WILDCATS 50, PHANTOMS 38
Shoreham-Wading River coach Dennis Haughney fielded an unusual question from one of his ninth-grade students Friday morning: “What’s Flem Day?”
“Like a ninth grade boy he thought everyone was going to spit at the same time,” Haughney said. “It was pretty funny.”
In reality, Flem Day was slang for Senior Day and particularly senior Alyssa Fleming. The only senior left on the Wildcats’ roster this season, Fleming owned the team’s Senior Day festivities at their final home game Friday night against Bayport-Blue Point.
She finished with 10 points to help the Wildcats to a 50-38 victory as they wrapped up the League VI season 8-4 and 11-7 overall.
“It really shows me how close we are and how much we love each other, which definitely helps us in the game,” Fleming said.
The idea of Flem Day was born out of a recent practice.
“I think Jess Angermann came up with it,” Fleming said. “She’s a funny kid.”
The players decorated the gym at Shoreham-Wading River High School with signs honoring Fleming and many wrote her name on an arm.
For a player who attacks the court with a relentless aggressiveness, she fittingly fouled out of the game with 3:16 left in the fourth quarter. The crowd gave her one last ovation as she walked off the court.
“I was actually shocked when they said five,” Haughney said. “But she did a lot of nice things. She’s a very smart player and made a lot of nice quick passes. She does some pretty high-level stuff.”
Fleming scored the first basket for the Wildcats in transition off an assist from sophomore Shannon Rosati. It was a sign of things to come as the Wildcats used their defense to force turnovers and get out on the break for easy baskets.
They scored three straight hoops in transition to take control of the game early. Rosati scored two of her team-high 15 points on an offensive rebound to give the Wildcats a 13-4 lead.
They led by as many as 19 in the third quarter.
“Every single player on our team plays and plays their hardest and everyone’s good,” Fleming said. “If someone is having an off day, someone else can just step in.”
Fleming found herself as the only senior after Chelsea Hughes decided to leave the team after Wildcats’ previous win against Bayport.
The Wildcats have relied on their youth and they’ve delivered by punching another ticket to the playoffs.
Rosati ignited the Wildcats’ transition game, junior Meghan King showed off a nice touch from deep and freshman point guard Courtney Clasen ran the show on offense.
King finished with 12 points while also controlling the boards for Shoreham along with sophomore Taylor Whiffen.
“Offensively we’ve become more mature with the ball,” Haughney said. “The girls have gotten a little smarter. Defensively has really been the staple. We only gave up 37.2 points per game coming into today.”
The Wildcats will have a week off before the Class A playoffs begin Saturday.