The Hampton Bays girls basketball team lost its first game in nearly two months on Monday night, suffering a 59-34 defeat to Harborfields in the Small Schools Championship at Farmingdale State University. It’s the first loss the Lady Baymen have suffered since January 7, when they were downed, 66-65, in overtime at Center Moriches.
Monday’s loss has no bearing on the season for Hampton Bays though, as it will still play in the Class B Long Island Championship on Tuesday, March 4, against Oyster Bay at 6:30 p.m. at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue.
The Lady Baymen got off to a good start on Monday night, jumping out to a 7-0 lead just a minute into the game. But after Harborfields called a timeout with 5:56 left in the first quarter, then Lady Tornadoes went on a 14-5 run to take a 14-12 lead into the second.
Hampton Bays couldn’t get any type of offense going in the second quarter, while Harborfields scored at will in the paint, led by Donajja Scott, who led all scorers with 20 points. Harborfields also got some crisp passing from guard Toni Deren.
The Lady Tornadoes led, 31-19 at the half, then stretched their lead to almost 20 points by the end of the third. With 2:55 remaining in the game, both coaches started to sub out their starters.
Senior Haley Wood led Hampton Bays with 10 points, six of which came in the first quarter. Junior Alex Maitland-Ward had seven points while junior Mary Kelly Hilton, who started in place of injured senior Trish Liotta, scored six points. The team’s two top scorers, sophomores Alexis Fotopoulos and Hannah Reed, were held to a combined nine points.
“We started off real well, but then we couldn’t hit a shot,” Hampton Bays head coach Pat McGunnigle said. “We didn’t run our offense and Harborfields is a good team.”
McGunnigle added that Scott was a force inside for Harborfields and that his players are not used to playing against players of her size and skill. The plan was to double Scott in the paint but the Lady Baymen weren’t able to execute that plan.
“We didn’t have anybody who could match up with [Scott],” McGunnigle said. “When you go against someone like that for the first time it’s like you’re in shock, and that’s what happened. She killed us.”
McGunnigle said that not having Liotta in the lineup was also a factor. Liotta injured her knee in the county final against Mattituck last week and is questionable to be ready for the Long Island Championship next week.
Hampton Bays took care of Pierson, 62-35, in the B/C game at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue on Saturday night.
Hampton Bays had a 36-17 lead at halftime, but Pierson was able to turn things around with a 9-6 third quarter. The Lady Baymen’s offense reappeared in the fourth quarter, though, using a 20-8 frame to close out the game.
McGunnigle said his team simply lost its focus in the third, which led to the Lady Baymen’s lowest point total in a quarter this season. McGunnigle, though, was happy with the way Reed stepped up her game in the absence of Liotta. Reed scored a game-high 15 points and also had seven rebounds.
Fotopoulos, the team’s leading scorer, had 14 points to go with five assists. She was covered heavily by Pierson seniors Kasey Gilbride and May Evjen.
Sophomore Erica Selyukova led Pierson with 14 points and impressed both head coaches on the floor. “She had a great game. One of the best games I’ve ever seen her play since I started coaching her as an eighth-grader,” Pierson head coach Kevin Barron said. “She faced the basket every single time. Her moves to the basket were tremendous. Everything was clicking for her.”
Overall, Barron was happy with the way his team played against one of the top offenses in Suffolk County. One of the team’s goals was to limit Fotopoulos, which it was able to do.
“We played our game defensively, and held our own in the first quarter,” Barron explained. “In the second quarter, they came out really strong and took a big lead. They were just too strong for us and had too many weapons on offense.”
Pierson still has its Class C Long Island Championship game to play on Tuesday, March 4, against Friends Academy at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue. Tip-off is slated for 4 p.m. Friends Academy has won back-to-back Class C Nassau County titles and is the defending Long Island Champ as well.