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Mount Sinai High School

Mt. Sinai junior Brock Kolsch drives the lane in the Suffolk Class A playoff opener. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

When Mount Sinai’s Dominic Pennzello went to the free-throw line shooting two with just over a minute left in the second quarter, he calmly sank in the front end and when he netted the back end, the junior recorded his 1,000th varsity career point in the opening round of the Suffolk Class A playoff round. 

Despite this personal milestone, the visiting Mustangs (No. 5) struggled to keep pace with Bayport-Blue Point (No.4). Mount Sinai fell 69-59, ending their 2023-24 campaign Saturday, Feb. 24.

Pennzello finished the game with five field goals, three triples and three free throws for 22 points followed by teammate Blake Kolsch who netted 13 and Brian Vales with 10.

Pennzello ranks third in Suffolk scoring leaders this season with 122 field goals, 45 triples and 62 free throws averaging 22.1 points per game, as reported by Newsday.

Mount Sinai finishes its season with a 10-6 league record, 13-8 overall.

By Bill Landon

Led by the sophomore Mia Betancourt, the Mount Sinai Mustangs outran visiting Bayport-Blue Point in the Jan. 19 League VI matchup Friday night. Betancourt banked 24 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds for the triple-double leading her team to the 78-64 victory. 

Freshman Alexa Cergol netted nine field goals and a 3-pointer from the line for 21 points and Kyla Orlando, a junior, banked 14.

Senior Ashley Sankey did her damage from long range, draining three triples for nine points.

The Mustangs retake the court Thursday, Jan. 25, when they host Center Moriches. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.

The win keeps the Mustangs atop the League VI leaderboard at 6-0, 9-4 overall, with six games remaining before postseason play begins.

Having lost to the Mustangs 11-7 earlier in the season, the Shoreham-Wading River Wildcats had a score to settle when they went head-to-head with Mount Sinai in the Suffolk Class C championship at Stony Brook University Tuesday afternoon, May 30. Mount Sinai, the no. 1 seed at 17-0, hadn’t tasted defeat all season. The Wildcats would change that when they jumped out to a 9-2 lead in the closing minutes of the third quarter.

Mount Sinai chipped away at the deficit, drawing within two goals in the final four minutes of play. But the Wildcat defense was able to corral the Mustangs, holding on for the 10-7 victory. With it, they punched their ticket to the Long Island Championship.

Nick Carretta topped the scoring chart for the Mustangs with three goals. Cole Marsala followed with two, and teammates Jake Spallina and Christian Colantonio scored. Mount Sinai goalie Brayden Wilcken had 10 stops in net.

Liam Kershis had the hot stick for the Wildcats with five goals. Seniors Steven Cain and Alec Gregorek scored twice, and Alex Kershis stretched the net. Goalkeeper Jaden Galfano, a junior, had 15 saves between the pipes.

The Wildcats retake the field at Stony Brook Saturday morning, June 3, to face Manhasset for the Long Island Championship title. Gametime is scheduled for 10 a.m.

Tickets can be purchased here.

— Photos by Bill Landon

Earl L. Vandermeulen High School robotics team. Photo courtesy PJSD

Members of the Earl L. Vandermeulen High School robotics team took part in the recent FIRST competition at Hofstra University, putting their knowledge to the test against 50 other New York high school teams and six international teams from as far as India and Taiwan. 

This year, Port Jefferson was joined by Mount Sinai High School students. Their combined efforts helped the team make it to the final rounds to place seventh overall — an extremely challenging event to win, given the level of international competition. 

Students used their math, science and engineering abilities and took months to design and build their robot, following strict rules, limited resources and an intense time limit. The teams were challenged to raise funds, design a brand, hone teamwork skills and program their industrial-size robots to play a complex field game against like-minded competitors.

“We call FIRST Robotics Competition the ultimate sport for the mind,” Port Jefferson’s technology and engineering teacher and robotics team adviser Brian Chalmers said. “Applying skills learned in the classroom during competition is always a positive opportunity for our students. It’s as close to real-world engineering as a student can get.” 

He added, “We are proud of our students and grateful for our professional volunteer mentors who shared their time and talents to guide these students to success.”

Mount Sinai senior attack Taylor Cline broke the ice for the Mustangs when her shot on goal split the pipes two minutes in, followed up with a goal from teammate Alexa Spallina at the 16-minute mark. Then Cline stretched the net again, putting the Mustangs out front 3-0.

Comsewogue answered back, however, as senior midfielder Gabby Constant scored twice in three minutes, followed by freshman attack Gianna McNulty’s shot on goal assisted by Jackie Riviezzo, tying the game at 3-3 with just under eight minutes left in the half. 

Spallina scored again, capped with a pair of goals by senior Lea Flobeck to lead it 6-3. The Warriors fought their way back to make it a one-score game when McNulty’s shot once again found its mark with just under seven minutes left in this Div. II matchup on Monday, March 27.

Spallina would score the insurance goal, firing at the cage while falling to seal the deal for the Mustangs, who won 8-6. Mount Sinai goalie Sara Flobeck had six saves in net.

Both teams are back in action this Friday, March 31, when the Mustangs host Bayport-Blue Point at 4:30 p.m. and the Warriors host Shoreham-Wading River at 5 p.m.

— Photos by Bill Landon

It was the 21st edition of the coveted “Battle of the Educators,” where the Mount Sinai School District faculty squared off in an annual basketball game pitting the high school teachers against their middle and elementary school colleagues on Friday, March 3, at the Mount Sinai High School. 

Funds raised from gate admission, food and snacks and apparel sales supported the Mount Sinai Booster Club, with the proceeds going towards athletic scholarships awarded in June. 

The game took place in front of a near-capacity crowd, with attendance approaching pre-pandemic levels.

— Photos by Bill Landon

The Mustangs of Mount Sinai broke out to an early lead, protecting a seven-point advantage to open the second half and managing to keep the Amityville Warriors at bay the rest of the way in the Suffolk Class A semifinal at Longwood High School.

Mount Sinai senior Derrek Shechter led the way in scoring for the Warriors with three triples, four field goals and three from the line for 20 points in the 58-50 victory Feb. 21.

Teammates Dominic Pennzello followed with 13 points, Drew Feinstein netted 12, and Chris Paz banked 10 to punch their ticket to the championship final round on Saturday, Feb. 25, at Stony Brook University when they will face Kings Park. Gametime is at 5 p.m.

— Photos by Bill Landon

The grapplers of Port Jefferson narrowly missed top honors in the Robert Fallot Memorial Suffolk County Div. II wrestling championships at Mattituck High School on Saturday, Feb. 11.

With an overall team score of 220.5 points, the Royals were just 10 points shy of top-placed finisher John Glenn. Shoreham-Wading River placed third, with 192 points, and Mount Sinai followed with 159.5. 

Port Jefferson’s Liam Rogers and SWR’s Thomas Palumbo made it to the final round. Mount Sinai’s Derek Menechino reached the final round at 126 pounds. Shoreham’s Gavin Mangano took top honors at 110 pounds, along with Brayden Fahrbach of Mount Sinai at 132 pounds.

— Photos by Bill Landon

It was a battle between two talented scorers Wednesday, Jan. 18, when the Mount Sinai Mustangs came knocking on Comsewogue’s door for a League IV divisional matchup.

Mount Sinai’s Drew Feinstein went head-to-head with Comsewogue’s Hayden Morris-Gray. Feinstein, averaging 26.9 points per game, led the Mustangs with 32 points, lifting his team to a 71-58 road victory. 

Dominic Pennzello followed Feinstein with 19 points for the Mustangs, and Derrek Shechter notched another eight.

Morris-Gray topped the scoring chart for the Warriors with 25 points, hitting five triples and five field goals on the day. Teammates Colin Strohm netted 16, and Austin Nesbitt banked 10.

The win lifts Mount Sinai to 7-1, clinching a postseason playoff berth. The loss drops Comsewogue to 7-2, with six games remaining in regular season play.

— Photos by Bill Landon

Mount Sinai’s student government members featured the 12th edition of their “Safe Trick or Treat” celebration on Saturday, Oct. 29, drawing over 1,100 trick-or-treaters, according to student government faculty advisor Roger Cardo. 

Admission was free, although donations were welcomed to cover the cost of all the candy and refreshments. 

Non-perishable food items were collected to benefit local food kitchens. The students set up the night before and were in at 7 a.m. to finish setting up more than a dozen rooms, which included the Haunted Hallway, Best Buddies, the Ocean Bowl and the Balloon Room, to name a few. 

Mr. Cardo credited the large turnout to word of mouth, the fliers that were circulated at the middle school, along with the efforts of more than 30 student government members, and seniors Destina Erden, Amanda Audia, Kate Rubino and Amr Ali. Fun was had by all. 

— Photos by Bill Landon