The Hampton Bays girls basketball team continues to reach goal after goal. Last week, the Lady Baymen won sole possession of the League VII title after winning, 74-55, at Babylon on Thursday, February 6. Had they lost, the Lady Baymen would have shared the league title with Center Moriches.
It’s the first league title for Hampton Bays (9-1 League VII, 16-2 overall) since the 2007-2008 season, according to athletic director Drew Walker. “We wanted to win the title outright. We didn’t want to share anything,” Hampton Bays head coach Pat McGunnigle said, with a chuckle. “Winning the league title also means there wouldn’t be any doubt in terms of seeding. There is no doubt we should be the top seed.”
Hampton Bays, which was awarded the number one seed, will host the winner of the Mercy/Port Jefferson game tonight, Thursday, at 6 p.m. in what will be the Lady Baymen’s first playoff game in two years. Hampton Bays put a hurting on both teams earlier this season, winning both games by an average of 46.5 points.
Should the Lady Baymen win on Thursday, they will play the winner of the Center Moriches/Mattituck game for the Class B title on Tuesday, February 18, at Northport High School at 4 p.m. Center Moriches handed Hampton Bays its only League VII loss this season, but McGunnigle said he doesn’t care which team he would face in the finals.
“I think they are kind of equal. There’s no advantage of one over the other,” McGunnigle said of Center Moriches and Mattituck.
Last week’s regular-season finale at Babylon went as most of the games this season have gone for Hampton Bays. The Lady Baymen led the whole game, breaking things open with a 28-17 second quarter. Sophomore Alexis Fotopoulos scored 24 points, senior Trish Liotta scored 18 and sophomore Hannah Reed chipped in with 10 points. Junior Alex Maitland-Ward brought down 12 rebounds.
The Hampton Bays boys basketball team finished out the season with two more losses, bringing the Baymen’s final record to 0-14 in League VII, 1-17 overall. It’s the worst record under 17-year head coach Pete Meehan, who said not having a very competitive team in an extremely competitive league is simply a bad combination.
“Losing is always tough,” he said. “We lost a lot last year but we were in most games. There wasn’t a single game decided by less than 10 points this season. Even in the game we won it was a 10-point game.
“The lack of being able to be competitive was what was frustrating,” Meehan added. “The game was over well before final buzzer. We definitely got better the second time through the league, at least every score indicated that, with the one exception being Mercy.”
Hampton Bays lost, 50-30, at Mercy on February 4 before losing, 57-36, at home to Babylon on Friday. At Mercy, the Baymen held a 7-2 lead toward the end of the first quarter before the Monarchs hit a buzzer-beating three at the end of the quarter to make it a two-point game. Then the Monarchs took over in the second quarter to go on to victory.
Hampton Bays shot 10 for 36 overall, 8 for 23 from the foul line. Senior Joe Calamita scored eight points while fellow senior Dan Marte and sophomore Matt Rinaldi scored seven points each.
Meehan went with all of his seniors in the starting lineup in the season finale against Babylon on Friday night, and his first sub in was a senior as well. Babylon led 19-6 after the first quarter, though, and led the rest of the game. Calamita scored 10 points in his final game of his career.
Calamita is one of six seniors who are expected to graduate in June. Joining him is Marte, leading scorer Phil DiPierdomenico, Joe Veeck, Chris Ruiz and Kevin Agoglia, who hit a three-pointer against Babylon. Meehan appreciated the play of Calamita throughout the season.
“It’s not easy being a point guard for an 0-14 team in a real competitive league,” he said. “Kudos to him though. It’s tough to think where we would be if it were not for him.”