The Westhampton Beach girls basketball team is heading into the holiday break on a sour note after losing, 60-20, at home to Harborfields on Thursday, December 19. It concluded what had been a good week for the Lady Hurricanes after winning, 58-39, at Rocky Point on December 17 and 38-31 at home over Southampton the day before.
Westhampton Beach is 5-3 overall and 2-2 in League V, which is what head coach Mike Polan was shooting for heading into the holiday break. “We’ve got some time off now,” he said. “We had some people get dinged up [against Harborfields]. Over the break we’ll regroup and give it a go a second time around.”
With a senior-laden team this season, Westhampton Beach is hoping to reach the playoffs for the first time since the 2011-12 campaign. While the Lady Canes are doing well in non-league games, they are struggling somewhat in League V contests, and Polan said his team is going to have to do better if it wants to reach the postseason.
“It’s definitely a tough league,” he said. “The kids are talking about the playoffs … we’re going to have to do better than this to get to the playoffs. And it’s not going to be an easy road. We still have yet to play Comsewogue or Islip.”
The Lady Hurricanes looked overmatched in their loss to Harborfields. They couldn’t get a defensive rebound and were forced to rush their offense against a stingy Lady Tornado defense. The 20 points Westhampton Beach scored were, by far, a season low. Sophomore Shea Casey and seniors Julia Frangeskos and Lauren Smith all had four points each.
“They’re definitely the best team we’ve played this year,” Polan said of Harborfields. “They’re probably going to win [Class A]. We just have a hard time handling other teams’ pressure on offense. That pressure, for whatever reason, we can’t handle it.
“The effort was good, we were just overmatched,” he added. “Sometimes teams are just better than you, and they were, but I think we’re better than we showed. It was a little disappointing. The turnovers, the missed layups … it was frustrating.”
It was a much different story when the Lady Canes took on Rocky Point. They were able to get the ball inside to Casey, who went on to have a career game with 19 points and 10 rebounds. After a close third quarter, Westhampton Beach outscored Rocky Point 17-9 in the fourth to close things out. Smith had 14 points while senior Brooke Alpert chipped in with nine.
Westhampton Beach also defeated Southampton last week for the first time in a quite a while. Polan couldn’t pin-point an exact date of the last time his team defeated the Lady Mariners, but he said it’s been several years.
Southampton, which lost nearly its entire roster to graduation, is led by senior Noelle Hodges. Polan said the plan was to focus primarily on her and she was still able to score 21 points. Westhampton Beach, leading by just a point heading into the last quarter, outscored Southampton 15-9 in the fourth to hold on to the victory. Casey, Smith and junior Kathleen Mensch all had eight points each.
The Westhampton Beach boys basketball team suffered its first two League V defeats of the season, a 58-52 overtime loss at home to Rocky Point on December 17 followed two days later by a 69-52 loss at Harborfields.
The loss to Rocky Point could be considered a bit of an upset. There isn’t much expected of the Eagles this season, while the Canes (2-2 League V, 3-2 overall) had won their first two league games of the season and have high hopes of making the postseason. Westhampton Beach junior Devonte Dixon was in foul trouble from the opening whistle, though, leaving the Canes without their leading scorer.
Seniors Luke Dyer and Mike Frangeskos did their best to step up though in the absence of Dixon. Dyer hit a game-tying three pointer with less than a minute remaining in regulation to tie the score at 48-48 and eventually send the game to overtime. Rocky Point’s Frank Moscatiello scored four of his 14 points in overtime to lead the Eagles to victory.
Frangeskos finished with a game-high 19 points in the loss while Dyer had 18. Dixon, in limited action, scored 11 points.
Harborfields just simply outplayed Westhampton Beach last week. The returning New York State Class A champion Tornadoes led 46-28 heading into the fourth quarter.
Dixon rebounded with a game-high 26 points while Frangeskos scored 18. Dyer was the next leading scorer with just three points.
Westhampton Beach will be competing in the inaugural Anthony Parlato “Help Someone Today” Memorial Tournament at Center Moriches High School on Friday and Saturday. There is a $3 admission to all of the games and proceeds benefit the Moriches Community Center and the Anthony Parlato Scholarship Fund. Anthony Parlato III was a Center Moriches resident who died unexpectedly this past spring. His son, Anthony Parlato IV, is a member of the Center Moriches boys basketball team. East Hampton and Mattituck will also be competing in the tournament.
ON THE SCHEDULE: Girls—Friday, 1/3, vs. Miller Place, 11:45; Tuesday, 1/7, at Comsewogue, 5:45 p.m. Boys—Friday, 12/27, vs. East Hampton, 5 p.m.; Saturday, 12/28, Anthony Parlato Memorial Tournament at Center Moriches; Friday, 1/3, at Shoreham/Wading River, 12:30 p.m.; Tuesday, 1/7, vs. Comsewogue, 4 p.m.