Hughes gives SWR winning boost in Greenport

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01/25/2014 4:22 PM |
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Dan Hughes, who scored a game-high 22 points for Shoreham-Wading River, tries to dribble around Greenport's Willie Riggins near the baseline.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Dan Hughes, who scored a game-high 22 points for Shoreham-Wading River, tries to dribble around Greenport’s Willie Riggins near the baseline.

WILDCATS 64, PORTERS 46

Difficult but doable.

That was the assessment Shoreham-Wading River coach Kevin Culhane gave of his boys basketball team’s chances of qualifying for the playoffs for the third time in four years. In order to do that, the Wildcats will have to win their final three Suffolk County League VI games.

Difficult but doable.

Those same words seem to apply for Greenport’s chances. The Porters would need to win four of their remaining six League VIII games in order to guarantee themselves a postseason place.

Difficult but doable.

Culhane said his team’s season has been up and down, wildly inconsistent. Greenport coach Ev Corwin said his team is in a rut. Both squads, which find themselves in similar situations and are looking for answers as the regular season heads toward the final act, were looking for answers and a positive result when they played each other in a non-league game on Saturday.

Shoreham got the positive result. Greenport is still looking for answers — and the clock on its season is ticking.

Playing like a playoff team, Shoreham looked good in its 64-46 win at Greenport High School. The Wildcats, who snapped a three-game losing streak, received a game-high 22 points from junior Dan Hughes, who shot 8 of 12 from the field. Altogether, nine players scored for the Wildcats (7-7, 3-6 League VI).

One of Greenport’s top players, senior Austin Hooks, didn’t start because of what Corwin said was a “team issue.” Corwin indicated the matter wasn’t serious, saying, “He’s O.K.”

Hooks soon entered the game, and finished as Greenport’s top scorer with 11 points.

The Wildcats never trailed. A back-door pass from Jonah Caldwell to Hughes for a layup made the score 10-2, and the Wildcats were off and running. They hit on 8 of their first 11 field-goal attempts.

For the game the Wildcats shot 52.1 percent from the field. Their good ball movement saw 23 of their 25 baskets assisted.

The Porters (4-8, 4-6 League VIII) never pulled closer than within 10 points of Shoreham in the second half.

Unlike the visitors, Greenport did not have as much success with its field-goal shooting (27.7 percent) as it dropped its fourth straight game.

One positive development for Greenport has been the encouraging play of Darius Strickland, who was recently promoted from the junior varsity team. Strickland, a freshman guard, made his varsity debut Thursday by scoring 7 points in a 52-44 loss to Shelter Island. He scored 9 points against Shoreham, sinking all six of his free throws.

For both teams, the game was preparation for the homestretch of the regular season that will determine whether or not they will have a postseason to play in.

As they say, it’s difficult but doable.

bliepa@timesreview.com