A 15-7 advantage for East Hampton in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference, as the Westhampton Beach girls basketball team fell to 1-9 in League VI, 1-14 overall with a 35-25 home loss to the Lady Bonackers (2-7, 3-8) on Thursday in Westhampton Beach.
The Lady Hurricanes were competitive for much of the game against the Lady Bonackers, who have had similar struggles to be competitive in a tough league this year. East Hampton held a 13-8 halftime lead and the Lady Canes trimmed the deficit to just two points going into the final quarter, trailing 20-18.
While Westhampton Beach head coach Mike Polan said he was pleased with his team’s defense throughout the game, he said that poor shooting and a lack of a balanced offense hurt his team’s chances. Senior Nicole Komorowski led all scorers with 13 points, while freshman Kristen Polan finished with 11 points, but the lone other point for the team was scored by Ciara McKeon.
Polan added that it was tough to see a good chance to get another victory slip away.
“It’s disappointing because we turn the ball over a lot,” he said. “I think that comes from our lack of experience. The bottom line is that we’re not shooting well. East Hampton played a good game and they were aggressive and played hard, but when we don’t shoot well and don’t get offensive rebounds, it makes things difficult.
“East Hampton knew who our scorers were,” he continued. “So they were locking down on them a little better. It’s not that we didn’t play hard, we just need to get scoring from other people. But I was definitely pleased that we only gave up 35 points and we showed toughness at times, so that was a positive.”
Before the loss to East Hampton, the Lady Canes were downed 52-36 at Amityville (7-3, 10-5) on January 20. Westhampton Beach fell behind 15-3 in the first quarter and played better throughout the rest of the game but could not catch up.
“I think our kids went into Amityville a little intimidated because that can be a tough place to play,” Polan said. “In the second half, we were only outscored by two points. I think that was a case of when we finally realized we could play with them.”
The Lady Canes showed aggressiveness, getting to the free-throw line 26 times, but they connected on just eight of those shots.
“That hurt us right there,” Polan said. “Amityville plays a more aggressive style of defense, so I was glad we didn’t back down.”
Polan added that he expected a physical game from the Lady Warriors, but said that in the more recent matchup against them, the officials were more reluctant to blow the whistle, another factor that hindered his team.
“The officiating was a little more loose there, and that makes it difficult for us,” he said. “I’m not saying the officiating had anything to do with the loss, but if the game isn’t called tight and you’re playing an aggressive team, it knocks you back a couple of steps.”
Polan said that throughout what has been a tough season, he’s been pleased with the effort his players have put forth on defense, but said they will have to figure out a way to score more points if they want to pick up more wins before the end of the season and stay competitive against some of the tough squads in the league.
The Lady Canes have a tough few games coming, beginning with a visit to first-place Elwood/John Glenn (9-0) on Friday at 7 p.m. followed by home game against Shoreham/Wading River (7-3) on Tuesday at 6:15 p.m.
Boys Drop Pair
The Westhampton Beach boys basketball team had the misfortune of taking on two of the toughest teams in League VI last week, falling 84-60 at home against third-place Amityville (7-3) on January 20 before suffering an 87-51 loss at first-place East Hampton (9-1) on Thursday. The losses dropped the Hurricanes to 1-9 in league play, 3-11 overall.
Guard Michael Corrigan had a phenomenal game in the loss to East Hampton, leading all scorers with 31 points while hitting eight three-pointers. He hit three of his shots from beyond the arc in the first quarter, keeping his team in the game. Westhampton Beach trailed 21-15 after the first quarter. But the Bonackers outscored Westhampton Beach 25-7 in the second quarter to take control for good. Tyler Jones and Mark Podlas were the next highest scorers for the Canes with six points each.
Against Amityville, Corrigan had another impressive game, finishing with 22 points, but it was not enough as his team fell behind by 17 points at halftime. Jones had 19 points while John Papajohn contributed eight points.
The Canes will host second-place Elwood/John Glenn on Friday and will visit Shoreham/Wading River on Tuesday for a 5:45 p.m. game.