Girls Basketball: Multi-sport athletes key for SWR

Shoreham-Wading River guard Caitlin Mirabell goes up for a layup against Bayport-Blue Point Monday night. (Credit: Bill Landon)
Shoreham-Wading River guard Caitlin Mirabell goes up for a layup against Bayport-Blue Point Monday night. (Credit: Bill Landon)

The summer league roster for Shoreham-Wading River is divided into two general camps: the softball girls and the lacrosse girls. Depending on which day of the week it is, the Shoreham girls basketball team playing in the Town of Brookhaven Basketball League can count on at least one group’s absence. 

Not that it’s really mattered when it comes to picking up wins. Through seven games, the Wildcats are 6-1, losing only one game because of a forfeit.

The Wildcats have always relied on multi-sport athletes, so it was no surprise to coach Adam Lievre to see so many of the basketball players competing in other sports during the summer. On Monday night at Shoreham-Wading River High School, it was the “softball girls” on hand to face Bayport-Blue Point.

“Win or lose, it’s just about the kids playing,” Lievre said.

The Wildcats rolled off a 38-13 win over the Phantoms. The Wildcats limited Bayport to one field goal in the second half, which came in the final minute. The Phantoms went nearly 30 minutes (the game is two 22-minute halves in running time) without a field goal.

Eight different players scored against the Phantoms as part of a balanced offensive attack. Hannah Montenegro and Lindsay McKenna both scored eight points to lead the team.

For a team that lost several of its top players from last season, including energetic guard Shannon Rosati, it will take a balanced effort to fill those shoes going forward. The Wildcats’ top returning player, Courtney Clasen, has been playing on a travel basketball team this summer for the first time, Lievre said.

The benefit is two-fold. For one, it helps Clasen improve her game by playing against better competition. And for Shoreham’s remaining players, it gives them an opportunity to play together without having to rely on Clasen to carry the offense.

“It’s good for the other girls to have to do some of the things she does,” Lievre said. “And it’s good for her to be off playing against high-level competition.”

Clasen was recently playing in a tournament in Orlando and is now down in Washington D.C. for the week, Lievre said.

The Wildcats were tied at 6 against Bayport with under 10 minutes left in the first half as both teams struggled to get anything going. But the Wildcats closed the half strong with a 12-2 run to pull ahead by 10 at halftime. McKenna hit a runner off glass with :26 left and Caitlin Mirabell followed with a steal and fastbreak layup with :12 left.

It was all Shoreham in the second half. The Wildcats scored the first 11 points to go ahead by 21. Mackenzie Zajac drained a 3-pointer from the top of the arc that made it 25-8. Zajack then assisted on a nice feed to Montenegro on the next possession for another bucket.

“It’s been good to see some of the kids have to do it and see who’s going to step up and be the starting point guard and who’s going to take Shannon’s minutes,” Lievre said.

It’ll be unlikely any one player will fill Rosati’s role entirely. Lievre said it’ll take a team effort to fill in those minutes that Rosati provided last year.

The Wildcats are tied with Sayville for the top spot in the standings in the first small school division. The top two teams in each small school division advance to the playoffs. The Wildcats have three games remaining and close out the summer league regular season against Sayville July 30.

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