02/12/13 3:00pm

ELEANOR P. LABROZZI PHOTO | Coach Peter Miedema goes over the plan with his team of Lady Indians.

Bittersweet feelings marked the varsity girls’ final basketball game of the season at home last Thursday, February 7.

Bitter: The Indians lost to the Port Jefferson Royals, 63-38, plus the team said their goodbyes to four seniors.

Sweet: The team showed determination and improvement throughout the season, and sent the seniors off with wise words.

Senior Corrine Mahoney opened the first quarter on fire with strong defense and four easy points. The Royals, however, came out in full force showing their speed and shooting skills. The three M’s — Morgan McCarthy, senior, Melissa Ames, senior, and Margaret Michalak, freshman — followed Corrine with three layups. Junior Abbie Ross Gates showed her athleticism blocking shots, but the Royals were a tough match, and ended the quarter up 14-10.

Port Jeff’s skill continued to show into the second quarter. The Indians had difficulty executing their plays and needed to make better decisions while passing and organizing the floor. Margaret’s layup and foul shots, followed by Abbie’s 3-pointer weren’t quite enough to close the gap, and the Royals maintained their lead, 26-17. Coach Peter Miedema said, “Our missed opportunities to score early in the game did not create a lead for us in the first half that could have helped us in the second.”

After the half, Morgan’s aggressive drives to the basket helped the Indians put six more points on the board. Port Jeff continued their solid play, with two “little leaders,” Abbie and Kenna, both no taller than 5’2” dominating the court. Their jump shots gave the Indians a total of 10 more points, but the Royals gained 20, ending the quarter 46-27.

An individual highlight of the game occurred at the start of the fourth quarter, when senior Jill Calabro made her first baskets of the season, a nice jump shot followed by a foul shot. The crowd went wild, and the smile on Jill’s face said it all.

Kenna was rebounding well, and her layup was followed by two more by Abbie. Corrine fouled out of the game halfway through the quarter, though held her head high. Port Jeff’s ability to hit 3-pointers worked in their favor, and they took the game over with their skill at creating turnovers. The game ended 63-38. Coach Miedema concluded, “The overall experience of Port Jeff wore us down.”

Season Highlights
Although the Lady Indians didn’t have a winning season, they did have a memorable one. From fun bus rides to hard work on the court, the varsity girls will always treasure their season. Senior co-captain Corrine Mahoney remembers, “My highlight of the season was playing really hard against Southold and only losing by five because the first time we lost by 30. Also, our game against Smithtown Christian had some really good ball movement on offense.”

In addition, senior co-captain Melissa Ames recalls, “I loved seeing improvement in all the younger girls, some with little or no previous experience playing basketball. Everyone has drastically gotten better since the first day to the last practice.”

Coach Miedema shared Melissa’s feelings. “The team overall included many neophytes to the sport, so it took several weeks to expose the girls to the nuances of the game,” he said. “I enjoyed watching the rebuilding of players into a team this year. There were several special quarters in which the team clicked and applied skills that showed development.”

The team finished the season with four wins and eight losses. With the loss of four seniors, the younger team members will need to increase their levels of play in order to become the team they aspire to be — ready for both bitter and sweet.

02/06/13 9:35am

ELEANOR P. LABROZZI PHOTO | Senior Melissa Ames out in front on the fast break against Ross Tuesday.

As the season nears its close, the Shelter Island girls’ basketball team enjoyed a decisive win at home on Tuesday against the Ross School Cosmos.

Both teams started out looking scattered and without purpose. Freshman Kenna McCarthy livened things up for the Indians when she scored a couple of layups and was looking good on defense. Shelter Island dominated the first quarter by gaining 14 easy points. Senior Melissa Ames and junior Abbie Ross-Gates rounded out the scoring.

Shelter Island’s 14-0 start gave different players the opportunity to help out the team. Senior Jill Calabro, sophomore Cameron Clark, and freshman Kelly Colligan were the fresh faces on the court. Kelly’s spunk and speed picked the game up. Seniors Corrine Mahoney, Morgan McCarthy, and Melissa Ames brought the score to 20-3 at the half.

Corrine’s aggressive defense kept the game’s intensity up in the third quarter. Her outstanding layup assisted by Morgan was the highlight of the game. The Indians were beginning to make good looks and cut to the basket, which left Ross on their toes. The quarter ended 30-9.

Ross was feeling the heat and forceful play led to fouls in the fourth. Corrine’s success at foul shooting led the Indians to their 36-15 win over the Cosmos.

The varsity girls will play their last game of the season on Thursday, February 7th against Port Jeff at home at 4:30 p.m.

01/23/13 9:00am

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Shelter Island’s Morgan McCarthy powers past a Stony Brook defender in the Indian’s home loss Friday.

Shelter Island girls’ varsity basketball team welcomed the Southold Settlers on Friday, January 18th to the Island, losing a tight game 41-35. The hard fought match marked the half way point of the girls’ season.

In the first quarter, Shelter Island seemed to be moving the ball around well, but Southold’s overall energy on offense dominated, with the first quarter ending with the Settlers on top 11-1. The Indians strategy came down to playing tougher defense by boxing out for rebounds and being more aggressive.

The second quarter brought some baskets for the Island girls thanks to layups and foul shots by junior Abbie Ross-Gates and freshman Kenna McCarthy. Despite these points, Shelter Island needed to hustle more to keep up with the Settlers’ fast-paced offense. At the half, Abbie had racked up nine points and Kenna five. At the end of the second quarter, the Settlers led 21-14.
Coach Peter Miedema’s talk at half-time must have been an encouraging one, as the Shelter Island team returned with renewed stamina, and better know-how on the court.

The quarter started with marked improvement by individual players, with senior Corrine Mahoney showing lots of endurance, especially when blocking. Senior Morgan McCarthy continued her aggressive defensive, while her sister Kenna charged to the basket and had multiple steals. Senior Melissa Ames and Abbie Ross-Gates were connecting better on the court, and the flow of the game was improving for the Indians. The fans had livened up by this time, and the game seemed to be taking a turn.

Coach Miedema commented, “The third quarter was the best quarter all season because everyone played individually as opposed to having to be reminded.” Points by Melissa and Abbie ended the third quarter with the Indians still down 31-19.

Effort from the third quarter carried into the fourth. Shelter Island was rebounding better and began to execute their plays with more skill. This resulted in layups by Abbie and Melissa and a shot off the backboard by freshman Margaret Michalak. The final quarter was Shelter Island’s best scoring quarter, and the point gap narrowed to 35-31. Abbie led the team in with 15 points, followed by Melissa with eight.

Shelter Island’s inability to follow their shots to the basket and be confident in their offense, however, continued. Both teams were looking more evenly matched on the court towards the end of the fourth quarter. Shelter Island stepped up their defense, but couldn’t overcome Southold’s consistent shooting. The game ended with a score of 41-35.

Coach Miedema reflected on the game in a positive way. “The last time we played Southold, we lost by 25. We constantly stress improvement.” He went on to say, “Our efforts and improvement stood out today.”

Shelter Island girls will face Smithtown Christian at home on Friday, January 25th at 4:30.