02/21/14 5:55pm
02/21/2014 5:55 PM
Riverhead junior Jacob Robinson clocked a personal-record time of 37.10 seconds to finish seventh in the 300-meter dash at the Long Island Elite Track Invitational. (Robert O'Rourk photo)

Riverhead junior Jacob Robinson clocked a personal-record time of 37.10 seconds to finish seventh in the 300-meter dash at the Long Island Elite Track Invitational. (Robert O’Rourk photo)

LONG ISLAND ELITE TRACK INVITATIONAL

Charles Villa, the standout Riverhead High School pole vaulter who thrills spectators by rising to greater and greater heights, made hearts sink on Friday. And it had nothing to do with his performance.

Villa, a senior preparing for his first state indoor track and field meet, saw his day come to an unexpectedly early end. While doing a so-called “short-step warmup” before the pole vaulting competition began in the Long Island Elite Track Invitational at St. Anthony’s High School, Villa’s left ankle landed awkwardly in an opening in the mat and he went down in pain. (more…)

02/14/14 10:01pm
02/14/2014 10:01 PM

SUFFOLK COUNTY CLASS B SEMIFINAL | BAYMEN 69, MONARCHS 36

Sophomore guard Alexis Fotopoulos scored all of her 21 points in the first half, including her 1,000 career point, to pace Hampton Bays to a 69-36 victory over visiting Bishop McGann-Mercy in a Suffolk County Class B girls basketball semifinal on Friday night.

The top-seeded Baymen (17-2) grabbed a 17-6 first-quarter lead and never looked back as the No. 4 Monarchs finished the season with an 11-7 record. (more…)

02/10/14 11:10am
02/10/2014 11:10 AM
ROBERT O'ROURK FILE PHOTO | Kayla Schroeher of Bishop McGann-Mercy charging toward the basket while Port Jefferson's Jillian Colucci tries to stop her.

ROBERT O’ROURK FILE PHOTO | Kayla Schroeher of Bishop McGann-Mercy charging toward the basket while Port Jefferson’s Jillian Colucci tries to stop her.

The local girls basketball playoffs start Tuesday when Bishop McGann-Mercy hosts Port Jefferson in a Class B outbracket matchup, Section XI announced Monday morning.  (more…)

02/08/14 5:40pm
02/08/2014 5:40 PM
ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead senior Maddie Blom, whose throw of 35 feet 9 1/2 inches brought her second place in the shot put at the Section XI Championships, qualified for the state meet.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead senior Maddie Blom, whose throw of 35 feet 9 1/2 inches brought her second place in the shot put at the Section XI Championships, qualified for the state meet.

SECTION XI CHAMPIONSHIPS

Ithaca isn’t exactly France, but that is where Maddie Blom wanted to go, and she is headed there. (more…)

02/08/14 5:13pm
ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | From left, Shoreham-Wading River's Ryan Udvadia, Mount Sinai's Daniel Connelly, Tim McGowan and his brother Jack McGowan of Northport all finished within 0.25 seconds of each other in the 3,200 meters.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | From left, Shoreham-Wading River’s Ryan Udvadia, Mount Sinai’s Daniel Connelly, Tim McGowan and his brother Jack McGowan of Northport all finished within 0.25 seconds of each other in the 3,200 meters.

SECTION XI CHAMPIONSHIPS

Jordan Wright is known for his fast starts in the 55-meter dash. It is because of them, perhaps, that he is headed toward a fine finish to his final high school boys winter track season. (more…)

01/30/14 10:07pm
01/30/2014 10:07 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mattituck sophomore Joe Tardif, putting up a shot while being guarded by Bishop McGann-Mercy's Greg Gehring, scored a career-high 24 points with the aid of four 3-pointers.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mattituck sophomore Joe Tardif, putting up a shot while being guarded by Bishop McGann-Mercy’s Greg Gehring, scored a career-high 24 points with the aid of four 3-pointers.

TUCKERS 80, MONARCHS 60

The Mattituck Tuckers knew what they were up against this season in League VII. What has shaped up to be one of the toughest basketball leagues in Suffolk County is led by three powerhouses — Babylon, Center Moriches and Southampton — that are almost in a league of their own. (more…)

01/09/14 9:17pm
01/09/2014 9:17 PM
ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Kayla Schroeher of Bishop McGann-Mercy charging toward the basket while Port Jefferson's Jillian Colucci tries to stop her.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Kayla Schroeher of Bishop McGann-Mercy charging toward the basket while Port Jefferson’s Jillian Colucci tries to stop her.

MONARCHS 52, ROYALS 49

The Bishop McGann-Mercy Monarchs have suffered through some bleak high school girls basketball seasons in recent years. Really bleak.

Last season they went 0-18. The season before that they were 0-18. And the season before that they were 1-17. Just one win over three seasons.

Ouch!

If those were the dark ages of McGann-Mercy girls basketball, some light is finally shining through. Brian Babst, the team’s new coach, said it will take time to rebuild the program, but better days — and wins — are ahead for the young Monarchs.

A note of encouragement came on Thursday when the Monarchs earned a league win on the road. They used a 20-5 run that started near the end of the second quarter and ended early in the fourth, giving them the lead for good against Port Jefferson. Six Monarchs scored during that spell. The Royals mounted a late charge, but Mia Behrens, a freshman point guard, made 3 of 4 free throws and blocked a shot in the final 28.2 seconds to help the Monarchs preserve a 52-49 victory in the Suffolk County League VIII game.

Fiona Nunez, a senior who recently came off a two-week bout with strep throat and the flu, returned to form, producing a double-double for the Monarchs (3-4, 2-2), who snapped a three-game-losing streak. Nunez, who shot 6 of 14 from the field, scored 14 points and came down with 13 rebounds, both team-high figures. Behrens, who scored 8 points as did teammate Kayla Schroeher, also had 11 assists, 8 rebounds, 4 steals and 1 block.

Port Jefferson (2-7, 2-2), which trailed by as many as 13 points, was held to 1-for-15 shooting from the field in the third quarter. But the Royals didn’t fold. Courtney Lewis (21 points, 11 rebounds, 5 treys) and Jackie Brown both hit a pair of 3-point shots in the fourth quarter to tighten the gap. (For the game, Port Jefferson attempted 29 treys, making eight of them).

Consecutive 3-pointers by Brown and Lewis cut McGann-Mercy’s lead to 49-46 with 31.1 seconds left. A free throw by Behrens made it a 4-point game before Brown struck again from beyond the arc, swishing a shot from the left wing with 10 seconds to go, making the score 50-49.

Behrens sank a pair of free throws with 7.0 seconds remaining for the game’s final points.

Following a timeout, Port Jefferson’s Olivia Love tried to make an inbounds pass from under own basket, but a scrambling Schroeher hit the floor in an attempted steal, knocking the ball out of bounds. Love had another inbounds attempt, this time with 5.8 seconds to go. She heaved a long pass down to Brown, whose layup attempt was blocked by Behrens.

The Royals then fouled Delaney Macchirole, sending her to the foul line. She missed both foul shots, but the final 1.1 seconds ticked off before the ball bounced out of bounds.

Just like that, the Monarchs tripled their win total from the previous three seasons combined.

Port Jefferson, which suffered its sixth loss in seven games, received 13 points from Corrine Scannell and 10 rebounds from Gillian Kenah.

bliepa@timesreview.com

01/07/14 10:10pm
01/07/2014 10:10 PM
ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Mattituck junior Will Gildersleeve scoring 2 of his career-high 30 points against Bishop McGann-Mercy on Tuesday night.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Mattituck junior Will Gildersleeve scoring 2 of his career-high 30 points against Bishop McGann-Mercy on Tuesday night.

TUCKERS 85, MONARCHS 61

The Mattituck Tuckers have the formula for winning. Now, it may not be a groundbreaking concept, and it isn’t easy to achieve, but it is mighty effective. Put four players in double figures and scratch another check mark in the win column.

It’s not common for a high school boys basketball team to have four double-figure scorers in one game, so it’s hardly surprising that when it happens, a team’s chance of winning increases considerably. It hasn’t failed the Tuckers yet. In four of their nine games this season they have had four players in double figures, and in each of them the Tuckers have won.

Imagine that.

The most recent occurrence was Tuesday night. With career-high point totals from junior Will Gildersleeve and sophomore Joe Tardif, the Tuckers proved to be too much for host Bishop McGann-Mercy, as the 85-61 final score attested. Gildersleeve rang up 30 points and Tardif dropped in 22. Both players knocked down four 3-pointers apiece on a night when not many shots didn’t fall for the Tuckers (7-2, 4-1 Suffolk County League VII).

Also reaching double figures for Mattituck were Gene Allen with 14 points and Chris Dwyer with 13. Allen also hauled in 15 rebounds to go with 8 assists and 3 steals.

The Monarchs (1-7, 0-5), who took their fifth straight loss, were led by Joe Jeskie with 19 points, Kurt Ryder with 14 and Nykel Reese with 11.

Mattituck’s offensive balance makes it a handful to defend and makes it hard for opponents to focus on any single player without paying a price for it. Plus, the Tuckers are even tougher when they shoot like they did on Tuesday. They connected on 51.6 percent (33 of 64) of their shots from the field. Not only that, but from beyond the 3-point arc, they were 11 of 22.

Mattituck opened the game with a 7-0 lead and never trailed.

The Monarchs turned the ball over on their first three possessions of the third quarter — a product of Mattituck’s press. Allen followed up a teammate’s missed shot with a two-handed dunk for a 50-28 lead 2 minutes 44 seconds into the quarter. The Tuckers were relatively safe the rest of the way, although from the point of Allen’s dunk on, Mattituck coach Paul Ellwood was unhappy with his team’s defense.

bliepa@timesreview.com