11/04/10 5:09pm
11/04/2010 5:09 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO Smithtown East's Katie Szabo, left, and Riverhead's Mariah Messina took part in a joust at the net.

ST. JAMES — From the head coach to the players, the Smithtown East High School girls volleyball team consists of as affable a group as one is likely to find anywhere. That friendliness and pleasantness is part of their off-the-court demeanor. On the court, though, the Bulls are all about business. When they are playing, the Bulls go hard, rarely giving points away.

“When we’re on, we’re on, and can do really great things,” Delia Phillips, the team’s standout junior outside hitter, said. “We’re relentless. We don’t give up very easily, and we’re going to give it our all, no matter what.”

Just to get an idea of how big a hill the Riverhead Blue Waves tried to climb in their Suffolk County Class AA Tournament first-round match against Smithtown East on Thursday, consider this: With the exception of a hitting error here and there, Riverhead played well in the first game — and still lost, 25-15.

Riverhead proceeded to play what its coach, James Korte, called its best match of the year. It didn’t matter as far as the final result was concerned. Third-seeded Smithtown East took the next two games, 25-15 and 25-9, to advance to the quarterfinals. The League III champion Bulls (13-2) will host the No. 6 Copiague Eagles (14-3) in a quarterfinal on Saturday.

In order for No. 14 Riverhead (6-9) to have pulled off an upset, it would have needed to play a close to flawless match. The margin of error that Smithtown East allows opponents is next to nil.

“They don’t make many mistakes,” Korte said of the Bulls. “They kept the ball [on] the court and the pressure on us.”

With 95-percent serving, Smithtown East made only four service errors. Phillips, who Smithtown East Coach George Alamia regards as one of the top five hitters on Long Island, put away 13 kills to go with nine service points, four service aces, one dink and one block. The Bulls also received 21 assists from Katie Szabo and 11 service points from Maggie Engellenner, a defensive specialist who excels at keeping balls from falling to the floor. Kristen Scicchitano went 14 for 14 serving with seven service points.

Alyssa Meyer had eight assists and Danielle McCabe put down five kills for Riverhead .

Smithtown East, which has won four straight league championships, has never won a county crown, although it came painfully close last year. The Bulls had won the first game of the 2009 county final, but saw their best hitter, Kathie Demonte, go down with an injury in the second game. They ended up losing in five games to the Ward Melville Patriots.

Phillips called it the toughest loss she has ever experienced. At the same time, she said, “We definitely left with our heads up just because we know that we played a good match, and that’s what matters most.”

Alamia said his team is determined not to end the season with an empty feeling. The Bulls want to win their first county title since Smithtown was split into Smithtown East and Smithtown West.

“We think we’re one of the best teams in the playoffs,” Alamia  said. “We’re not looking up to anybody. We feel like we can play with anybody and take anybody on any given day.”

That’s the sort of team Riverhead had to contend with, and the Blue Waves didn’t shy away from the challenge. They hung tough, even when Smithtown East charged out to a 9-0 lead in the second game, largely on the strength of Scicchitano’s serving. Riverhead was unable to come back from that deficit, but it did close the gap to one point at 13-12 before Smithtown East pulled away again.

“That’s something with us,” Riverhead outside hitter Stacy Griffing said. “We don’t give up, no matter how much we’re down by.”

Riverhead led only once at 4-3 in the third game, but the Blue Waves could feel good about their effort.

“Our best game was today,” Griffing said. “I think we played really hard. I’ve never seen everyone hit the floor like they did today. Everyone was chasing balls, and we did really well with our serving.”

Griffing played her final match for Riverhead as did the team’s five other seniors: Brianna Gillian, Emily Groneman, Jamilyn Marsh, McCabe and Meyer.

Smithtown East, meanwhile, still has more volleyball to play. Its best could be yet to come.

Said Phillips, “We’ve got more stuff to show you.”

bliepa@timesreview.com

11/02/10 8:02pm
11/02/2010 8:02 PM

DIX HILLS — The Bishop McGann-Mercy High School girls tennis team’s magical ride finally reached an end.

After opening the Suffolk County Team Tournament with a pair of upsets, 24th-seeded McGann-Mercy ran into a wall in the form of the top-seeded Half Hollow Hills East Thunderbirds on a cool, windy Friday afternoon.

Hills East, seeking a return to the county final for the second year in a row, swept all three doubles matches and took three of the four singles contests for a 6-1 quarterfinal win over McGann-Mercy.

It concluded an adventurous tournament for McGann-Mercy, which had toppled the No. 9 Patchogue-Medford Raiders and the No. 8 West Islip Lions en route to their first appearance in the county quarterfinals.

Following her match, one of McGann-Mercy’s first doubles players, senior Kayleigh Macchirole, was asked if it had sunk in that she had played her last high school contest.

“Not yet,” she said. “I’ll probably start crying when it hits me.”

“This season has been amazing,” she continued. “Everybody has picked up their game so much. I didn’t expect to make it this far and [my teammates] made this season so great for me because they made it memorable.”

It was all so unexpected. The Monarchs had lost seven players from last year’s team, including the entire slate of starting singles players. Regardless, in what was supposed to be a rebuilding season, they won the League VIII championship and finished among the top eight teams in the county with a 16-3 record.

Even so, McGann-Mercy Coach Mike Clauberg was so upset about how the Monarchs played in their final match that he wasn’t ready to dwell on the achievements. He said it was, without a doubt, the team’s worst match of the season.

“The fundamental mistakes, the errors that were going on today, I was in complete shock,” he said. “I just couldn’t believe it.”

He added: “Right now I’m hurt that I don’t think that we played to our potential . . . but at the end of the day, when you look at how far we’ve gone and how much we’ve accomplished, for the first time in school history making it to the elite eight in Suffolk County, yeah, I got to say it’s a good season. Right now, I don’t want to think about that.”

Hills East followed up the victory with a 4-3 decision over the No. 5 Commack Cougars on Saturday. With their third win over Commack this year, the Thunderbirds set up a rematch in the county final against their rivals and fellow League I co-champions, the No. 2 Half Hollow Hills West Colts on Monday at Smithtown East High School. For the second year in a row, Hills West (18-1) defeated Hills East for the county title, 4 1/2-2 1/2.

Even before the final, the painful memory of last year’s loss in the county final to the last team in the world that it wanted to lose to was still fresh in the minds of the Thunderbirds (15-2).

“Yeah, it was horrible,” said Samantha Elgort, Hills East’s first singles player who took second recently in the county individual championships. “It was even worse that it was [losing] to them. It was bad, awful.”

For Hills East, anything short of a county championship was going to be a disappointment. The only loss Hills East or Hills West suffered during the regular season was to each other; they both beat other by 4-3 scores.

“The kids who have been here know what it means to play and beat West,” Hills East Coach Tom Depelteau said. “The victories are sweeter and the defeats are tough to take.”

In Hills East’s win over McGann-Mercy, Elgort, a senior in her sixth varsity season and fifth as a first singles player, did not concede a game as she handled her first-singles opponent, Ashley Yakaboski, 6-0, 6-0. Elgort, who was sixth in New York State last year, made good use of sharp-angled shots and outpointed Yakaboski, 48-12. She won five games without conceding a point.

“More than anything else, she’ll keep the point going,” Depelteau said of Elgort. “She’s willing to hit the ball a hundred times.”

Singles players Ludmila Yamus and Vanessa Scott also supplied Hills East with routine two-set wins. Yamus stopped Elizabeth Barlow in second singles, 6-0, 6-2, and Scott registered a 6-1, 6-1 decision over Lindsay Merker in fourth singles.

Hills East’s sweep of the doubles matches killed McGann-Mercy’s hopes of a third straight upset. The first doubles pairing of Zareena Hamrah and Ali Nemeth defeated Erica Blanco and Macchirole, 6-3, 7-5. Justine De Luise and Rachel Katims were winners at second doubles, beating Taryn Enck and Shannon Merker, 6-4, 6-1. Jordana Cohen teamed up with Molly Ripp to down Stefanie Blanco and Maryann Naleski, 6-3, 6-3.

McGann-Mercy received its only point from its third singles player, Cassidy Lessard. In what might have been the best match of the day, Lessard topped Amanda Loper, 6-1, 7-5 (10-7).

bliepa@timesreview.com

10/30/10 7:57pm
10/30/2010 7:57 PM

On the final day of the high school football regular season, the Smithtown East Bulls christened their beautiful, new turf field, and the Riverhead Blue Waves unveiled a new running back. Afterward, the Blue Waves looked happier.

Jeremiah Cheatom, a freshman playing in his first varsity game, ran for two second-quarter touchdowns as Riverhead beat Smithtown East, 40-13, at sparkling Nicholas Schroeder Field on Saturday. Cheatom had 64 rushing yards on 11 carries.

Both Suffolk County Division II teams went into the game having already been eliminated from playoff contention. They played for pride and one final memory for their seniors, 22 on Riverhead ‘s side and 12 with Smithtown West.

Riverhead (2-6), which had reached the playoffs the last four years, finished with its first losing season since 1998 when the Blue Waves went 2-6 in Coach Leif Shay’s first year in charge of the team.

“We played our best game the last game of the season, which shows improvement,” Shay said. “Obviously, we didn’t have a lot of luck this year. We lost a lot of tight games.”

Indeed, Riverhead dropped four games by a total of 14 points, including a season-opening loss to the Half Hollow Hills West Colts in overtime. The Blue Waves outscored their opponents, 163-144.

“It was rough because we are a good team,” Cheatom said. “We just didn’t finish through.”

On Saturday, though, the Blue Waves took care of business. One of Riverhead ‘s seniors, Rodney Rollins, scored two touchdowns on big plays. He caught a 51-yard pass from Ryan Bitzer (5 of 6, 100 yards) and returned a kickoff 89 yards for another score.

“It was a wide open hole, so I took it, got a touchdown,” said Rollins, who made four receptions for 85 yards.

Charles Bartlett ended 2010 on a good note as well. The junior provided Riverhead with 125 yards from 12 carries. That included a four-yard touchdown run. His longest dash of the day went for 52 yards.

Riverhead , which took a 20-0 lead by the time the second quarter was 5 minutes 47 seconds old, also received a nine-yard touchdown run by Mario Carrera for the game’s final points early in the third quarter.

“As far as a coaching staff breaking down the film, we knew that they obviously had athletes,” said Smithtown East Coach Jim Saladino, whose team ended up with a 3-5 record. “We knew they were better than 1 and 6. I don’t know if the kids knew that.”

Smithtown East’s scores both came in the second quarter. Mike Buono hit P. J. Connelly for a 39-yard touchdown pass, and Brendan Canese broke away for a 53-yard run to the end zone.

Buono played in place of Smithtown East’s regular starting quarterback, Grant Gaska, who suffered a kidney injury two weeks earlier in a game against the Bellport Clippers. He was one of three regular starters the Bulls were missing.

“We did the best that we can with what we have,” said Saladino, whose team was seeded 12th before the season started. “The truth of the matter is we won the games that we felt we should have won. It would have been nice, obviously, to overachieve.”

This season Riverhead found that it has a promising quarterback in Bitzer, a sophomore who has had good moments as well as some not-so-good moments. Now it has found that it also has a young running back in Cheatom, who should be able to help next year.

Cheatom, who scored 23 touchdowns for the junior varsity team this season, said he was nervous when he was told three days ago that he was being brought up to the varsity team for the final game.

“Wow, it’s crazy,” Cheatom said. “Think of the things you could do, the things that could happen.”

Cheatom said he followed the advice of teammate Kevin Klerk and ran hard.

Shay said Cheatom’s on-field vision reminds him of a former Riverhead running back, Chris Harris. “He sees things other backs don’t,” the coach said. “He’s going to be a special player.”

bliepa@timesreview.com

10/28/10 7:37pm
10/28/2010 7:37 PM

WEST ISLIP — Lindsay Merker could handle the pressure she faced on the tennis court. It was what followed after the match that caught her off-guard.

After Merker delivered the result that enabled the Bishop McGann-Mercy High School girls tennis team to play another day, she was mobbed by joyous teammates. The surge of emotion she felt was evidenced by the tears of joy that rolled down her cheeks.

It was Merker’s dramatic victory in her fourth singles match that earned the Monarchs a rare place in the quarterfinals of the Suffolk County Team Tournament. The senior pulled out a tiebreaker triumph over Kate Winter, lifting 24th-seeded McGann-Mercy to a 4-3 upset of the No. 8 West Islip Lions on Thursday.

With what has to be considered one of the biggest wins in team history, League VIII champion McGann-Mercy (16-2) claimed a place in the quarterfinals tomorrow against the No. 1 Half Hollow Hills East Thunderbirds (13-1). McGann-Mercy Coach Mike Clauberg said it is either the first or second time that the Monarchs have advanced this far in the team tournament.

“I’m still in shock,” Merker, who called it the greatest moment of her tennis career, said while cheers of the team’s happy fans could be heard in the background.

After coasting through the first set, 6-2, Merker took a 5-2 lead in the second set. Then things got interesting.

Winter recovered to win the next four games for a 6-5 lead, but failed to capitalize on four set points. Merker forced a tiebreaker and then cruised, 7-0.

Merker said she felt confident going into the tiebreaker. “It’s also mental because you have to never let yourself get down because once that happens, it’s all over,” she said. “You have to always stay mentally tough.”

Players and fans from both teams watched the final match of the day with great interest. Merker said she wasn’t aware of the significance of her match and was glad she didn’t. But she liked the cheering, which she said helped her focus.

“I knew I had to stop her and not let her beat me for a third set,” Merker said. “I made a lot of errors that I shouldn’t have made, like drop shots, but errors happen. No one’s perfect.”

Clauberg said he was happy for Merker.

“If I had to pick any kid to get that win for us, I would pick her,” he said. “She is just a coach’s dream. She’s a nice person. She works so hard during the off-season, probably [the] most committed tennis player I have on the team.”

West Islip Coach Kevin Lewis said the performance by Winter was typical of her in the sense that she is a battler. The coach said that during the match he gave Winter some advice. “I said, ‘All I want you to do is stay focused and try your best,’ ” Lewis said. “I said, ‘If you try your best, that’s all you can ask of yourself.’ ”

Merker can thank her sister, Shannon, for the part she played in helping set up the pivotal fourth singles match. It was Shannon Merker and Taryn Enck who brought McGann-Mercy a vital win at second doubles, tying the team score at 3-3. They prevailed in three sets over Kelly Kickel and Teresa Oskinis, 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Thanks to wins from the first three singles matches, League III champion West Islip (13-2) held a 3-2 lead in team points.

Despite troubling back pain that hampered her serve, Erin Collins, a senior transfer from nearby St. John the Baptist, persevered in a 6-3, 6-2 defeat over Ashley Yakaboski in first singles. Collins put only 64 percent of her first serves in play, but she also committed only two double faults and broke Yakaboski’s serve six times.

In Yakaboski, a virtual ball-return machine, Collins was facing a player much like herself.

“All defense,” said Collins, who had ice taped to her back after the match. “That’s kind of the style that I play, so when I play with someone with the same style, the points are going on forever.”

The other two singles matches were settled in two sets as well. Sam Sienkiewicz was a 6-0, 6-0 winner over Elizabeth Barlow, and Kerri Coughlin recorded a 7-5, 6-0 win over Cassidy Lessard.

But doubles has been a point of emphasis for McGann-Mercy this year, and it has made a difference. The Monarchs took all three points from doubles.

The first doubles team of Erica Blanco and Kayleigh Macchirole produced a 7-5, 7-5 defeat of Ibrianna Frame and Amanda Gedrey. In third doubles, Stefanie Blanco and Maryann Naleski downed Emma Lytell and Alia Rafig, 6-4, 6-1.

“Everybody contributed in such a strong way,” Clauberg said. “Everybody fought.”

West Islip had won all five of its previous 4-3 matches this season, but this one went against the Lions.

Shock waves may reverberate throughout the county because of this result, but the Monarchs are not surprised. Some of them said they were just underestimated. The Monarchs might have proved that their 4-3 victory over the No. 9 Patchogue-Medford Raiders in an outbracket match seven days earlier was no fluke.

“We’re pretty good,” Lindsay Merker said. “We have some good players.”

West Islip wouldn’t argue that point.

bliepa@timesreview.com

10/27/10 7:23pm
10/27/2010 7:23 PM

The Riverhead Blue Waves boys cross country team turned in an impressive performance from all of its runners on Tuesday afternoon at the Section XI Division Championship at Sunken Meadow State Park. With six of its seven runners turning in personal-best times, Riverhead placed 9th out of 23 teams in the team qualifier race.

The entire Blue Waves team will compete on Nov. 5 in the State Qualifier at Sunken Meadow. The division championship consisted of a championship race, which included the top teams from each league, a team qualifier race and an individual championship race.

Riverhead ‘s Jeremy Warner came in 23rd in the team qualifier in 18 minutes, 53.60 seconds, followed by teammates Ryan Hubbard in 36th (19:09), Travis Wooten in 46th (19:24), Kevin Williams in 70th (19:46.7), Michael Beierle in 89th (20:08.7), and Anthony Galvin in 99th (20:23.4). All six had a personal-record time. Rob Mullen was 124th in 21:08.

“I’m very happy with our performance,” Riverhead coach Pat Burke said. “We wound up third in our league. All the kids worked hard. I’m very pleased.”

Southold ‘s Sal Manno raced in the team qualifier and finished 27th in 18:57.5, which placed him 15th among Division IV runners. The First Settlers’ Griffin Quist was 43rd among Division IV runners in 20:52.70 followed by Matthew Reilly in 22:34.10 (62nd) and Ryan Hanrahan in 22:35.30 (63rd).

Mattituck ‘s Corey Zlatniski finished 50th in the team qualifier race in a time of 19:32, good enough for 20th in Division IV. In the Division IV results, the Tuckers’ John Hamilton came in 23rd at 19:39, Casey Grathwohl was 27th in 19:42, Jesse Grathwohl was 50th in 21:20 and Chris Baglivi was 52nd in 21:33.

“We ran well,” Mattituck coach Julianne Milliman said. “I’m very happy.”

The entire Mattituck team will take part in the State Qualifier because the Tuckers placed in the top six in Suffolk County Class C. In the girls championship, Southold competed as a team in the championship race, placing 21st. Among Division IV teams Southold placed fourth.

Southold ‘s Ivy Croteau came in 73rd in the team championship in 22:21.7, placing her 9th in Division IV. The First Settlers’ Colette Steele was 17th in Division IV in 23:21.3 followed by Shelby Pickerell in 23:58.60 (24th), Meghan Kelley in 24:54.20 (33rd) and Jennifer Roslak in 26:03.10 (45th).

Riverhead ‘s Sarah Governale finished 20th in the Suffolk Division II race in a personal-record time of 23:02. Her teammate Rachel Harrison-Smith was 62nd in 24:46, also a personal record.

The Blue Waves’ Juliana Marcucci was sick and didn’t run, but she still made the State Qualifier on Nov. 5 by running the qualifying time of 21:15 earlier in the season.

“Things are very positive with the girls,” Burke said. “They are hitting their numbers.”

The entire Mattituck girls team will also take part in the State Qualifier because they placed among the top six teams in Suffolk County Class C.

Mattituck coach Jean Mahoney called the divisional, “another opportunity to run Sunken Meadow, and to run against the powerhouse teams.”

Savanna Campbell came in 39th for the Tuckers in the Suffolk Division IV race in 25:39. Mattituck ‘s Megan Finn ran a 25:46 and was 41st, Danielle Knuth was 54th with a 27:38, Halley Kujawski was 57th in 28:07, Yuliya Palianok was 59th in 28:23, and Melissa Barry was 66th in 31:56. Mahoney said that Barry, who has battled injuries all season, “is the spirit of the team. She exemplifies what the kids can do.”

“Our times were OK,” Mahoney said. “We run to have a good time.”

Mahoney said that the Tuckers’ All-League runner Sara Paparatto, who didn’t compete in the division race, may take part in the State Qualifier.

sports@timesreview.com

10/27/10 7:18pm

The turning point came midway through the first set.

Mattituck ‘s Erica Bundrick was leading Karen Serena, the No. 3-seed from East Islip, 3-1 in the quarterfinal round of the Suffolk County girls tennis individual championship Monday afternoon at Smithtown East. Bundrick, who had beaten Bayport’s Laura Torsiello, 6-4, 6-2, in the opening round on Saturday, was on the verge of taking a 4-1 lead against Serena.

But after Bundrick’s being on a marvelous roll the past three weeks, the one stroke that betrayed her was her serve. She double-faulted, which allowed Serena to climb back into the match at 3-2. Serena then ran the table on Bundrick, winning the match 6-3, 6-0.

“I was pleased with the way Erica played,” Mattituck coach Jim Christy said. “She just double faulted too many times. You just can’t give away points at critical moments.”

Christy said that part of Bundrick’s maturation process will be learning how to “deal with the highs and lows of a match.”

Bundrick, a junior, swept past Torsiello in the opening match.

“Erica played every point like it was the final point of the match,” Christy said. “She has learned that when you stay in the present, it brings consistency. When your head is set right, the strokes will follow.”

Christy said that Bundrick has learned that “when she is consistent, she can play with anybody.”

“The key is recognizing our potential,” he said. “If we don’t see it, we hold back and don’t play with confidence. Erica is a very good athlete. When she realized in the East Hampton match a few weeks ago that ‘I can play with these people,’ everything changed. She was able to move people around and make them change their game. Someone was going to break, but it wasn’t going to be her.”

In the Suffolk County team championship, the Bishop McGann-Mercy Monarchs, the 24th-seed, pulled off an upset in the opening round on Oct. 21, winning at ninth-seeded Patchogue-Medford, 4-3.

Mike Clauberg, the Mercy coach, called the win “huge.”

Clauberg said that over the years he has felt his team has not always been seeded as high as it should have been.
“We’ve been in the playoffs the past couple of years, but we still get no respect,” he said. “But we still got the win. It was a big upset.”

Mercy was trailing in the overall match 3-2 and needed to win at second singles and second doubles to pull out the team victory.

The Monarchs had lost two of the first three singles matches, as Patchogue-Medford’s Hanna Lazio swept Mercy’s Ashley Yakaboski, 6-0, 6-0, and Alena Erhart topped Lindsey Merker, 6-1, 6-4. Mercy’s Cassidy Lessard topped Alicia Kraemer, 6-1, 6-0. Clauberg said that Lessard “really stepped up. She was in the zone.”
Mercy then split the first two doubles matches, as the Monarchs’ Kayleigh Macchirole and Erica Blanco triumphed over Cristina Valente and Brigid Logan, 6-2, 6-2. Patchogue-Medford’s Sydney Shandel and Victoria Makolik beat Maryann Naleski and Stefanie Blanco, 6-2, 6-3.

The second singles and second doubles matches were deadlocked at one set apiece.

“We needed both to win in the third set,” Clauberg said, “and that is just what they did.”

The Monarchs’ Elizabeth Barlow came from behind to defeat Brianna Vernoia, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.

“After the first set, Elizabeth made the proper adjustments,” Clauberg said. “She really came up big.”

Now, it all came down to second doubles. Mercy’s Shannon Merker and Taryn Enck trailed Tiffany Maroquin and Kierstin Berwick 3-4 in the third set. But on a crucial stretch of points, Merker hit a magnificent lob and Enck put away the return shot to give the Monarchs the game and the momentum. Merker and Enck went on to win 7-6 (7-4), 5-7, 6-4 to lift Mercy to the stunning upset.

Mercy was scheduled to play at eighth-seeded West Islip yesterday.

sports@timesreview.com

10/25/10 7:01pm
10/25/2010 7:01 PM

The tone was set early in Saturday’s Suffolk County Division IV football game between the Bishop McGann-Mercy Monarchs and the Hampton Bays Baymen.

The Baymen had just scored on their opening drive, on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Robbie King to Tim Wheeler, before the Monarchs began moving the ball downfield. Mercy, sparked by the running of Pat Stepnoski (130 yards on 20 carries), picked up three first downs. But on first down at the Hampton Bays 30, the Monarchs were called for a holding penalty, making it first-and-25. Again, the Monarchs were flagged for holding, making it first-and-40.

Mercy, clearly, was going the wrong way.

The Monarchs wound up turning the ball back over to the Baymen. Hampton Bays marched down the field and King scored on a 10-yard run. In a flash, it was 14-0 in favor of the Baymen.

Hampton Bays went on to beat Mercy 55-6.

“We were moving the ball, then we had the two holding penalties,” Mercy coach Joe Read said. “We never recovered from that. It hurt us. After that we had to change the game plan a little.”

The Baymen (4-3) thoroughly dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. Hampton Bays, led by King, their quarterback, rushed for 303 total yards. King ran for 74 yards on four carries. He also completed 8 of 8 passes for 101 yards.

“Hampton Bays has a very strong running attack,” Read said. “They ran deceptive schemes and counters that were potent.”

Oskar Ramirez’s 7-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter put Hampton Bays in front 20-0. Andrew Morris plunged in from the 1-yard line early in the second quarter increasing the Baymen’s lead to 28-0.

Mercy (2-5) got on the scoreboard midway through the quarter, when D.J. Wilmott caught a 5-yard swing pass from quarterback Keith Schroeher and bulled his way into the end zone.

But King galloped 56 yards to pay dirt and Ramirez (61 yards on 5 carries) scampered 24 yards for a touchdown to give Hampton Bays a 43-6 lead at the half.

King added a 12-yard TD run and Tracey Kennedy scooted 65 yards into the end zone in the third quarter to cap the Baymen’s scoring.

Igor Leite spearheaded the Hampton Bays defense with 12 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery.

“We were able to move the ball some,” Read said, “but we just couldn’t punch it in. The penalties, dropped passes and two interceptions hurt us. It threw us back. Hampton Bays is a tough team. They gave a solid, consistent effort. They were the better team today.”

10/23/10 6:58pm
10/23/2010 6:58 PM

Esteban Aarp missed wide left on a booming 48-yard field goal attempt as time expired and the Riverhead football team lost a classic battle, 22-20, at North Babylon Saturday.
The Blue Waves (1-6) trailed 22-13 with less than three minutes to go, but cut the deficit on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Bitzer to Michael Hinchy.
A successful onside kick gave the Waves a puncher’s chance for victory. But Aarp, who connected on a pair of field goals earlier in the game, missed wide left twice — his first attempt didn’t count because the Bulldogs (5-2) called for a timeout moments before the snap.
Running back Reggie Moore scored Riverhead ‘s only other touchdown on a 45-yard run in the third quarter.
Preshod McCoy ran for 271 yards and three touchdowns for North Babylon.