Mount Sinai wasn’t going to be denied its second high school girls basketball league championship this season. So, the best Shoreham-Wading River could do was grab a share of it.
That is exactly what the Wildcats did on Saturday.
Shoreham put its athleticism and quickness to good use, closing out the regular season by handing Mount Sinai its only loss, 46-33, at Shoreham-Wading River High School. In the process, Shoreham elbowed its way atop Suffolk County League VI, sharing the league crown with the Mustangs.
After securing Shoreham’s eighth league title, the Wildcats jumped into each other’s arms and celebrated. Since losing to Mount Sinai by six points in overtime on Jan. 17, Shoreham (17-2 13-1) has won seven straight games. The seventh was the sweetest.
The game was originally scheduled for Thursday, but because of a blizzard, it was rescheduled for Friday and then rescheduled yet again for Saturday.
Those postponements worked to Shoreham’s advantage. Had the game been played on Thursday or Friday, senior guard Maria Smith would not have been able to play. She had to leave the state because of a death in the family.
With only four hours of sleep, Smith rejoined her teammates and was among the team’s seven 12th-graders who were honored on Senior Day. Shoreham coach Adam Lievre called the seven seniors, who total 22 seasons of varsity experience, the best group of seniors he has ever had, academically and athletically.
That athleticism came in handy against Mount Sinai (17-1, 13-1). It was a tight game through three quarters. Shoreham led, 17-16, at halftime on a go-ahead layup by Smith, and was in front, 31-29, after three quarters thanks to Lindsey McKenna’s basket before the buzzer ending the period.
Mount Sinai found itself in foul trouble in the third quarter when Veronica Venezia and Gabby Sartori both picked up their fourth personal fouls and headed to the bench.
Venezia tied the score at 31-31 moments before fouling out. Shoreham ran off the next 10 straight points. A turnaround floater by Sophie Triandafils ignited the run. Then her sister, Erin, scored the next eight points from a layup, a baseline jumper, a putback and a pair of free throws.
That left Shoreham holding a 41-31 lead — the first double-digit margin of the game — with 1 minute, 30 seconds left.
Mount Sinai had offensive struggles at the wrong time. The Mustangs closed the game with 1-for-18 shooting from the field.
Mikayla Dwyer, who hit a three-point shot to beat the buzzer ending the first quarter, led a balanced Shoreham offense with 10 points. Smith and Erin Triandafils had eight points each while Sophie Triandafils and Mackenzie Zajac added seven each.
Before fouling out, Venezia brought Mount Sinai eight points, 10 rebounds and two steals.
This is the best season Mount Sinai has ever enjoyed, record-wise, according to coach Mike Pappalardo. It hasn’t been bad for Shoreham, either.
Photo caption: The Shoreham-Wading River team poses for photos after securing its eighth league championship by tying Mount Sinai for first place. (Credit: Bob Liepa)