Minutes before Shoreham-Wading River took on Miller Place in its final regular-season home game on Friday night, Courtney Clasen noticed that a teammate had forgotten to take the bouquet of flowers to give to her mother on Senior Night.
So, Clasen bolted from the bench to give her teammate the bouquet.
That’s vintage Courtney Clasen. She’s a team player, on the basketball court and off.
When she isn’t at the top of her shooting game, Clasen is forever the team player as she demonstrated in the Wildcats’ 35-33 win. She struggled from the field and the foul line, but found ways to help her team in other ways.
Clasen sank only two field-goal attempts, and had a rough day from foul line (2 of 10). But it was her all-around performance that helped Shoreham, which closes out the regular season tonight at Bayport-Blue Point, keep within striking distance. While there were no accurate final statistics, the senior finished with around 10 rebounds and several assists.
“I always stress that,” Clasen said. “I’m not normally a good shooter so I always work. Offense wins games and defense wins championships. I love that quote. I live by it.”
No one had to remind Shoreham coach Adam Lievre what Clasen has meant to the team.
“I’ve said it to people before,” he said. “I’ve been coaching here now for 12 years, J.V. for 10 years, She’s a once in a career player for a coach … whether it’s the dribbling, the passing, the rebounding, the blocked shot.
“Yeah, she didn’t have a great offensive game but she had her hand in every aspect of the game. Even though she’s struggling from the field, it doesn’t take away from what else she does.”
Clasen, who also has excelled at soccer and track and field, took in the moment of Senior Night.
“It’s depressing knowing that I’m not going to play here again,” she said. “But it nice to pull out the win.”
Not surprisingly, Clasen was the last of the five seniors that Lievre introduced during pregame ceremonies.
Lievre presented Clasen with a plaque commemorating her being named a finalist for the All-America basketball game.
“It was very nice,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting it. It’s going up on my wall.”
When the Wildcats convene for the 2015-16 season, Lievre and his players realized they will miss one special player. Clasen recently announced she will attend Coastal Carolina University.
“I always look up to Courtney because she always does everything across the floor,” said sophomore guard Mackenzie Zajac, who canned a 3-point shot to lift the Wildcats to the win. “Now, next year, that she’s not going to be there, people have to step up and fill her spot. So it’s kind of leading up to it.”
Added Lievre: “Hopefully I’ll find another one in my career. It’s someone you know you can count on to get a big rebound, to get a big block or knock a big shot down when you need it.”
That’s vintage Courtney Clasen.