WILDCATS 43, PHANTOMS 31
The stress of choosing a college can be intense for any high school student. Add in the wrinkle of playing a sport in college, and it can be doubly as stressful.
For Shoreham-Wading River senior Courtney Clasen, before narrowing down her choices, she first needed to decide which sport she wanted to play. Basketball? Soccer? Maybe even track?
She ultimately settled on basketball, and after a busy summer playing AAU, she was primed for a big season in her final year for the Wildcats. Then in the team’s first game, an ankle injury left her hobbling, and possibly out for an extended period of time.
But Clasen quickly bounced back, returning to the court much sooner than expected. And the Wildcats are thankful to have their all-county forward in the lineup.
Clasen dodged a bullet by avoiding an extended absence, and last week, she could finally take a deep breath when she made a verbal commitment to attend Coastal Carolina University, a Division I school in South Carolina.
“I can just have fun now,” Clasen said. “The stress is almost gone.”
Clasen can officially sign a National Letter of Intent on April 15, the start of the regular signing period that ends May 20 for Division I.
On Tuesday against Bayport-Blue Point, Clasen gave a glimpse of what kind of a player Coastal Carolina will be getting. She sliced through the Phantoms’ defense on fast breaks, scoring on some, dishing nifty passes to her teammates on others. She was a menace on defense, tally 11 steals and blocking five shots. And she showed a developing outside shot, sinking a pair of 3-pointers as part of her game-high 24 points.
The Wildcats led start-to-finish in a 43-31 victory at Shoreham-Wading River High School that brings the team to 4-2 at the midway point of the league season.
The Wildcats ran out to an 8-0 lead and never looked back despite an overall poor shooting night. The Wildcats had plenty of shots, thanks in part to a huge rebounding advantage, but often couldn’t find the bottom of the net. The Wildcats shot 25 percent from the field, connecting on 18 of 71 shots.
“I said to them at halftime, we’re passing the ball well, we’re driving the ball, we’re moving the ball well, we’re getting second looks and third looks,” said Shoreham coach Adam Lievre. “At some point, we just got try to knock them in.”
The Wildcats will have a few days off now before returning to action Saturday at home against East Hampton to begin the second half of the league schedule.