounds heavier and the ball was 10 pounds heavier.”
With five minutes left on the clock, the Wildcats added insurance points when Curran handed off to Rosati, who did what he’s done all season, grinding up the middle for the touchdown. With Mahoney perfect on the evening, Shoreham-Wading River put the game away 24-14.
“We put in the right kids in the right spots,” Shoreham-Wading River assistant coach Hans Wiederkehr said. “We were able to make plays at the right time.”
The Wildcats advance to the Long Island Championship, where the team will take on Locust Valley on Friday at Hofstra University. Kickoff is scheduled for noon.
“We’ve got a lot of homework to do because we’ve never seen them before,” Wiederkehr said. “But we’re going to get right back to what got us here — practicing hard watching film.”
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