The Southampton girls basketball team struggled through a winless season last year, going 0-10 in League VII, 0-17 overall, but longtime head coach Richard “Juni” Wingfield remains ever optimistic about what a new season holds in store.
Wingfield admits that his team is not among the favorites in League VII, which has a new look this year as it now includes all the teams from League VIII as well. The League VII teams will play each other twice, and will also play each League VIII team once, and vice versa. While Wingfield may not have the type of year-round committed basketball players like he had a few years ago when the team won back-to-back county and Long Island championships, he does have depth this year, as several newcomers have joined the team, many of whom are athletic and have a strong work ethic honed from their commitment to other sports.
Returning for the Lady Mariners are senior guards Chloe Scheuch and Tavia Jeffries, senior forward/guard Samona Ward, who led the team in scoring last year, senior guard/forward Brook-Lyn Walker, junior guard Margarita Trujillo, junior guard Myana Smith, sophomore guard Amira Nation, and junior guard Sita Kadash. Southampton also welcomes back senior guard Gianni Willis, who is originally from Southampton, moved to Hicksville and played for their varsity last year, and is now back in Southampton.
New to the team are junior guard Shelby Pierson, sophomore guard Grace Lynch, senior guard Chloe Schmidt, senior forward Alex Ambrose, freshman guard Taylor Pike, and freshman forward Ayanna Ray.
“We have experience, with eight returning players, and we also have some maturity,” Wingfield said. “We still don’t have any girls who’ve ever made basketball their first sport. But we carry a larger roster than we have in the past, so we will have depth.”
The Lady Mariners will need to find a way to put more points on the board if they want to win—last season, they averaged less than 30 points per game.
Wingfield said he expects Mattituck to be the most formidable team in the league, while Babylon should be strong as well. Hampton Bays, the defending Class B county champion, has moved into Class A and League VI this year.
Southampton will kick off the season at home against Mercy on December 11.