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Smithtown East Bulls

It was the Raiyah Reed show Tuesday night at Newfield High School. The junior co-captain peppered the scoreboard with 13 field goals and a dozen free throws to top the scoring charts with 38 points, leading her team to a 55-47 victory over Smithtown East. 

Reed’s performance was the spark the Wolverines needed to notch their first win of the season in this Div. II matchup Dec. 20. 

It was also Alumni Night, with former players invited onto the court at halftime to shake off some rust, putting on a three-point shooting exhibition. 

Darcy DeBenedittis topped the scoring chart for Smithtown East with 14 points, and teammate Ava Mueller added 13.

Newfield looks to score back-to-back victories when the team retakes the court in tournament play at Center Moriches High School Wednesday, Dec. 28, against Mount Sinai. Gametime is slated for 10:00 a.m.

Smithtown East (1-3, 3-3) is back in action Friday, Dec. 23, when they’ll host Connetquot at 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

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Smithtown East cheerleaders led the way in the large school division in a multi-school cheer competition at Centereach High School Feb. 5. 

The Bulls placed first with a score of 86.75 ahead of West Islip and Connetquot.

The Bulls look to build on this momentum for the Suffolk County Championship finals at Hauppauge High School Feb. 19.

By Steven Zaitz

Sixty regulation minutes was not enough.

The extra 10 in overtime could not decide it either.

When the Northport Tigers field hockey team invaded Smithtown East March 22, the matchup pitted two of the elite teams on Long Island. They needed a shootout to decide it, and it was Smithtown East goaltender Gianna Festa who stood tall.

She did not allow a goal in the shootout, stopping all four Northport attempts. Dani Brady, one of Long Island’s top players scored on her mano y mano with Northport goalie Natalie McKenna, who was also excellent, that decided it for the Bulls.  The final score was officially 2-1.

Festa, who had 12 saves in addition to her four stops in the shootout, sparked a wild, equipment-flinging celebration seconds after making her final stop.  Brady, teammate Sydney Anderson and Northport’s Sophia Bica are all listed on Newsday’s Top 25 players of Long Island, but it was Festa that earned the Most Valuable Player of this star-studded affair, making several acrobatic saves throughout regulation, overtime and the shootout.

This game was a hard-fought war and the survivor — Smithtown East — has now equaled Northport’s record of 5-1. Ward-Melville, who beat Sachem East Monday, is atop the Suffolk County leaderboard with a record of 6-0.

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The Bulls of Smithtown East struggled in the first two quarters trailing by 10 at the half in a home game, against Eastport-South Manor in their season finale Feb. 26.

Smithtown East junior forward Tristan Davis was the spark that ignited the Bulls with a two-handed monster jam to fuel a late game surge. The Bulls closed the gap to a single point in the final seconds but it was too little too late falling 62-61.  

Smithtown East concluded their COVID-abbreviated season at 3-3 in League III and 4-4 overall. 

Davis topped the scoring charts for the Bulls with six from the floor and three from the line for 15 points. Jack Melore, the lone freshman on the roster, netted 13, while senior George Schwab did his damage from long distance with three triples and a field goal for 11 points. Teammate Ethan Cain added eight. 

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.

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Smithtown East sophomore Carly Bigliani (R) battles down low in a league IV game against Central Islip Jan.17. Bill Landon photo

The Bulls of Smithtown East trailed by 6 at the halftime break, but visiting East Islip dropped the hammer the rest of the way, outscoring East by 22 points to put the game away 58-30 in a League IV matchup Jan. 17. 

Senior guard Katie Biglianni led Smithtown East in scoring with 8 points, her younger sister Carly, a sophomore, netted 6, as did freshman Ava Mueller. Paige Doherty, Briana Durland and Becky Hannwacker all scored.

East Islip remains undefeated in league play at 7-0 while the loss drops the Bulls to 1-6 with five games remaining. Smithtown East retook the court with a road game against Bellport Jan. 22, and lost 37 to 42.

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It was all Smithtown East against Bellport in a League IV matchup where the Bulls trampled the Clippers 46-17 on their home court Dec. 17. Junior guard Paige Doherty led the way for the Bulls with two treys and three field goals for 12 points. Senior Kate Cosgrove sunk three from the charity stripe and three field goals for 9 points along with nine rebounds; and sophomore Jackie Shaffer netted 6. After dropping their league season opener on Dec. 13, the win puts the Bulls at 1-1 in league and 2-5 overall. Smithtown East retakes the court Dec. 20 when they hit the road against North Babylon. Tipoff is at 4 p.m.

Clockwise from right; Smithtown East’s Jackie Shaffer goes up for the score; sophomore Becky Hannwacker scores from the paint; sophomore guard Shaffer shoots and scores; Josie Lent an 8th-grader passes inside; senior guard Katie Bigliani lays up; sophomore guard Nicole Schwartz shoots from the baseline at home against Bellport.

 

Huntington’s boys basketball team trailed by two after the first eight minutes of play but then the Bulls of Smithtown East dropped the hammer and outscored the Blue Devils by 28 points to put the game away 66-36 in a non-league matchup at home, Dec. 5. Zac Chandler had the hot hand for Smithtown East draining four triples, three field goals andthree3 points from the line to lead his team with 21 points. Jared Borner followed with 12 points and Nick Lardaro added 11.

Huntington seniors Omari Stephen and Daniel Danziger topped the scoring chart for the Blue Devils with 10 points apiece. Huntington has another non-league game at Cold Spring Harbor Dec. 10 before they open league Dec. 12 when they host Harbor Hills East. Game time is 5:45 p.m.

Smithtown East will host Roslyn Dec. 7 at 10 a.m. before their league opener Dec. 12 at home against East Islip. Tipoff is 4 p.m.

Defense was the story of the game Oct. 19 when Centereach senior Matt Robbert broke the ice when he punched in on short yardage for the touchdown midway through the second quarter. Robbert then kicked an extra point to make it 7-0.

Smithtown East struggled offensively, and it wasn’t until junior running back Tyler Pohlman punched in on a short run for the Bulls with under two minutes left. Needing the extra point to retie the game, the kick was partially blocked and the Cougars held on for a 7-6 win, dampening the Bulls’ homecoming celebration.

Eric Harrington got the call time and time again grinding out 107 yards on 20 carries for the Cougars, while Robbert gained 55 yards in 10 attempts.

The win lifts Centereach to 3-3 who hit the road against Connetquot Oct. 25 before returning home to face Half Hollow Hills East Nov. 1.

Smithtown East slips to 2-4 and must win out against Half Hollow Hills East Oct. 26 and Northport Nov. 2 for any hopes of postseason play.