Lady Canes Basketball Bounces Back After Rough Loss; Boys Earn First Victory

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The Westhampton Beach girls basketball team has followed up each loss with a victory this season, a trend that, if it continues, would clinch a playoff spot for the Lady Hurricanes for the first time since 2011.

Westhampton Beach lost, 58-23, at defending county champion Harborfields on December 15, but then bounced back nicely with a 52-40 victory at home over Amityville on Thursday, December 17. The Lady Canes are 2-2 in League V, 3-3 overall.

The team’s offense struggled in the loss to Harborfields, falling behind 28-13 by halftime, largely due to missed open layups, according to head coach Katie Peters. It also didn’t help that senior Shea Casey was in early foul trouble. Harborfields outscored Westhampton Beach, 30-10, in the second half, and that was with senior Julia Lewis and sophomore Shannon Hewlett limiting Harborfields’ top two players, Christiana de Borja and Angela Deren, to 10 and seven points, respectively, throughout the entire game.

“We played a very good defensive game. Offensively we struggled a little bit with their constant deny man-to-man pressure defense,” Peters said.

“Our girls worked hard from beginning to end,” she added. “We are more than capable of playing with Harborfields and fortunately we will get to play them again at home in January.”

Even though she had limited playing time because of the foul trouble, Casey finished with a team-high 10 points to go along with six rebounds and two steals. Senior Madison Skala grabbed four rebounds and had three steals, eighth-grader Isabelle Smith had three steals, and Lewis had two steals.

Westhampton Beach jumped out on a 10-0 run to start the game against Amityville and never looked back. The Lady Warriors stayed in the game by hitting some deep three-pointers but the Lady Canes never relinquished their first-quarter lead.

Casey scored a game-high 17 points to go along with five steals and four rebounds. Smith finished with 10 points and five rebounds, Skala had six points, seven steals, four rebounds and four assists, and freshman Lindsay Rongo had six points and seven rebounds.

Westhampton Beach played a non-league game at home against Miller Place (League VI) on Monday, and will compete in the annual Coaches v. Cancer Tournament at Hampton Bays High School over the holiday break. The first game of the tournament is scheduled for Monday, December 28, when the Lady Canes will take on Pierson at 11 a.m. Connetquot and host Hampton Bays are the other two teams in the tournament. The final and consolation final will be the next day. The Lady Canes will play their first game back from the break at Shoreham/Wading River on Tuesday, January 5, at 4 p.m.

Boys

The Westhampton Beach boys basketball team won its first game of the season, 44-27, in a non-league contest at Miller Place (League VI) on Saturday. The Hurricanes led most of the game and were led by sophomore Jacob Gaudiello and his game-high 17 points, which included five three-pointers. The 27 points were, by far, the lowest scoring output this season by Miller Place, which was coming off a win over defending county champion Elwood/John Glenn two days prior.

“It was nice having that feeling of winning. I was really happy for the team,” Westhampton Beach head coach John Baumiller said.

The victory came after a 57-51 loss at Amityville on Thursday, December 17, and a 52-32 loss at home to Harborfields on December 15. The Canes (0-4 League V, 1-5 overall) played Amityville strong. They led, 11-8, after the first quarter, and even though they fell behind in the next two quarters, the Canes matched the Warriors (21-21) in the fourth to make it a close game. Senior Nick LaFrese scored 17 points for Westhampton Beach.

Although the loss to Harborfields may have looked lopsided, the Canes held the Tornadoes to one of their lowest scoring games of the season, and Baumiller was pleased with that.

“We’re better now than we were two weeks ago, and two weeks from now we’ll be better than we are now,” he said.

The Canes played another League VI team, Shoreham/Wading River, in a non-league game on Tuesday, and then they’ll have almost a week off before the start of the Coaches v. Cancer Tournament at Hampton Bays on Monday, December 28. Westhampton Beach will face Eastport South Manor in the opening game at 3:30 p.m. Southold joins host Hampton Bays as the other two teams in the tourney. The final and consolation final will be the following day. The Canes will host Islip on Tuesday, January 5, at 4 p.m. in their first game back from the holiday break.

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