01/06/14 7:47pm
01/06/2014 7:47 PM
FILE PHOTO | Check back here for school closing updates.

FILE PHOTO | Check back for school updates.

Updates on school closings, delays, early dismissals and event cancellations:

As of 8:30 p.m. Monday

• Two-hour delayed opening on Tuesday at the Riverhead and Shoreham-Wading River school districts.

• Two-hour delayed opening on Tuesday at Bishop McGann-Mercy High School.

• St. Isidore School will have a delayed start at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

• Peconic Community School will have a delayed start at 10 a.m. on Tuesday.

• Be sure to click the following links for any cancellations made between updates: Shoreham-Wading River, Riverhead School District, Riverhead Charter School, Bishop McGann-Mercy, St. Isidore School, Peconic Community School.

Check back for more information.

01/05/14 4:09pm
01/05/2014 4:09 PM
ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River eighth-grader Katharine Lee was first in the 1,500 meters and second in the 600 on Sunday at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River eighth-grader Katharine Lee was first in the 1,500 meters and second in the 600 on Sunday at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood.

Sunday was anything but a day of rest for one of the Shoreham-Wading River High School girls winter track team’s most promising young runners.

Katharine Lee, an eighth-grader with fleetness of foot, took first place in the 1,500 meters and second in the 600 in a crossover meet at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood.

Lee breezed to victory in the 1,500 in 5 minutes 8.81 seconds. The next finisher was Eastport/South Manor junior Ashley Schafer in 5:17.68.

In the 600, Lee was edged out at the finish by Bay Shore senior Jacqueline Anderson. Anderson’s winning time was 1:43.41. Lee clocked 1:45.43.

Another Shoreham-Wading River runner, Kaitlyn Ohrtman, was a runner-up in the 1,000. Ohrtman, a sophomore, finished in 3:15.63, taking second to Bay Shore junior Nia McCaslin (3:13.87).

Shoreham-Wading River also picked up second place in the 4×800-meter relay in 11:19.56. Samantha Steele, Taylor Flanagan, Francesca Lilly and Lee ran for the Wildcats.

One of the top shot putters in Suffolk County, Riverhead’s Maddie Blom, showed why she is so highly regarded. Despite her claims of feeling a little under the weather, the senior turned in a throw of 36 feet 3 3/4 inches, good enough for second place. Half Hollow Hills West senior Oyinkansola Adewale took the event with her effort of 38-11 1/2.

Bishop McGann-Mercy senior Danisha Carter finished third in the 300 in 46.04 seconds. Shoreham-Wading River sophomore Megan Kelly was one place behind her in 46.46.

A teammate of Carter’s, sophomore Meg Tuthill, was fourth in the 600 in 1:50.19.


12/18/13 8:40am
12/18/2013 8:40 AM
FILE PHOTO | Check back here for school closing updates.

FILE PHOTO | Check back here for school closing updates.

Updates on school closings, early dismissals and event cancellations.

As of 7 a.m. Wednesday:

• Two-hour delayed opening at the Shoreham-Wading River School District.

Be sure to click the following links for any cancellations made between updates: Shoreham-Wading River, Riverhead School District, Riverhead Charter School, Bishop McGann-Mercy.

Check back for more information.

12/12/13 4:30am
12/12/2013 4:30 AM
DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Bishop McGann-Mercy's Juliana Cintron-Leonardo driving against Southold/Greenport's Kathleen Tuthill.

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Bishop McGann-Mercy’s Juliana Cintron-Leonardo driving against Southold/Greenport’s Kathleen Tuthill.


Had Wednesday night’s high school girls basketball game between Southold/Greenport and Bishop McGann-Mercy been a television program, one would have felt a need to check the color on the screen. For one thing, there was Cari Gehring, a former McGann-Mercy player, wearing Southold/Greenport red. And there was Joe Read, a former McGann-Mercy coach, wearing a red sweater and coaching Southold/Greenport.

“It was a surreal feeling,” Gehring said. “When I went out there to shake hands with the captains, I didn’t feel like I should be on the red side. It was just a weird feeling.”

Weird turned to distressing for Gehring as the League VIII opener for both teams went to the white and green of McGann-Mercy, 49-40.

Gehring, a senior guard playing in the McGann-Mercy gym for the first time since she was a sophomore for the Monarchs, swished a 3-point shot from the corner to tie the score for the fifth time, 38-38, with 4 minutes 35 seconds to go.

Moments later, Fiona Nunez, playing with neck tightness, hit a 3-pointer herself to snap the tie and ignite a game-closing 11-2 run for the Monarchs (2-1). The Monarchs scored the game’s last four baskets on back-to-back buckets by Savannah Hauser and then consecutive shots by Dayna Young.

“They never gave up,” McGann-Mercy’s first-year coach, Brian Babst, said of his players. “We have people banged up. We have people injured. We’ve got people not here for illness and stuff like that, and the kids stepped it up.”

And disappointed the two people on the Southold/Greenport side who have McGann-Mercy ties. Read had coached McGann-Mercy’s junior varsity team for four years, but he also coached the school’s varsity football and boys basketball teams and figures his relationship with the school covered 12 years. “Coming back, it was weird,” he said.

Read said he knows most of the current McGann-Mercy players. Gehring, who attended the school for three years before transferring to Southold High School this year, knows all of them, including Nunez, who she said is her closest friend.

Read said his players took the loss hard. Perhaps none of them took it harder than Gehring, who had tears in her eyes during a postgame interview.

“I put extra pressure on myself,” she said. “I felt like I had to prove something.”

With the win came a loss for the Monarchs, who saw one of their players crash hard onto the floor while battling for the ball. Fiona Flaherty, a sophomore forward/guard, took the hard fall with 4:01 left in the second quarter. One observer at the scorer’s table said he saw Flaherty land face first onto the court.

“I was really scared,” Gehring said. “She didn’t look O.K.”

Flaherty laid down on the court while she was being attended to. After a while she sat up to a round of applause. Moments later, she stood up to more applause, but looked unsteady on her feet as she was escorted to the team bench area. The game was held up while emergency rescue personnel attended to Flaherty and took her out of the gym in a wheelchair.

“I was just glad that she was O.K. and she talked with me,” Babst said. “I think she got a little upset, a little scared and a little winded.”

Gehring, who has a reputation for being a scorer, first made it into the scorebook when she canned a 3-pointer 5:02 into the game. She was Southold/Greenport’s high scorer with 14 points, shooting 3 of 7 from the field, 2 of 5 from beyond the arc, and 6 of 6 from the foul line. In addition, she had 9 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 assist.

Cindy Van Bourgondien grabbed 13 rebounds for the Clippers (0-2).

The Clippers had a terrible time trying to find the basket. They shot a woeful 18.3 percent (13 of 71). During one long, dreadful stretch, from late in the first quarter to about midway through the third, the Clippers shot 1 for 21.
“I was hoping we were going to be better,” Read said. “I was hoping we could pull it together. We just couldn’t put the basket in when we needed to.”

McGann-Mercy’s scoring was balanced. Kayla Schroeher led eight Monarchs scorers with 10 points. Young produced 9 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 steal. Megan Kuehhas added 8 points and 5 assists. Juliana Cintron Leonardo and Emily St. Louis supplied 10 rebounds each.

“It’s looking good,” Young said. “We are a lot better than last year and we’re going to get better.”

That’s Babst’s plan.

“It’s been a rough few years here,” he said. “I’ve only been on the job about a month and we’re trying to implement change and it’s the hardest thing to do, so we’re just trying to get the kids to go in the right direction. Today it was a small step in the right direction.”

Babst wasn’t blind to the sense that the game brought added spice because of the Read/Gehring connection, but he didn’t want his players to lose focus on the task at hand. “I told the kids before the game, I said, ‘You got to focus on basketball,’ ” he said. “So, they somewhat bought into the message, but I could see there was a little bit of hype around it. You heard it all day for the last few days.”

Now the talk should subside, at least until Jan. 18 when the teams meet again in Southold.

“It was a fair game, a good game, a hard-played game,” Read said. “It was everything high school basketball should be, very competitive. It was good. Both teams played hard. So, I’m happy — except for the outcome.”


12/12/13 2:08am
DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Kurt Ryder, who scored 17 points for Bishop McGann-Mercy against Smithtown Christian, takes off for a layup.

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO | Kurt Ryder, who scored 17 points for Bishop McGann-Mercy against Smithtown Christian, takes off for a layup.


An advertisement for good basketball, it was not. Sloppy play. Breakdowns on defense. Fouls galore. One missed shot after another. Horrendous foul shooting (in the case of one of the teams).

It all added up to one of the worst-played — and oddest — high school boys basketball games at the varsity level that the Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School gym had seen.

This was a non-league game that neither Smithtown Christian or McGann-Mercy could feel good about. The only saving grace for the Monarchs was that they won, 51-47, in overtime on Wednesday night.

At times it seemed as if neither team wanted to win, giving the other side another chance to take the game. In the 4-minute overtime, though, it was the Monarchs who prevailed for their first win from three games this season. Kurt Ryder’s layup at the start of overtime put the Monarchs ahead to stay, although the finish couldn’t have been easy on the nerves of McGann-Mercy’s exasperated coach, Mike Clauberg.

A runner by Kevin Santacroce and a free throw by Nykel Reese gave the League VII Monarchs a 49-45 lead with 1:02 to go in overtime.

Corey Collins followed up a missed 3-point attempt for Smithtown Christian, making it a 2-point game.

Later, a steal by Collins set up a missed 3-point shot by Kyle Straker. The Monarchs rebounded and were fouled. Greg Gehring and Santacroce each sank a free throw in the final 6.8 seconds to help seal the ugly win and hand Smithtown Christian, a League VIII team, its second loss in three games.

Smithtown Christian coach Dan Skaritka bemoaned before the game that he couldn’t wait for the day to end. When he called it the worst day in his life, he might have been doing so tongue in cheek. What didn’t make the day any better for him was the fact that he was missing three regular starters. The Knights could have used them.

It was a strange game, considering the Monarchs won despite shooting a poor 23.8 percent (15 of 63) from the field and 1 of 13 from beyond the 3-point line.

But Smithtown Christian had its issues, too. The Knights shot miserably at the foul line: 6 for 20.

Perhaps even more than that, though, they were hurt tremendously by foul trouble. Twenty-nine of the game’s 51 fouls were whistled against Smithtown Christian. The Knights were losing a battle of attrition. Four of their players — Zack DiBlanda, Cody Collins, Ron Linsalato and Connor McCabe — fouled out.

And how’s this for a strange fact? The Monarchs made only 1 of 15 field-goal attempts in the second quarter, yet still took a 15-14 lead into halftime.

For all of the uninspired play, the game was close,

It looked as if Smithtown Christian would leave Riverhead with a win when it took its biggest lead of the night at 42-35 on a free throw by Linsalato with 2:31 left in the fourth quarter.

Somehow, some way, McGann-Mercy whittled away at that lead as the Knights left the door open just enough for the Monarchs to squeeze back in. Two free throws by Reese and two baskets by Ryder, including a layup off his own steal with 26.2 seconds to go in the quarter, pulled the Monarchs to within a basket of the visitors. Both teams then missed a pair of free throws before Santacroce grabbed an offensive rebound and banked in a right-handed hook shot, tying the score at 43-43 with 8.2 seconds to go in regulation time.

The Monarchs survived the final hectic seconds of the fourth quarter as they watched Smithtown Christian miss a close-range shot. Ryder collected the rebound and chucked a mid-court shot that fell short before the buzzer sounded.

Ryder ended up with 17 points. Reese collected 19 rebounds (8 offensive) to go with 11 points, 3 blocks, 2 assists and 1 steal. Santacroce had 10 points and 9 rebounds.

Cody Collins led Smithtown Christian with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Straker added 11 points and Linsalato had 9.

For a while there, considering the way the Monarchs were playing, a win seemed highly unlikely for them. Then again, ’tis the season of miracles.


11/02/13 8:30pm
11/02/2013 8:30 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River senior Ryan Udvadia, shown here during the division championship, finished first in Class B to help the Wildcats to the county crown Saturday.


Ryan Udvadia wasn’t going to let some cramps cramp his style in his final competitive high school meet on his favorite cross-country course, Sunken Meadow State Park. The Shoreham-Wading River senior withstood some cramping and still won the Class B race in the Section XI Championships rather handily on Saturday.

Udvadia clocked a winning time of 16 minutes 26.84 seconds on the reconfigured 3.1-mile course. It was still 30 seconds faster than the second-place runner, Islip senior Mike Watts.

Udvadia’s performance, with an average mile time of 5:17.7, led the way for Shoreham-Wading River’s third straight county championship and ninth in 11 years. It has been a remarkable run for the League VI champion Wildcats, who have won 11 straight league titles, suffering only one loss over the course of those 11 years. They have also won nine of the last 11 division crowns under the guidance of coach Bob Szymanski.

Shoreham-Wading River grabbed the top ranking Saturday with 41 points. Its toughest competition came from Bayport-Blue Point (55 points).

Keith Steinbrecher (17:31.69) and Matt Gladysz (17:33.16) gave the Wildcats a boost by taking seventh and eighth. More help came from Connor McAlary (12th in 17:54.44), Jack Kelly (13th in 18:00.68), Michael Godfrey (21st in 18:25.87) and Ryan Groskopf (36th in 19:10.16).

As a county champion, Shoreham-Wading River is entitled to send seven runners to the state meet, which will be held Saturday at Queensbury High School.

Southold junior Jonathan Rempe was the Class D champion in 18:27.84. He qualified for the state meet along with teammates Owen Klipstein (fourth in 19:14.57), Jeremy Rempe (sixth in 20:11.15) and Gus Rymer (ninth in 20:35.75). Two other First Settlers, Michael Cosmadelis (21:13.35) and Christopher Buono (22:46.46), were 11th and 17th.

In Class B, Mattituck freshman Matt Heffernan came in sixth in 18:56.47. He was one place ahead of teammate Lucas Webb (19:00.92). The other Tuckers who competed were Adam Hicks (12th in 19:47.70), Dan Harkin (22nd in 20:33.12), Charles Zaloom (23rd in 20:34.23), Tim Schmidt (28th in 21:00.96) and Jack Dufton (32nd in 21:12.30).

Matt Abazis was the first of Bishop McGann-Mercy’s four runners, coming in 10th in 19:17.62. The others were Sean Tuthill (35th in 21:45.57), Dan Dern (40th in 22:54.96) and Elijah Louis (41st in 23:13.70).

Riverhead went into the Class A race hamstrung by the absence of its No. 1 runner, Travis Wooten, and its No. 3 runner, Nick Cunha, who both had SAT exams on Saturday. The Section XI Championships were originally scheduled for Friday, but postponed a day out of concern for inclement weather.

Without two of its top three runners, Riverhead finished 22nd among 23 teams. Joe Gattuso was the first Riverheader to cross the finish line. He was 95th in 19:38.71. Also competing for the Blue Waves were Eric Cunha (100th in 19:48.99), Owen O’Neill (103rd in 19:53.08), Luke Coulter (112th in 20:11.43) and Connor Behr (147th in 21:33.55).


11/02/13 7:44pm

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River eighth-grader Katherine Lee, shown during the division championship, finished second in Class B Saturday in 20:07.37 at Sunken Meadow State Park.


Before the official announcement, the word was conveyed to the Mattituck girls cross-country team that it had indeed won a second straight Suffolk County Class C championship on Saturday. The Tuckers immediately hugged each other with tears of joy streaming down their faces.

Three Tuckers finished among the top eight places and six were among the first 18 in the Section XI Championships at Sunken Meadow State Park. They gave Mattituck 39 points, 6 less than the runner-up, Center Moriches (in cross country, less points are better), and all of them will compete in the state meet that will be held Saturday at Queensbury High School.

Mattituck freshman Melanie Pfennig was the second Class C runner to complete Sunken Meadow State Park’s reconfigured 3.1-mile course in 21 minutes 2.99 seconds. Center Moriches junior Ryleigh Donegan won the race in 20:52.14.

Shortly after, the rest of the Mattituck runners, not a single senior among them, crossed the finish line: Mia Vasile-Cozzo (seventh in 22:54.39), Audrey Hoeg (eighth in 22:55.33), Kaylee Bergen (11th in 23:18.96), Tiana Baker (15th in 24:17.89) and Sascha Rosin (18th in 24:31.67).

Bishop McGann-Mercy sophomore Meg Tuthill qualified for the state meet for the second year in a row by virtue of her fifth-place finish in 22:38.30.

Shoreham-Wading River eighth-grader Katharine Lee, with only several 3.1-mile races under her belt, surprised even herself by coming in second in the Class B race. Lee’s time was 20:07.37, which was second only to the 19:37.41 put up by Miller Place senior Tiana Guevara.

Two other Shoreham-Wading River runners, Kaitlyn Ohrtmann (20:32.52) and Alexandra Hays (20:46.21), finished eighth and ninth, respectively. Ohrtmann qualified for the state meet; Hayes missed qualifying by one place.

The Wildcats (79 points) finished second in the team scoring to runaway champion Miller Place (34).

In the Class D race, Southold senior Katie Connolly took third place to earn a ticket upstate. She posted a time of 23:26.17.


10/25/13 10:37pm
10/25/2013 10:37 PM
GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Babylon's Jack Kresek hits Bishop McGann-Mercy quarterback Mike Frosina while Frosina attempts a pass.

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Babylon’s Jack Kresek hits Bishop McGann-Mercy quarterback Mike Frosina while Frosina attempts a pass.


The word on the street is that Babylon High School’s football team is even better than it was last year when the Panthers won the Long Island Class IV championship and the Rutgers Trophy, which is given to the most outstanding team in Suffolk County. A reporter who covers the team said the current squad is the strongest he has seen in 20 years.

Now that has to send a chill through teams throughout Suffolk Division IV and beyond.

Is Babylon that good?

It just may be. The Panthers have been beating opponent after opponent in dominant fashion. In other words, it has been business as usual in Babylon this season.

On Friday night it was Bishop McGann-Mercy’s turn to take its medicine. Babylon, playing its final regular-season at home, assured itself of a playoff game in the familiar surroundings of Coach Walt Williams Field with a 41-6 defeat of the Monarchs. Babylon (7-0), which started the day as one of only three unbeaten teams in Suffolk, extended its winning streak to 19 games.

Impressive as ever, Babylon was once again a model of offensive efficiency and defensive toughness. Babylon surged to a 28-0 lead by halftime, by which time the Monarchs (0-7) had minus-7 yards of offense. McGann-Mercy finished the game with only one first down and 63 yards in offense.

Meanwhile, Babylon scored touchdowns on five of its first six possessions. The Panthers have produced 29 touchdowns in 34 first-half possessions this season.

That doesn’t include a strange play that brought the second score of Friday’s game. A line-drive punt by McGann-Mercy’s Andrew Glasgow was caught near the line of scrimmage by Babylon’s Luke Zappia, and he ran the ball back 30 yards for his fourth touchdown of the season late in the first quarter.

Babylon put the ball in the air only five times, but three of them went for touchdowns. Nick Santorelli, one of the 16 Babylon seniors who were recognized and presented with a rose during a pregame ceremony, hit Stony Brook University-bound Jake Carlock for a pair of touchdowns. The two slants, of 25 and 32 yards, were Carlock’s only catches of the night before Babylon coach Rick Punzone started making multiple substitutions in the second quarter. But the second catch gave Carlock, a senior, his 15th touchdown of the season, a school record.

Santorelli was replaced at quarterback by Henry Brunjes about midway through the second quarter, and Brunjes immediately led a drive that ended with him finding an open Eddie Vega in the end zone for an 11-yard reception. It was the first touchdown of the year for both of them.

Making it look easy, Babylon continued putting points on the scoreboard in the second half. Stephen Schweitzer scored on a 7-yard run and Brunjes ran one in from 5 yards out himself.

The Monarchs averted a shutout when their quarterback, Mike Frosina, turned what coach Jeff Doroski said was a busted play into a touchdown. It looked like a naked bootleg, with Frosina faking a handoff before darting around the left side and racing 30 yards to the end zone. It was McGann-Mercy’s only third-down conversion of the game.

Eleven Babylon ball carriers contributed to the team’s 207 rushing yards.

Pat Marelli made a game-high 7 tackles for the Monarchs; all of them were solo except for one, and two were for losses.