By Bill Landon
Behind Nora Gabel’s 23 points and eight steals, the Comsewogue girls’ basketball team led coast to coast in Tuesday’s League V opener on the road at Rocky Point, turning a 9-4 lead after one quarter to a 43-22 victory.
Comsewogue controlled the tempo from tipoff, dominated the time of possession and hit the scoreboard over and over.
By halftime, the Warriors battled their way up to a 20-8 lead, but Comsewogue head coach Joe Caltagirone said he knew Rocky Point would be athletic, despite not knowing how they’d be offensively.
“They put a little ball pressure on us and they contested all of our shots,” Caltagirone said of Rocky Point, adding he was pleased with how his team played defensive. “Offensively, I think we have a little ways to go to get to where I want to be this season.”
Despite several turnovers in the first half, the Warriors got their rhythm in the second as the team found the rim. Gabel, a sophomore guard, lit up the scoreboard for Comsewogue with 11 points, which included a pair of three-pointers. Rocky Point senior forward Julia Jauhiainen scored all of her five points in the third quarter, as her team trailed 33-13.
With 5:52 left in the game, Comsewogue worked to unwind the clock, and the teams traded points as time expired.
Gabel, who nailed three treys on the evening, said that she was surprised by the margin of victory.
“In the huddle before the game, I said we have to be hungrier than they were,” Gabel said. “So we went out there and played our hardest and we left it all out on the court.”
Following Gabel for the Warriors was junior guard Megan Turner with seven points, and forwards Sam Collins, a junior, and Victoria Blaney, a sophomore, chipped in four points apiece.
“They’re a strong team, but I don’t think we played up to our standards,” Turner said. “Defensively we’re strong, but our offense needs a little work.”
Rocky Point senior guard Michaela Peacock and junior center Allyson Greenstein matched Jauhiainen with five points each.
Rocky Point head coach Scott Lindsay said Comsewogue is always a tough team to play because they’re physical and have two strong guards.
“They play a strong defense up top, which caused a little problem when they started pressing,” Lindsay said. “With our second group, I was really impressed with how they were moving the ball. We’re improving from game to game — they played hard the whole way and I think we’re building on something here.”
Comsewogue will host Harborfields in its first home game of the season on Thursday. A 5:45 p.m. tipoff is scheduled.