Varsity basketball girls fall in championship

GARRETT MEADE PHOTO | Shelter Island’s Haley Willumsen tries to contain Carley Stapes of Southold in Tuesday night’s C-D championship game.

One night after winning the Suffolk County Class C championship, Southold won the Suffolk Class C-D final, beating Shelter Island, 48-35, on Tuesday night, February 21 at the John A. Danzi Athletic Center at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue.

Playing on the same St. Joseph’s College court for the second time in 24 hours, Southold defeated Shelter Island for the fourth time in five meetings this season. Nicole Busso, a 6-foot junior forward, did her part, equaling her season-high with 16 points. She also grabbed 11 rebounds.

The euphoria from the previous night’s triumph over Pierson/Bridgehampton hardly had time to wear off before the First Settlers (15-5) had another victory to celebrate.

“I can’t even begin to describe how exciting this is,” Southold senior guard/forward Lauren Ficurilli told reporters afterward. “This is so exciting. Just to be ending my high school career this way is great.”

This latest victory keeps alive Southold’s quest for an overall county title. The First Settlers will play Southampton (17-3) in the Suffolk Class B-C-D final on Saturday at St. Joseph’s College.

Shelter Island (12-5) didn’t reach double figures until a 3-point shot from the top of the key by Kelsey McGayhey made the score 25-12 late in the second quarter. Melissa Ames and Megan Mundy had 8 points each for the Indians.

Not only had it been eight days since Shelter Island’s previous game, but the Indians had missed several players from practices recently because of other commitments.

The rust in the team’s play was noticeable. For example, McGayhey shot 5 of 18 from the field and finished with 13 points, a modest figure for her. Shelter Island shot 23.5 percent from the field.

“It was rough because you saw a lot of missed layups,” said Coach Miedema.

Like Southold, Shelter Island has a bigger game in its future. The Indians will play a team from Section I or IX in a regional final March 10 at Farmingdale State College. A win in that game would send Shelter Island to the New York State final four in Troy on March 17.

“Honestly, I feel that we could have played better, but I think we’re more focused on the actual regional game,” McGayhey said. “This game just doesn’t matter to us, honestly. It is what it is, and I’m ready to play the next game.”

Meanwhile, Southold is also involved in the state tournament. It will play Friends Academy in a Southeast Region semifinal on March 7 at Farmingdale State College.

“The girls are pretty excited,” Coach Hennes said. “This is pretty exciting for me as well.”

In order to stay alive in the county tournament, Southold needed to overcome a familiar opponent, an opponent that is only a boat ride away.

“This is our fifth time playing them, so we knew what we were in for, and we knew we couldn’t underestimate them,” Busso said. “They know our methods and we know theirs, so it really comes down, honestly, to skill. It makes a big difference.”

Altogether, eight players made the scoring column for the First Settlers, who stormed out to a 14-3 first-quarter lead and never trailed.

Southold made its final seven field-goal attempts and finished with a 55-percent shooting percentage from the field.

“They’re a good shooting team,” Shelter Island coach Peter Miedema said. “They do the little things. They box out. They get loose balls. They don’t really hurt themselves. They don’t turn the ball over. That’s really the key at any level.”

The First Settlers sound ready to move on as well.

“We’ve had a great run,” Coach Hennes said. “This is a big thing for the school and the community.”

Indians remain in the running for regional showdown March 10 in Farmingdale

BY BOB LIEPA  /R SPORTS EDITOR

One night after winning the Suffolk County Class C championship, Southold won the Suffolk Class C-D final, beating Shelter Island, 48-35, on Tuesday night, February 21 at the John A. Danzi Athletic Center at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue.

Playing on the same St. Joseph’s College court for the second time in 24 hours, Southold defeated Shelter Island for the fourth time in five meetings this season. Nicole Busso, a 6-foot junior forward, did her part, equaling her season-high with 16 points. She also grabbed 11 rebounds.

The euphoria from the previous night’s triumph over Pierson/Bridgehampton hardly had time to wear off before the First Settlers (15-5) had another victory to celebrate.

“I can’t even begin to describe how exciting this is,” Southold senior guard/forward Lauren Ficurilli told reporters afterward. “This is so exciting. Just to be ending my high school career this way is great.”

This latest victory keeps alive Southold’s quest for an overall county title. The First Settlers will play Southampton (17-3) in the Suffolk Class B-C-D final on Saturday at St. Joseph’s College.

Shelter Island (12-5) didn’t reach double figures until a 3-point shot from the top of the key by Kelsey McGayhey made the score 25-12 late in the second quarter. Melissa Ames and Megan Mundy had 8 points each for the Indians.

Not only had it been eight days since Shelter Island’s previous game, but the Indians had missed several players from practices recently because of other commitments.

The rust in the team’s play was noticeable. For example, McGayhey shot 5 of 18 from the field and finished with 13 points, a modest figure for her. Shelter Island shot 23.5 percent from the field.

“It was rough because you saw a lot of missed layups,” said Coach Miedema.

Like Southold, Shelter Island has a bigger game in its future. The Indians will play a team from Section I or IX in a regional final March 10 at Farmingdale State College. A win in that game would send Shelter Island to the New York State final four in Troy on March 17.

“Honestly, I feel that we could have played better, but I think we’re more focused on the actual regional game,” McGayhey said. “This game just doesn’t matter to us, honestly. It is what it is, and I’m ready to play the next game.”

Meanwhile, Southold is also involved in the state tournament. It will play Friends Academy in a Southeast Region semifinal on March 7 at Farmingdale State College.

“The girls are pretty excited,” Coach Hennes said. “This is pretty exciting for me as well.”

In order to stay alive in the county tournament, Southold needed to overcome a familiar opponent, an opponent that is only a boat ride away.

“This is our fifth time playing them, so we knew what we were in for, and we knew we couldn’t underestimate them,” Busso said. “They know our methods and we know theirs, so it really comes down, honestly, to skill. It makes a big difference.”

Altogether, eight players made the scoring column for the First Settlers, who stormed out to a 14-3 first-quarter lead and never trailed.

Southold made its final seven field-goal attempts and finished with a 55-percent shooting percentage from the field.

“They’re a good shooting team,” Shelter Island coach Peter Miedema said. “They do the little things. They box out. They get loose balls. They don’t really hurt themselves. They don’t turn the ball over. That’s really the key at any level.”

The First Settlers sound ready to move on as well.

“We’ve had a great run,” Coach Hennes said. “This is a big thing for the school and the community.”

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