The Hampton Bays Lady Baymen are 2-0 in League VII girls basketball after beating Port Jefferson on December 22, but the team’s overall record is now 4-5 after it lost a 49-28 decision to Lindenhurst at the Newfield Holiday Tournament on December 26.
Hampton Bays eked out a 49-47 win over Newfield in the Holiday Hoop Dreams Invitational Tournament’s consolation game on December 27. Forward Kait Cooper, a senior, and 5-foot-10 forward April Bennet, a junior, each scored 11 points for the Lady Baymen. Last year’s League VII rookie of the year, freshman guard Theresa Carey, scored 10 points and had five assists and four steals. Carey, who was named to the all-tournament team, led her team with 11 points against Lindenhurst, which went on to beat Southold and win the tournament.
“I think that was a tournament we legitimately had a shot in,” Hampton Bays head coach Dave Goodman said, pointing out that his top player, junior center Rachel Tufano, a returning all- league player, was out with a stomach virus during the two-day tournament. “She’s our leading scorer and leading rebounder,” he said, noting that Tufano had scored 85 points in the seven games she’s played this season. The win over Newfield without Tufano “made me really happy,” Goodman said, clearly proud of his team, which he said lost 85 percent of its scoring power to graduation from last season’s county championship team.
Despite losing the team’s major scorers from last year, Goodman said his players are acclimating to their new roles as scorers, rather than assisting their graduated teammates. “They’re getting better and better” with more time on the court, he said. “I’m excited.”
Against Port Jefferson, “everything just clicked,” Goodman said, noting that the Lady Baymen owned the day with a “real easy win.” The team shut down Port Jefferson’s nearly 6-foot tall star player and senior forward Alexandria Lanieri, who has been an All-County selection for the last two years, by doubling up on her. Still, Goodman said Lanieri managed to score 13 points, but Hampton Bays prevailed. The Lady Baymen were up 28-11 in the first half, with Tufano scoring 11 of the team’s 14 points in the first quarter. Tufano finished the game with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while Bennet scored 10 points and Carey scored eight points, with two three-pointers. Junior point guard Samantha Carey had eight assists.
The Lady Baymen were scheduled to play at Center Moriches at 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday and will host Wyandanch at 7 p.m. on Friday. Next week the team will play at Mattituck at 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday.
“Our next three games are really going to let us know if we can play with those teams,” Goodman said, noting that his squad will face three of the league’s top teams during that stretch.