There was no joyous pileup at mid-cout when the buzzer sounded, but the result still was reason to celebrate.
Backed by a 17-point performance from Courtney Clasen, the Shoreham-Wading River girls basketball team clinched the Town of Brookhaven Small School Summer League title Wednesday night with a 39-30 victory over Hampton Bays at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue.
The victory marked the end of the summer season for the Wildcats, who lost only once while picking up 11 victories. And more importantly, they gained some key cohesion and momentum to build off for the upcoming varsity season.
For now, most of the players will turn their attention to soccer, volleyball and field hockey.
But when they reconvene in November, the girls will have plenty of confidence that another run to the playoffs is within reach.
The Wildcats exorcised some demons of the summer league, where they’ve come up short of the title in recent years. Their usual nemesis’s like Southampton and Harborfields weren’t in the league this year, opening the door for Shoreham.
It looked early on as the Wildcats might come up short again. After Clasen scored a layup off the opening tip five seconds into the game, the Wildcats went the next 19 minutes without a field goal, falling behind 14-5.
But a switch to full-court press on defense ignited the offense as the Wildcats were able to do what they do best: force turnovers and get easy baskets.
Clasen scored off an offensive rebound with 8:30 left in the second half to cap a 19-point turnaround as the Wildcats went ahead 33-23.
Senior Taylor Whiffen scored 10 points for Shoreham and senior Shannon Rosati added 8. The trio combined for 35 of the Wildcats’ 39 points.