WARRIORS 91, WILDCATS 35
Only 2 1/2 minutes elapsed into halftime before the Amityville Warriors returned from the locker room. A few players grabbed basketballs and the Warriors casually shot jumpers, smiling and joking with one another, killing time before the start of the second half.
After closing the second quarter on a 23-3 run against Shoreham-Wading River, there wasn’t much to discuss during the intermission.
After winning four of their previous five games, the Wildcats were no match for a taller, quicker, more athletic Amityville team that cruised to a lopsided 91-35 victory at Shoreham-Wading River High School Thursday afternoon. The 91 points allowed was 20 more than Shoreham gave up in its previous two games combined.
“The kids understood that we didn’t play our game,” said Shoreham coach Kevin Culhane. “We turn the page. It’s one loss. We got two big games next week.”
One of the most storied basketball programs on Long Island, Amityville had the look of a team that has its sights set on winning some hardware this season. For as successful as the Warriors tend to be year after year, they’ve haven’t claimed a county title since 2005.
The team standing in their way the last two years was Harborfields. The Tornadoes knocked off the Warriors in the county finals each of the past two seasons and will likely be their biggest obstacle to a championship this season.
For the Wildcats, their focus right now shifts to simply rebounding from Thursday’s League VI loss and focus on tallying enough wins over the second half of the league season to clinch a playoff spot.
The Wildcats (8-5, 4-3) came into the game on a three-game win streak since the calendar flipped, recording wins over East Hampton, Miller Place and John Glenn.
Defense had been a strongpoint for Shoreham all season. The Wildcats haven’t allowed more than 57 points in a game to any team besides Amityville. They’ve surrendered an average of 46 points per game against every team besides Amityville.
But the Warriors are a level above the rest of the competition, and their ability to create turnovers, score in the paint and knock down 3-pointers overwhelmed the Wildcats.
Amityville senior Kavione Greene dominated in the paint, scoring bucket after bucket off offensive rebounds. He finished with a game-high 28 points. He outscored Shoreham in the first half, 19-18.
Shoreham senior Kevin Turano had a strong game with 16 points. He hit a 3-pointer in the final minute of the opening quarter to trim Amityville’s lead to 18-13. Up to that point, it had been a competitive game. The Wildcats actually shot well in the quarter (55 percent), but turnovers (6) were a big problem.
After Turano’s 3-pointer, the offense faded for the Wildcats as Amityville quickly turned the game into a blowout in the second quarter.
“Our key was on defense getting a box out first and then rebounding the ball, which we did not do,” Culhane said. “They outhustled us a lot. Some of them were size rebounds where they were just bigger than us. But the majority were not box outs.”
Amityville compiled a 21-2 run in the third quarter after Shoreham connected on its first three shots of the quarter.
Both teams went to the bench for much of the fourth quarter.
The Warriors (8-3, 7-0) had three players in double figures in addition to Green. Senior guard Andy Laurent scored 15.
Nine players scored for the Wildcats, but only Turano reached double figures.