Westhampton Beach Hoop Teams Trying To Stay Alive In Playoff Hunt


While the Westhampton Beach girls basketball team still searches for a scoring threat, head coach Mike Polan continues to piece together a starting lineup in hopes that he can catch lightning in a bottle. In league play, though, nothing has really panned out thus far.

The Lady Hurricanes lost, 50-33, at Comsewogue on January 7 but did win another non-league game, 36-33, at East Hampton on Saturday afternoon. Westhampton Beach, as of Monday, is 2-3 in League V, but a more respectable 6-4 overall. Polan said the difference in records is the lack of scoring against competitive League V teams.

“Most of the teams in the league have two major scorers. We lack that right now,” Polan said. “We don’t really have any type of perimeter jump shooters that can stretch the middle. Right now we’re forcing the ball inside and turning the ball over.

“We’re going to keep working on it,” he said. “I’ve been really trying to find the right combination. When we go big, we don’t shoot well from the perimeter. When we go small, we don’t rebound well. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle but the effort is there. That’s one thing that hasn’t faltered all season and I give them a lot of credit because it’s difficult when you struggle offensively.”

Turnovers were the problem in the loss to Comsewogue. Westhampton Beach was down by nine points by halftime but the Lady Warriors outscored the Lady Canes 15-8 in the third to push things out of reach for the Lady Hurricanes.

Lauren Smith, a senior, had a team-high 11 points in the loss while senior Brooke Alpert followed with six. “As far as I’m concerned, I feel [Comsewogue] was beatable,” Polan said. “When we get these teams back on our home court I think it’ll be a different story, but we do have to make some adjustments.”

Junior Kathleen Mensch scored on a layup with 20 seconds remaining in regulation to put the Lady Canes ahead for good in the win over East Hampton. Senior Zoe Recchion hit a couple of big buckets in the second half to help Westhampton Beach. Alpert finished with a game-high 14 points while Recchion was next with five.

Polan gave a lot of credit to his senior point guard Emma Gristina for her hustle in the team’s most recent games. “She’s been doing a good job for us,” he said. “She’s cut back on her turnovers, and yesterday [against East Hampton], her hustle must have gotten us four or five jump balls, where she tied the ball up instead of letting them get it.”

With the Lady Canes hovering around .500, Polan said the next couple of weeks will determine whether or not they can make the playoffs. “In order for us to make the playoffs, we’re going to have to start splitting a lot of these games with teams that we lost to earlier in the year,” he said.

Down Week For Boys

The Westhampton Beach boys basketball team lost both of its games last week and, as of Monday, had only one victory in its last seven games, after starting the season 3-0. The Hurricanes lost, 54-53, at home to Comsewogue on January 7, then lost a non-league game, 65-49, at home to Elwood/John Glenn on Saturday afternoon.

Jake LaPosota drained a three pointer with 51 seconds remaining in regulation to give Comsewogue a 54-50 lead and eventual victory. Jack Campo scored a four-point play with 2:30 remaining to help bring the Warriors back from a 43-38 third-quarter deficit. Junior Devonte Dixon scored a game-high 28 points in the loss for the Canes while senior Mike Frangeskos scored 15.

Even with the losses piling up lately, the Canes are still alive in the playoffs hunt, with a 2-3 League V record (4-6 overall).

ON THE SCHEDULE: Girls—Tuesday, 1/14, vs. Islip; Thursday, 1/16, vs. ESM, 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, 1/18, vs. Miller Place (non-league), 11:45 a.m.; Tuesday, 1/21, at Sayville, 4:30 p.m.
Boys—Tuesday, 1/14, at Islip; Friday, 1/17, at ESM, 5:45 p.m.; Tuesday, 1/21, vs. Sayville, 4 p.m.

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