ESM girls drop first two league contests

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It was a rough week for the Eastport South Manor girls basketball team as it lost its first two League IV games of the season, the first being a 68-40 loss at one of the best teams in the county, Half Hollow Hills West, on January 6, and the second a 52-46 loss to Deer Park at home on Friday.

Hills West is one of the best teams in the county, according to ESM head coach Steve Giacolone, because they have three guards who can score 20 points a game. Christina Marra and Charnelle Saint-Laurent, two all-county players from last season, led the Lady Colts with 20 and 14 points, respectively. Raven Lewis added 16 points and nine rebounds for Hills West.

“There wasn’t much we could do,” Giacolone said. “We were down 18 in the third quarter and then at one point we made a run with a minute to go and got as close as 15 points but then they shut us down again.”

Alex Marshall had 12 points for the Lady Sharks against Hills West and Laura Diehl had 10.

Against Deer Park, Giacolone said he thought it was an evenly matched game but his team just didn’t do well from the start.

“I thought early in the game we turned the ball over,” he said. “They were very physical. We just didn’t take care of the ball. We turned the ball over unnecessarily. We got things going a little bit and outscored them from the field, but we sent them to the line 33 times, and they hit their free throws. It was a game I felt we were capable of winning.”

ESM’s leading scorer Marshall was out the first half of the first quarter and the entire second quarter because of foul trouble but still led the team with 14 points, while Tara Gerstacker had 10. Shayna Robinson led the Lady Falcons with 19 points, and Kayla Saraniero had 14.

While the season is not totally over for ESM with the two league losses, Giacolone said his team needs to do well against teams it is evenly matched with because those will be the games that will make or break a team’s playoff chances.

ESM was home Tuesday as it played Riverhead. The Lady Sharks will be at West Babylon Thursday night at 5:45 p.m. and will be back home on Saturday afternoon to host Bellport at 1:45 p.m.

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