Lady Baymen Basketball Passes Early-Season Test

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The Hampton Bays girls basketball team had an early-season test last week, facing arguably the top two teams in League VI. Although they split their games against Elwood/John Glenn and Mount Sinai, it’s safe to say the Lady Baymen passed that test.

Hampton Bays lost in overtime at defending league champion Glenn, 59-58, on December 8, then defeated Mt. Sinai, 44-40, at home on Thursday, December 10.

“If you told me before the season started we’d be 1-1 after those two games I’d take it,” Hampton Bays head coach John Paga said. “The flip side of that is that we could easily be 2-0 in the league. But we’re 3-1 [overall], we graduated three starters from last year, so we’re playing a lot of girls that didn’t play a lot last year, so, we’re in good shape.”

Glenn won the League VI title last year with an undefeated record but Hampton Bays nearly handed it its first league loss in more than a year. Down three points with two seconds left in regulation, senior Alexis Fotopoulos was fouled while taking a three-pointer. She made all three free throws to send the game to overtime, where the Lady Baymen quickly jumped out to a four-point lead.

But after a score by Glenn, Hampton Bays committed a turnover on the ensuing inbounds play, and the Lady Knights tied it up and eventually took the lead. Now chasing a single point to tie the game with 40 seconds left, sophomore Mackenzie Tyler took a contested layup but it didn’t go in, and Glenn held on for the victory.

Fotopoulos finished with 33 points and senior Hannah Reed scored 13 points. Hampton Bays was vulnerable in the paint, due to the physical size of Glenn’s players, Paga said. Alexis Groark led the Lady Knights with 18 points, most of which came down low, and T’orra Scurry and Julia Molano each grabbed 14 rebounds.

“We knew they were going to be tough to beat,” Paga said. “They turned around and beat what’s supposed to be an excellent team in Central Islip on Saturday, so a win against them would have been huge. Now we know we can play with them though.”

Mt. Sinai is returning all five of its starters from last season and came into last week’s game at Hampton Bays undefeated after three non-league games. The Lady Baymen led, 13-5, after the first quarter, but that was their biggest lead of the night. Their 33-28 lead after the third quarter held up, even though they were outscored by the Lady Mustangs, 12-11, in the fourth.

What may be more impressive in the win is that Fotopoulos didn’t lead the team in scoring. In fact, she wasn’t even close, scoring just five points, although she did contribute with 11 rebounds and helped limit Mt. Sinai’s best scorer, Gabby Sartori, to only eight points. Paga explained that Fotopoulos was facing double coverage most of the night, and when she wasn’t, she was being shadowed all over the court.

That meant that other players needed to step up, and they did. Senior Liz Ottati came off the bench and scored a career-high seven points, most of which came in the first half. Tyler scored a game-high 13 points and sophomore Anna Rose Dean scored 10 while Reed chipped in with nine.

Hampton Bays played at Miller Place on Tuesday and will host Bayport/Blue Point on Thursday, December 17, at 5:45 p.m. A non-league game at Comsewogue (League V) on Monday, December 21, is the team’s last game before the holiday break. Tip off is scheduled for 6:15 p.m.

Boys

It’s been a frustrating start to the season for the Hampton Bays boys basketball team, as shooting woes have led to a couple of lopsided losses, and that was the case in two of last week’s three games.

After losing, 62-26, at home to Glenn on December 8, and losing, 62-31, at Mt. Sinai on Thursday, December 10, the Baymen lost a closely contested non-league game, 56-47, at home to Shelter Island (League VIII) on Saturday. Hampton Bays shot a combined 23 for 85 (27 percent) from the field in the losses to Glenn and Mt. Sinai. They improved slightly against Shetler Island, shooting 16 for 48 against the Indians, and hitting six three-pointers.

The downfall was the fourth quarter, which the Baymen were outscored in, 14-4. Trailing by three points with 2:40 remaining in the game, Hampton Bays intentionally fouled Shelter Island to keep the game close, but the Indians made 11 of their 13 tries from the line to the seal up the win. Tristan Wissemann, Shelter Island’s leading scorer, went 10 of 10 from the line and led all scorers with 24 points, which was under his season average. Hampton Bays head coach Pete Meehan was happy with the way juniors Armen Bandic and Antonio Kull covered Wissemann.

Sophomore David Kreig had a career game in the loss to Shelter Island, scoring 17 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Senior Matt Rinaldi also had a nice game, scoring 15 points, with seven rebounds and four assists, and made four of the team’s six three-pointers. Senior Tyler Carbone scored nine points and accrued seven rebounds. The team totaled 11 assists on its 16 field goals made, a sign of hopefully improving offensive numbers.

“We played better, we just didn’t play well enough to win. But there were more positives than negatives,” Meehan said. “We showed signs of improvement. I thought it was, without a doubt, our best game of the season so far.”

The Baymen hosted Miller Place on Tuesday and will play at Bayport/Blue Point on Thursday, December 17, at 4:30 p.m.

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