The Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School football team had the unenviable task of playing the top two teams in Suffolk County Division IV to start its season.
The Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School football team had the unenviable task of playing the top two teams in Suffolk County Division IV to start its season.
SUFFOLK COUNTY CLASS A TOURNAMENT | WILDCATS 7, KNIGHTS 2
It sure seemed as if Elwood/John Glenn had Shoreham-Wading River’s number. The previous four games between the two high school baseball teams had ended the same way: with Glenn victories.
This time, however, with much more riding on the line, Shoreham survived to play another day. (more…)
Having to face Elwood/John Glenn once on the football field is tough enough. Bishop McGann-Mercy had to do it twice in as many weeks.
McGann-Mercy coach Mike Buck took a philosophical approach toward his team’s Suffolk County Division IV qualifying-round game at Glenn this past Saturday. “You got to go through them anyway,” he said. “That’s how I look at it.” (more…)
KNIGHTS 21, WILDCATS 18
A back-and-forth battle marked by turnovers and missed opportunities came down to a big fourth-quarter decision.
The Knights of Elwood/John Glenn, thanks to three rushing touchdowns by sophomore quarterback Wayne Knight — and needing a win to stay in the race for a Suffolk County football playoff spot — held a 21-18 lead over host Shoreham-Wading River on Saturday afternoon.
The Knights faced fourth-and-three at the Wildcats’ 32 with a little more than three minutes remaining. With the wind behind them, they could punt into the end zone or try a pooch punt deep into Wildcats territory and leave it to their defense. They could let White or tailback Chris Forsberg, who combined for 200 rushing yards, carry the ball for a first down that would all but seal the win.
Knights head coach Dave Shanahan went for door No. 3.
White faked a handoff, turned to his right and tossed a 5-yard curl to Stephen Orkiszewski for the first down, which allowed the Knights — who entered the game in seventh place in Division IV — to run out the clock and improve to 5-2.
“I went to the senior,” said Shanahan, referring to Orkiszewski. “Our kids really rallied and buckled down, and we were able to run the ball. Usually, we throw the ball. Today we ran it.”
White relieved starting quarterback Tommy Balacki, a senior, midway through the first quarter, and the move sparked the Knights. White finished with 102 yards rushing and 48 yards passing.
Shoreham-Wading River came into the game in second place and dropped to 5-2 with the loss. With one game remaining at 3-4 Port Jefferson, the Wildcats are playing for a top-four seed in the playoffs.
“I tell the kids after every game, whether it’s a win at Mount Sinai, enjoy the weekend, but we’ll see you on Monday and it’s back to work,” said Wildcats head coach Matt Millheiser. “The message is the same here. We had a tough loss, we wanted this one bad, but now it stings over the weekend, and it’s time to get back to work on Monday.”
The Wildcats honored 13 seniors in a ceremony before their final home game, and came out storming. Tyler Anderson (26 carries, 225 yards) returned the opening kickoff 43 yards to midfield. After a 16-yard run and a 30-yard jaunt by quarterback Danny Hughes, Anderson capped the 89-second drive with a six-yard touchdown for a 7-0 lead.
Two plays later, Glenn’s Keeshawn Boodie lost a fumble at midfield, but a botched pitch to Isreal Squires gave the ball right back to the Knights, who ended up missing a field goal.
The Wildcats went three-and-out, and a shanked punt into a stiff wind gave the Knights possession at the Shoreham 16 yard-line. Four plays later, at fourth-and-one from the 7, White scored on a sweep to help knot the score, 7-7.
The Wildcats answered with a drive that featured a 31-yard run by Anderson and a 26-yard reception by Aaron Harely-Rey, and had first-and-goal at the Knights 4. Anderson lost three yards, and after an incomplete pass, Hughes took it to the goal line and came up inches short. On fourth down, Millheiser called Hughes’ number again, but the Knights defense stopped him at the goal line.
“Danny doesn’t get it in on the quarterback sneak, so that’s a difference in score right there,” Millheiser said. “They were able to capitalize on their chances, and we weren’t able to capitalize on enough of ours.”
The Knights punted the ball back to the Wildcats, who went ahead by 10-7 on a 35-yard field goal by Zach McAuley. But the Knights responded, driving 72 yards for a touchdown when White scored from two yards out with 18 seconds left in the half.
Glenn missed another field goal, from 25 yards out, early in the third quarter, but the Wildcats couldn’t handle the prosperity, turning it back over when Harely-Rey lost a fumble at the Shoreham 38. Four plays later, White scored his third touchdown, and the Knights led, 21-10.
The Wildcats answered quickly. A 17-yard pass from Hughes to Adam Tanner helped set up a 21-yard touchdown run by Anderson, and the senior workhorse converted the two-point try to move the Wildcats within three, 21-18, early in the fourth quarter.
The Shoreham defense forced the Knights to punt, but the Wildcats’ turned it back over on downs, as Anderson was stopped for no gain on fourth-and-three from the Shoreham 39.
Millheiser said he is counting on his seniors to get the Wildcats back on track. He said, “It’s nothing they haven’t been through before, and I expect them to respond and be leaders going into the next week.”
Kevin Pimentel had an arm in the Shoreham-Wading River baseball team’s second no-hitter in nine days on Wednesday. The junior tossed a no-hitter in a 4-0 win over visiting Elwood/John Glenn. Pimentel had eight strikeouts and four walks, according to msgvarsity.com.
On April 16, Pimentel shared a no-hitter with Brian Klemfuss in a 20-0 win over Amityville.
With Wednesday’s victory, Shoreham-Wading River raised its overall and League VII record to 9-4. Elwood/John Glenn dropped to 6-7, 5-6.
KNIGHTS 17, MONARCHS 0
The Bishop McGann-Mercy boys lacrosse team lost its season debut on Wednesday afternoon, 17-0, to host Elwood/John Glenn.
Senior attacker Bobby Maddia led John Glenn (2-0 overall and in Suffolk County Division II) with three goals and one assist. Senior midfielder Kenny Massa added two goals and two assists.
Eddie Knight and Jamie Tuthill split time in goal for the Monarchs, who played as a junior varsity team last year.
McGann-Mercy will play at Deer Park on Tuesday before hosting Mount Sinai in its first home game on April 4.
SUFFOLK CLASS A SEMIFINAL | KNIGHTS 56, WILDCATS 49
Shoreham-Wading River’s girls basketball team has never advanced to a county final. Not even once. The Wildcats will have to live with that fact for at least another year.
It’s not so much that Shoreham-Wading River is cursed, as Elwood/John Glenn is blessed — with talent.
Elwood/John Glenn, one of the most successful programs in Suffolk County, has been a major obstacle in Shoreham-Wading River’s path to a county final, and was so again on Tuesday. With three of its players scoring in double figures, the third-seeded Knights beat No. 2 Shoreham-Wading River on its home court, 56-49, in a Suffolk Class A semifinal. It is the third straight year in which Elwood/John Glenn has ended Shoreham-Wading River’s playoff run. It is the fifth time in six years that Shoreham-Wading River has finished one win shy of a county final.
“We’ve had a lot of good opportunities, so I guess that means we have a pretty good program,” Shoreham-Wading River coach Dennis Haughney said. “We’ve been close for a while. It just so happens that they’ve been a little better. Maybe one day this program will get a little better than that program, and they’ll feel cursed for a while.”
With the victory, the defending Long Island champion Knights (18-2) earned a place in Friday night’s county title game at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue against No. 1 Harborfields or No. 4 Islip. It will be Elwood/John Glenn’s third straight county final.
“It’s a new bunch of kids, and they are the ones that are taking us to the final, not me, and they did a great job,” said Elwood/John Glenn coach Andrew Athanas.
Elwood/John Glenn and Shoreham-Wading River (14-5) are the League VI co-champions, but the Knights, who have won all five of their playoff meetings with the Wildcats since 2008, were a notch better on Tuesday. Unlike the previous game between the teams, a double-overtime thriller won by Shoreham-Wading River on Feb. 7, Elwood/John Glenn was at full strength on Tuesday. Meaghan Haber, a senior guard, sat out the Feb. 7 game with an injured ankle; Mackenzie Sivilli, a junior guard, played hurt.
Both were in the starting lineup in the semifinal, though.
“It made a big difference,” said Athanas.
For one thing, Haber brought 14 points worth of offense to the Knights. They also received 16 points from Emma Klis and 15 from Tanna Mohammed. Klis and Sivilli had 5 assists each.
Successive 3-point shots by Haber, Sivilli and Haber again kick-started a 14-0 run that put Elwood/John Glenn ahead, 25-9, with 3 minutes 48 seconds left in the second quarter.
But Shoreham-Wading River showed resilience, pulling to within 3 points by halftime and taking the lead at 26-25 on back-to-back baskets by Sabrina Santiago (11 points, 5 assists) and Meghan King (9 points, 13 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 assists, 1 steal) to start the third quarter.
The teams traded leads five times after that. Elwood/John Glenn went in front for good, 38-37, on a shot by Haber late in the third quarter, the second of four straight baskets by the Knights.
“It’s a game of runs, and they were the team that had more runs in them today,” said Haughney.
Elwood/John Glenn used a 13-2 surge to open the fourth quarter, 7 of those points coming from Mohammed.
“We really made sure that we used the clock,” Haber said. “We passed the ball. We really worked as a team and made sure we got that right shot.”
While Shoreham-Wading River started the game in a 3-for-15 shooting slump, Elwood/John Glenn showed that it is one of the better outside shooting teams around. The Knights hit on 48.7 percent of their shots from the field, including 7 of 14 from 3-point range. Shoreham-Wading River finished at 34 percent.
“They’re a very good outside shooting team, and I think that’s what killed us,” said Santiago.
It was Elwood/John Glenn’s accurate shooting that atoned for its struggles on the boards. The Knights were outrebounded, 36-23, and by 17-6 on the offensive end.
Courtney Clasen brought Shoreham-Wading River 12 points and 8 rebounds.
With the two teams having played each other three times this season (two of those games ending in Elwood/John Glenn’s favor), the players know each other well, “pretty much by almost middle name,” said Haber.
Haber said that despite her team’s successful history, the Knights knew better than to take anything for granted. “We knew this game we had to come out and really fight,” she said.
Elwood/John Glenn looked focused, and that was no accident. Athanas said the team was coming off its two best practices of the season. “They were pumped and ready,” he said.
Santiago said it was a season to remember for Shoreham-Wading River, which earned its first league title since 2002.
As for that evasive county final, she said, “One day we’ll get there.”
WILDCATS 59, KNIGHTS 48 (2 OT)
Meghan King said she had never been at the free-throw line before, in a situation such as the one she faced Thursday, with not only a game on the line, but a league championship as well.
But there she was, having been fouled with her Shoreham-Wading River girls basketball team trailing Elwood/John Glenn by 2 points with 12.3 seconds to go in the fourth quarter. Talk about pressure.
King said she was telling herself at the time to approach it like she was at practice, focusing on the shots, not the scoreboard, and forgetting about the surroundings, the crowd and everything else.
And yet, it was still there. In the back of her mind, she said, an inner voice was reminding her of the significance of the free throws. That inner voice, King said, reminded her, “‘You know, you got to make these so we will win.”
After King hit the first free throw, Elwood/John Glenn coach Andrew Athanas called timeout, perhaps hoping to ice the senior.
No such luck.
King converted the second one as well as four more in overtime. In one of the most thrilling games in the team’s recent history, Shoreham-Wading River toppled visiting Elwood/John Glenn, 59-48, in double overtime to finish the regular season in a tie for first place in Suffolk County League VI with the Knights. It is the Wildcats’ first league title since 2002.
“It was well worth the wait,” said Shoreham-Wading River coach Dennis Haughney.
Elwood/John Glenn, the defending Long Island Class A champion, is a league champion for the 10th time in 12 years.
The drama of Thursday’s game, which was pushed forward a day from the original schedule because of an expected snowstorm, left Haughney searching for words. “That was the most exciting game I’ve ever been involved with,” he said. “Unbelievable. I’m speechless, to be honest with you.”
A big difference between the two teams, which pushed each other to the limit, was King’s clutch free throws. It was nothing fancy, nothing spectacular, just basic free-throw shooting that paved the way for the Wildcats’ big win.
King was a driving force for the Wildcats, collecting 19 points and 18 rebounds, both game-high figures. But it was her free-throw shooting that proved critical. King, who shot 9 for 12 from the foul line, sank her last six attempts.
Asked about her skill as a foul shooter, King said: “I’ve had my ups and downs, but the past couple of weeks I’ve been staying after practice, just shooting, shooting and shooting it. I didn’t want to have the game in my hands and then lose it.”
Haughney said, statistically speaking, he was not sure if King is the team’s best foul shooter, but “she’s a streaky kid, and when she gets going, she’s the best.”
Shoreham-Wading River (14-4, 11-1) had a chance to win the contest in regulation time. With 2.1 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Courtney Clasen inbounded the ball to Sabrina Santiago, who was just across the mid-court line. Santiago dribbled between two defenders and pushed an air ball that fell well short of its target. The score remained 37-37.
The Wildcats had waited 11 years for a league championship, so what was another eight minutes? It was time for overtime.
King netted a pair of free throws with 11.5 seconds remaining in the first overtime period to put Shoreham-Wading River ahead, 44-42. Moments later, though, Elwood/John Glenn’s Monika Sivilli and Mackenzie Sivilli made passes to set up Lexie Koenke’s 15-foot jump shot, evening the score at 44-44. After a Shoreham-Wading River traveling violation with one second left in the first overtime, Mackenzie Sivilli received an inbounds pass from Emma Klis and hoisted a desperate attempt off the back rim at the buzzer.
On to the second overtime.
Shoreham-Wading River seized momentum and scored the first 8 points of the second four-minute overtime period to build a 52-44 lead. King, Taylor Whiffen and Keri Clark contributed points during that spurt.
The game was something of a battle of attrition, too, with three players fouling out. Shoreham-Wading River’s Shannon Rosati picked up all five of her personal fouls in the second half. Then, in the second overtime session, Klis and Alexis Groark fouled out for Elwood/John Glenn (16-2, 11-1), which shot 1 for 7 from the field in the second overtime.
ESPN would have classified the game as an “Instant Classic.”
When the end came, a tired Clasen was relieved. “I was like, ‘Thank God,’ ” she said. “After all those overtimes, I was wondering when it was going to end.”
Shoreham-Wading River, which won for the sixth straight time since an 18-point loss to Elwood/John Glenn on Jan. 15, received a double-double from Clasen, who had 13 points, 12 rebounds, 6 steals, 5 assists and 1 block. Rosati scored 10 points.
Elwood/John Glenn, which saw its winning streak snapped at nine games, received 18 points from Monika Sivilli. Mackenzie Sivilli supplied 12 points.
After the game, the Knights were clearly upset at having failed to win the league title outright and having to share the crown.
“They obviously wanted it very badly,” Athanas said of his players. “It meant a lot to us.”
For King, the lesson of the day was a simple one that youngsters might want to listen to: Practice your foul shots.
“They come in handy,” she said.