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After trailing Harborfields by two goals in the opening quarter, the Miller Place Panthers clawed their way back to victory. 

After trading the lead for a 7-7 tie at the end of the third quarter, Miller place senior Anthony Bartolotto scored his fourth goal of the game in the final 12 minutes of play, holding off Harborfields, for the 9-8 victory in a Div. II matchup at home, April 26.

Harborfields senior Luke DeRosa led his team with 3 goals, Hunter Droskoski stretched the net twice, and teammates Ethan Radecki, Dylan Wolf and Brendan Hohner each scored.

Anthony Bartolotto topped the scoring chart for the Panthers with four goals. Seniors Devon Duchnokski and Jack Davis also scored, and teammates Robby Cunningham, Nick Oliva and Scotty Seymour had one goal a piece.

The win lifts the Panthers to 6-3 in their division while the loss drops Harborfields to 3-6. The Tornadoes retake the field with a match up against West Islip on April 30 at noon and the Panthers will host Comsewogue on May 3 at 4:30 p.m.

Photos by Bill Landon 

Photo from Stony Brook Athletics

The Stony Brook baseball team entered the day down a game in its weekend set with Hartford on April 2. They finished the day with a pair of wins and a series victory, winning 9-5 and 7-5 to sweep Saturday’s double dip at Dunkin’ Donuts Park.

Shane Paradine finished the day 4-for-7, hitting .571 with a pair of doubles and a home run, leading the Seawolves in all three categories. Colton Book earned the win in game number one, throwing two scoreless in relief while striking out three. Devin Sharkey received the win in game two, a 2.1 inning relief effort.

The big blow for Stony Brook in the opener was a four-run ninth in a seven-inning contest, as Matt Brown-Eiring’s fielder’s choice allowed the go-ahead run to score. He would then score on an error by the third baseman that plated two.

In game two, the Seawolves scored in four of the seven frames, including a pair of runs in three innings. A RBI groundout and wild pitch gave Stony Brook the lead in the fifth before a two-run double in the sixth from Evan Giordano gave the Seawolves much-needed insurance.

“I’m very proud of the guys. The last two weekends, we’ve dropped that first game but we have been able to lock back in and battle back to win the series. Today specifically… it is not easy to sweep doubleheaders but we were able to be physically and mentally tough. We had some guys sick and then some guys get hurt but everybody stepped up and we were able to get the win,” said head coach Matt Senk. ‘Today was a total team effort and I couldn’t be more proud of our team.”

The team returns home for a three-game set with UAlbany. First pitch on Friday is slated for 3 p.m., at Joe Nathan Field.

Looking to build momentum after their victory over Stony Brook School three days earlier, the Lady Royals of Port Jefferson hit a roadblock Saturday morning when they hosted West Babylon. 

In this first league game of the season, they fell to the Eagles 18-5. A young team that had only formed in 2017, the Port Jeff roster includes only four seniors, four sophomores and seven freshmen, who will be challenged in the Class D 2022 campaign. The Lady Royals retook the field on March 29 at home against the Smithtown West Bulls, where the Royals lost, 14-3. 

— Photos by Bill Landon 

The Royals of Port Jefferson stayed just ahead of the Frogs of Carle Place on March 9 in the Class C Long Island Championship game at Shoreham-Wading River High School until halfway through the 3rd quarter when the Nassau champions tied the game at 28 all. 

From there, Carle Place edged ahead with their surging defense controlling the boards and put the game away 55-44 to advance to the New York State regional finals Mar. 12. 

Lola Idir topped the scoring chart for the Royals with 3 triples, 3 field goals and a pair of free throws for 17 points. Senior forward Abigail Rolfe scored 4 from the floor and was again perfect from the charity stripe — sinking 5 for 13 points — and senior Annie Maier nailed 3 triples and a field goal for 11. The Royals conclude their 2021-22 campaign with an impressive 17-4 record.

It’s “mamba mentality,” Cole Keating, an 11th grader at Comsewogue High School said.

Cole, who just turned 17, is on the autism spectrum. High functioning, his mom Lea Keating said that Cole might be different, but that doesn’t mean he’s not less.

The high school junior, who idolizes stars like the late Kobe Bryant and is a fan of the Knicks, always wanted to be on a team. He simply wanted to play. It was Bryant who once said mamba mentality means to be able to constantly try to be the best version of yourself.

Ever since he was little, Cole said, he loved sports — especially basketball because of his height. “I’d play with my Little Tikes basketball hoop,” he said. “I wasn’t very good — not like what I am now.”

People who are on the autism spectrum often have special interests that they become passionate about. Cole has always been into sports. Lea said that ever since he was little, he would memorize players scores and rankings. He’d watch any game he could find on TV. Funny enough, she said neither she or her husband are big sports fans. But they do have one that they cheered on every week this past season: Cole — No. 40 on the court.

Since middle school — seventh grade to be exact — all Cole wanted to do was get onto the junior varsity team. However, he never made the cut. He eventually joined an off-campus travel league two years ago created by Glen Santoro and that’s where he began to excel, learn the ropes and get out of his comfort zone. 

“Cole unfortunately didn’t make the team a couple of times in the school district and his mom said to me that he was looking for a place to play,” Santoro said.

Since it was a travel team, he told Lea and Cole, “It was going to be very intense, a lot of running and yelling,” and added, “But I was so blown away by how prepared and how serious he was … and how much he wanted to improve.”

Cole’s mom explained that, “Sports always calmed Cole down. His social skills come into play on the basketball court.” He would practice after each game, taking critiques and working hard to get it just right. “Even the little things that I yelled out during the game, he took seriously and wanted to work on,” Santoro said.

Fast forward to now.

The athlete towers at 6 feet, 3 inches tall over his teammates as he shoots and every so often scores. “He knows how to use his body well,” Santoro said. 

“He’s smart, he knows what to do and he knows his role. By using all that, he was finally able to make the school team.”

It wasn’t easy, said Comsewogue JV basketball coach Noah Buffins. “The first few rounds of tryouts, I cut him,” he said. “But what makes this story great is that he won’t stop.”

After growing and learning from Santoro and that travel team, Cole finally gained the confidence to try out one more time for the Warriors.

“I think Cole is able to show coach what he’s learned over the last couple years — what he’s learned, how he’s grown and what a great player he has become and he helped us win games over the years,” Santoro said. “He really listened.”

And in the fall of 2021, Cole tried out. Lea received a text that read just three little words, “I did it.” He followed it with, “It’s about time.” Lea screenshot the message and sent it to everyone.

“Our second game of the year was a very big game, Longwood,” Buffins said. “We put him in the game and we win the game … I was blown away. You can tell he’s got so much passion and so much love for it that nobody’s going to stop him.”

Buffins said that he is happy he was able to share these memories with Cole over the season: “That’s what it’s about … making memories.”

And the memories are great ones. 

Lea said that Cole had his first actual birthday party with his teammates, who have become his friends, just last month. The guys took him to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner and hung out together to celebrate the big 17.

“A lot of times when you’re on the autism spectrum, you think about yourself a lot and it’s hard to get outside of yourself,” she said. “So, for him to have the opportunity to have genuine real friends and to support his team, basketball has taught him all these life lessons that we’ve always tried to teach him.”

So, what’s next for this superstar? He’s gearing up to try out for the varsity team next year. The ultimate goal is when he gets to college to play for a D1 team, too.

Mamba mentality — he’s making Kobe proud.

Port Jeff senior forward Peter Murphy looks for the rebound for the Royals in a victory over Shelter Island in a league VII home game Jan 11. Photo by Bill Landon

It was all Port Jefferson in a league VII home game against Shelter Island where the Royals made short work of the Islanders with a 71-11 victory Jan. 11. 

Senior Peter Murphy led the way for the Royals with 7 rebounds and 6 field goals for 12 points, Steven Bayer hit a triple and 4 field goals for 11 and Conor Daily banked 10. 

The win lifts the Royals to 6-2 in league 6-3 overall. Port Jeff retakes the court Jan. 13 with another home game against Greenport. Tip-off is at 6:15 p.m.

— All photos by Bill Landon

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Senior forward Joey Marchese rebounds for the Wildcats at home against Hampton Bays. Photo by Bill Landon

Shoreham-Wading River briefly held onto a four-point lead with 2 minutes left in regulation when the visiting Baymen of Hampton Bays rallied to tie the game at 49 all with 1:54 left in the game. 

The Wildcats scored at the :59 second mark to take a 51-49 advantage that set up a nail-biting finish, but were able to hold on for the win. The Wildcats were at full strength after an extended football season sidelined some of their starters (needing to meet the required number of practices), in the first few games of this early season. 

Senior Liam Leonard led the way for the Wildcats with two field goals, two trey’s and five free throws for 15 points followed by teammate Anthony Osness, who banked five from the floor and one from the line for 11 points.

— All photos by Bill Landon 

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Senior running back Max Barone finds a hole in the Wildcats 70-13 rout over Center Moriches in the out-bracket playoff round Nov 5. Bill Landon photo

When Center Moriches the No. 8 seed met Shoreham-Wading River the No. 1 seed in the opening round of the football playoff season, the results were predictable. 

But the Red Devils ran into a freight train Friday night at Thomas A Cutinella Memorial Field when the Wildcats crushed their visitors 70-13. 

Leading the way for the Wildcats was freshman Will Hart who found the endzone four times, seniors Max Barone scored three with teammate Liam Leonard punching in twice. 

Ryan Herr the junior rounded out the scoring for the Wildcats who are now 8-1 and will host the semi-final round Nov. 12. 

Game time is set for 7 p.m. and tickets can be purchased online at gofan.co/app/school/NYSPHSAAXI for $8 or $10 at the door.

— All photos by Bill Landon

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Ward Melville junior Nick Gaffney out of the backfield for the Patriots Oct 22. Photo by Bill Landon

By Bill Landon

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The Ward Melville Patriots steamrolled over visiting Bay Shore in a 41-0 rout at home Oct. 22. It started when wide receiver Nolan Fontana punched in from 6 yards out for the opening score. Senior quarterback Chris Prussen ripped a 42-yarder to find the endzone at the 3:38 mark of the 1st quarter and with Jackson Weber’s foot, led 14-0. Nick Gaffney answered the call in the 2nd quarter with a pair of short yardage touchdowns to lead 28-0 at the half. At the 8-minute mark in the 3rd Gaffney struck again with a short run for the score to put the Patriots out front 34-0. Running back Jack Woodworth sealed the deal with a late game 10-yard run for six and with Weber’s kick completed the 41-0 shutout.  

Prussen led his team in yardage with 111 yards on 8 attempts and Gaffney covered 86 yards on 11 carries. 

The win lifts the Patriots to 5-2. The team  will play their regular season finale on the road against William Floyd. 

 Photos by Bill Landon

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By Bill Landon

[email protected]

The Kingsmen of Kings Park raided Warrior nation and put a damper on Comsewogue’s homecoming football game Oct 23 where the Warriors struggled to find traction. Kings Park quarterback Jonathon Borkowski punched in for the score on a keeper in the final minute of the opening quarter and followed it up four minutes later with 10-yard touchdown run to put his team out front 14-0.

On Comsewogue’s ensuing possession Kings Park cornerback Kyle Weeks stepped in front of Brady Shannon’s shovel pass for a pick six that covered 41 yards. Kings Park senior Mert Duman whose foot was perfect on the day made it 21-0 at the half. Jonathan Borkowski’s 10-yard run found the endzone midway through the 3rd quarter for the 28-0 lead. Kings Park senior Nick Laviano broke free for a 60-yard run early in the 4th for a 35-0 advantage. Shannon the senior quarterback would avoid the shutout in the closing minutes with an 11-yard run for the score and with Josh Carrolls kick concluded the game for your 35-7 final.

The win lifts Kings Park to 5-1 in Div-III while the loss drops the Warriors to 2-5. Comsewogue concludes their 2021 campaign when they retake the field Oct 29 hosting Hills West. Kings Park is also back in action on Oct 29 with a road game against East Islip. Kickoff for both games is six o’clock. 

 Photos by Bill Landon