02/07/14 1:00pm
02/07/2014 1:00 PM

Riverhead’s Ashley Courts is seeded eighth in the long jump for the state qualifying meet Saturday. (Daniel De Mato photo)

The indoor track and field state qualifier will take place Saturday at Suffolk Community College in Brentwood. In individual events, the top two finishers earn a trip to states. A third-place finisher can earn a spot by holding a qualifying standard. In relays, only the winning team qualifies. (more…)

02/01/14 8:40pm
02/01/2014 8:40 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mia Behrens, who led Bishop McGann-Mercy with 9 points, slices between Southampton’s Margarita Trujillo, left, and Jackie Minogue during Saturday’s non-league game at St. Joseph’s College.

As Bishop McGann-Mercy’s first-year coach, Brian Babst, saw it, it was a win-win situation for his girls basketball team. (more…)

01/06/14 9:54pm
01/06/2014 9:54 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | McGann-Mercy freshman Megan Kuehhas drives to the basket against Pierson Monday night.

WHALERS 46, MONARCHS 30

It had been nearly three weeks since the last time the McGann-Mercy girls basketball team took the court for a regular season game. The long break, which did include a scrimmage against Riverhead, hardly seemed to slow down the Monarchs early in Monday’s League VIII game against Pierson/Bridgehampton.

The Monarchs raced out to an 8-0 lead and held the Whalers scoreless for the first 4 1/2 minutes.

But as the turnovers mounted, the league-leading Whalers quickly chipped away and took control of the game, eventually running away with a 46-30 victory at McGann-Mercy High School.

Thanks to a quirk in the schedule, it was the second meeting between the two schools already; the Whalers won the first meeting Dec. 30, 48-40.

A young team that starts three freshmen and a sophomore, the Monarchs (2-4, 1-2 League VIII) never got into any rhythm Monday as turnovers plagued them throughout. The Monarchs turned the ball over three times for every field goal made in the game.  They had more turnovers than points in the game.

Pierson (5-6, 4-1 League VIII) went on a 17-3 run from the first quarter into the second to take control of the game. The Whalers led by as many as 18 after three quarters.

The Monarchs were held scoreless in the third quarter as the Whalers scored all nine points.

Senior Kayla Schroeher led the Monarchs with eight points. Kasey Gilbride led all scorers for Pierson with 16.

joew@timesreview.com

11/01/13 1:00pm
11/01/2013 1:00 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | McGann-Mercy running back Reggie Archer carries the ball against Babylon Oct. 25, which turned out to be the final game of the season for the Monarchs.

The McGann-Mercy football team’s final game of the regular season tonight at Southampton was abruptly canceled this morning, according to Mercy athletic director John Lonardo and head coach Jeff Doroski.

It was Southampton’s decision to forfeit the game, which will go down as Mercy’s first win of the season.

Lonardo said he received a call last night from Southampton’s athletic director about the possibility of a forfeit. This morning, Mr. Lonardo said he received a call confirming that the game will not be played.

“As far as I know there are no plans to play game at a future date,” he said.

Southampton High School Principal Brian Zahn told The Southampton Press that “there was an incident reported to us that we are investigating and following up on. Because of the nature of our investigation we felt it best that we just forfeit that game.”

The news came as a shock to the Monarchs, who prepared all week to face the 1-6 Mariners and were excited over the prospects of ending the season with a win.

“I feel bad for all the kids involved,” Doroski said. “The seniors miss out on an opportunity to play their last high school football game.”

Word began to spread among the players this morning via text messages and phone calls, Doroski said. The team plans to meet at 3 p.m. today for a final meeting and to collect equipment. Doroski said they might take the players out for a night of bowling and pizza.

“It’s an unfortunate situation,” he said. “I don’t know exactly what’s going on over there.”

After a thrilling run to the Division IV semifinals last year in the playoffs, the Monarchs couldn’t catch a break this year as a difficult schedule and injuries paved the way to an 0-7 start. As practice began this week, Doroski told the players that nothing else matters from this point as they prepared to try to win their final game.

“For the seniors that would be something they remember,” Doroski said.

Instead, they’ll be packing their bags.

joew@timesreview.com

11/01/13 11:06am

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River senior Ryan Udvadia will lead the Wildcats in the state qualifier race tomorrow after it was postponed a day.

The cross country Section XI State Qualifier has been pushed back a day due to inclement weather in the area. The meet at Sunken Meadow State Park will start at 2 p.m. Saturday.

The race times are as follows:

Boys Class A: 2 p.m.
Girls Class A: 2:30 p.m.
Boys Class B: 3 p.m.
Girls Class B: 3:25 p.m.
Boys Class C/D: 3:55 p.m.
Girls Class C/D: 4:2o p.m.

The Shoreham-Wading River boys are the defending Class B champions. The League IV champion Riverhead boys will run in the Class A race. The Shoreham girls will run in the Class B race and the McGann-Mercy girls will run in the Class C/D race. Four Mercy boys will run in the C/D race as well.

Last year, Hurricane Sandy forced the state qualifier to race to be canceled entirely. The state qualifiers were determined based on the division championship race.

The state championship is Nov. 9 at Queensbury High School.

09/16/13 7:59pm
09/16/2013 7:59 PM

MONARCHS 3, WHALERS 1

It didn’t take long for the McGann-Mercy girls soccer team to match its win total from a year ago.

After Monday’s 3-1 win over visiting Pierson/Bridgehampton, the Monarchs improved to 2-0 in what has the potential to be a promising season for a young team.

“I’m confident this year,” said second-year head coach Meaghan Macarthur. “I don’t know what the other teams are going to bring, but I know what we can bring.”

And that’s a team of mostly young players who are quickly developing chemistry on the field. After a non-league win over Amityville to open the season, the Monarchs already made big strides in their play in Monday’s League VII opener against the Whalers.

Two freshmen provided goals for Mercy against the Whalers. Siobhan Merrill put the Monarchs ahead 2-1 in the 65th minute on a beautiful play that started with Claire Sullivan in the middle. A junior midfielder, Sullivan fed a pass to junior Meghan Bossone, who deftly touched it over to Merrill who one-timed it into the goal.

“Get it and go,” Bossone said. “Didn’t really have time to think.”

Bossone and Sullivan are part of a limited group of upperclassmen who are getting playing time for the Monarchs. A large portion of the starting lineup consists of sophomores and freshmen.

But Bossone and Sullivan, who are both three-year varsity players, have plenty of chemistry together that paid off Monday.

“Her and I work very well together,” Bossone said.

As a forward, Bossone was in on a number of scoring chances and she delivered a goal of her own three minutes after Merrill’s goal to ice the game. She drilled a quick shot inside the left post. Bossone said she thought it was headed wide, but the shot was right on target.

“She’s got a strong foot,” Macarthur said. “But she also works well with her midfielders and whoever her partner is up front. They communicate not only verbally, but non-verbally.”

The Monarchs are also expecting big things from the freshman duo of Merrill and Tori Barlow. They both scored their first varsity goals Monday.

“I have high hopes for them coming in as freshmen,” Macarthur said. “They’re potential and skill already is more than a varsity coach could hope for in a freshman.”

Merrill and Barlow played together in junior high where they honed some of their skills together that they can now display on varsity for the next four years.

“You only expect them to get stronger as the years go,” Macarthur said.

Barlow scored in the first half to give the Monarchs a 1-0 lead. Pierson tied the game early in the second half on a free kick. The ball lofted in directly at goalkeeper Julianna Cintron-Leonardo, but as she reached down to grab the ball, it slipped through her grasp and squirted past her for a goal.

It was a rare miscue for Cintron-Leonardo, a sophomore who’s already a varsity veteran.

“It happens and you got to bounce back from it,” Macarthur said.

The Monarchs had a few chances to expand their lead in the first half. Merrill sent a crossing pass from the right side to junior Katrina Thompson for a one-timer that was stopped by the outstretched arms of Pierson goalkeeper Hayley Lund.

The Monarchs have a larger than usual roster this year after deciding to not field a junior varsity team. Macarthur said rather than fielding two small teams, where any injuries would make it difficult to have a full roster, they opted to go with one team.

“We thought it would be more beneficial to have a full team playing competitive against each other in practice rather than  a small team,” she said.

So far, the chemistry is there.

“We got really close really quick,” Bossone said. “And we work well together.”

joew@timesreview.com

09/12/13 1:33pm
09/12/2013 1:33 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead junior Joscelin Morrow digs a ball as senior Hali Martens looks on.

The key to the Riverhead volleyball team this season starts with defense. And the defense starts with junior Joscelin Morrow.

Last year, as a sophomore playing libero, Morrow was a spark plug for the Blue Waves, who finished the year with all-league honors. She was also named the League IV Rookie of the Year.

“Defensively, she’s everything on the court,” said Riverhead coach Amy Greene. “She’s been playing for so long. She’s loud and aggressive. We’re going to rely on her definitely in the back row.”

In Monday’s non-league opener at home against Shelter Island, Morrow picked up right where she left off last year by recording 30 digs in the Blue Waves’ win.

As the Blue Waves’ defense improves, Greene said the focus is turning more of those digs into points.

The Blue Waves return a lot of experience around Morrow. Senior outside hitters Hali Martens and Danielle Thomas will provide a lot of the scoring. Senior Sara Tucci returns at setter for her third year.

Seniors Megan Brewer and Allison Fox both return as hitters as well. Junior Joanna Messina returns as a hitter/setter.

The Blue Waves will feature a newcomer in the middle in sophomore Dezarea Brown, who has already made a name for herself playing basketball and running track last year. A relative newcomer to volleyball, Brown will provide a big presence at middle hitter.

The Blue Waves came up short of the playoffs last year and have their sights set on making it this year.

“There’s a lot of energy on the court with everybody returning,” Greene said.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River senior Kelly Dillon goes up for a hit before a match against Greenport.

At Shoreham-Wading River, the Wildcats will feature a balanced roster that includes a freshman, four sophomores, four juniors and four seniors.

Oh, and one seventh-grader.

Taylor Morrell, who’s only 12, will make the bold leap to varsity this season and coach Katherine Winkler said the young girl is more than ready to handle the competition.

Morrell’s older sister played briefly at Shoreham before transferring to St. Anthony’s. Winkler said Morrell came down to an open gym practice during the offseason with her sister and instantly impressed the coaches.

Morrell will start the season as the libero.

“She’s going to become such a tremendous player,” Winkler said. “She’s just going to get better and better.”

The Wildcats return some experience in seniors Kelly Dillon (middle), Alyssa Filangeri (right side), Madison Hubner (right side/outside) and Toryn Cairo (outside). All four players are the captains. Dillon is a three-year varsity player.

Sophomores Cristina Iannacchino (outside) and Hailey Wehr (middle) are both returning players as well.

Freshman Sophia Triandafils, who played varsity lacrosse last spring, will start at setter.

“They’re very young, but the thing is they’re extremely talented,” Winkler said.

After advancing into the Class C playoffs last year, the McGann-Mercy Monarchs return a mostly new group this year, a theme that goes for most teams in their league.

The success the team had last year has the girls excited to pick up where last year’s group left off.

“They’re all friends, they talk volleyball on the side,” said Mercy coach Jamie Calandro. “They really have high hopes for this season that we’re going to take it even further than last year.”

Senior captain Fiona Nunez is one of the few returning players who saw a lot of action last year. The Monarchs will rely on her in the middle to be the team’s main hitter.

Seniors Amanda Blacknik (middle) and Kate Lewis (outside) will serve as captains as well.

The Monarchs will also feature seniors Katie Nolan (outside) and Anna Svandidze (outside/opposite). Senior Regina Viola will play setter and senior Rachel klink will play libero.

Viola takes over at setter after the Monarchs lost their all-county setter to graduation. Viola played as the JV setter last year.

“The chemistry is very good,” Calandro said.

One advantage this year for the Monarchs is that they have some height this year, Calandro said.

“We have a much stronger attack and a lot more height,” he said.

Juniors Kassandra Barty (outside) and Emily St. Louis (middle) are the only non-seniors on the team.

Mercy will open the season with a challenging non-league match Thursday against Babylon.

joew@timesreview.com

05/22/13 9:08pm
05/22/2013 9:08 PM

JOE WERKMEISTER PHOTO | Riverhead sophomore Rachel Clement finished fourth in the pentathlon on the second day of the Division II Championship Wednesday at Connetquot High School.

DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIPS

After winning the triple jump on the first day of the Division II Championship Monday, Riverhead junior Kyra Braunskill picked up two more medals Wednesday on the final day of competition at Connetquot High School.

Braunskill ran 12.71 seconds in the 100-meter dash to finish third. She followed that with a second-place finish in the long jump. On her first attempt, she cleared 17 feet 2 1/4 inches, her best mark of the year. She couldn’t top that on her next five attempts and settled for second behind North Babylon’s Nailah Jones (17-08).

A second-place finish would have been great for most jumpers. Not for Braunskill, who was visibly frustrated after the long jump ended.

“She wants to be No. 1,” said Riverhead coach Maria Dounelis. “If she’s not No. 1, she’s not satisfied. She’s pretty hard on herself.”

The Blue Waves finished fifth as a team in Division II with 41 points. Braunskill accounted for 24 of those.

Sophomore Rachel Clement competed in her first-ever pentathlon and tallied 2,226 points to finish fourth. She long jumped 14-08 1/2 Wednesday before running the 800. She finished fourth in that race in 2:38.18. On Monday she ran 20.02 in the 100-hurdles, high jumped 4-07 3/4 and threw 24-11 3/4 in the shot put.

Junior Destiny McElroy came into the meet with high hopes in the 400-hurdles. But she caught an unfortunate break.

She ran in the 400-dash Monday and surprisingly qualified for the finals Wednesday. That meant she had to run the 400 finals before her main event, the 400-hurdles. There was supposed to be one event in between the two, which would have given her about 35 minutes between events, still a quick turnaround.

But as she prepared to run the 400, an official announced that the 400-hurdles were being switched with the 800 of the pentathlon, pinning McElroy’s two events back-to-back.

“They’re trying to kill me,” McElroy said, smiling, on the track before starting the 400.

McElroy ran a slow pace in the 400 to try to conserve energy and finished a distant sixth in 1:05.4. Still, she didn’t have enough left in the tank for the hurdles and settled for fifth in 1:08.52.

She had about 10 minutes between races.

“She’s a victim of her own success,” Riverhead coach Justin Cobis said.

Junior Danielle Thomas cleared a personal best 9 feet in the pole vault and finished fourth. Teammate Christy Brewer was fifth after clearing 8-6.

Thomas was a surprise in the long jump as well. She qualified for the finals and took seventh with a top mark of 15-11 1/4. Thomas had little left in the tank on her final three jumps after already pole vaulting earlier in the meet.

Riverhead’s 4 x 800 relay team shaved 16 seconds off its best time. The quartet of Rachel Conti, Maria Dillingham, Megan Carrick and Meghan Van Bommel ran 10:17.08 for ninth.

In Division III Shoreham-Wading River finished sixth with 40 1/2 points. Senior Meghan Serdock had a huge performance in the throwing events. She won the discus Monday with a top mark of 100-11. She followed that with a second-place finish in the shot put Wednesday by throwing 31-07 1/2.

McGann-Mercy was 11th in D-III with 18 points. Junior Danisha Carter was third in the 100 in 13.02 and fourth in the 200 in 26.55. Junior Delina Auciello ran the 2,000 steeplechase and finished third in 7:38.19.

joew@timesreview.com