Sophie Triandafils and her sister Erin are seemingly inseparable. The two Shoreham-Wading River High School athletes play three sports together for the Wildcats: soccer, basketball and lacrosse.
And yet, they maintain their own playing styles and their own individuality.
Shoreham’s girls basketball coach, Adam Lievre, said one wouldn’t suspect the Triandafils were sisters without knowing better.
“Day in and day out, you don’t really notice that they are sisters,” he said. “Yes, there are moments where the two of them have their sisterly battles sometimes here and there. They seem more like friends than they do sisters. At practice and at games there is definitely more of a friendship opposed to a sibling thing. There’s no rivalry. They’re not jealous of one another.”
Erin said people sometimes think they are “twins, and other times they don’t even know we’re related. I mean, sometimes we get into really bad fights, but at the end of the day we’re fine.”
Sophie, a senior, and Erin, a junior, have made it work. This is the last basketball season in which the two will be teammates, but they will not be separated for long. Sophie has signed to play lacrosse for Penn State. She expects to be joined next year by Erin, who has verbally committed to play lacrosse for the Nittany Lions.
That wasn’t planned.
“It just kind of happened that way,” Erin said. “It’s going to be good to have her there.”
In the meantime, the Triandafils sisters have found it beneficial to have each other on the basketball court. They are always there for each other.
Sophie said, “Sometimes when I’m like angry, I look to her and she kind of makes me laugh and get out of it, or makes me even more angry, but that’s OK.”
The Triandafils have an older sister, Mary, who played lacrosse for Riverhead.
Sophie and Erin have different roles on the basketball team and different playing styles.
Sophie is a 5-foot-6 starting point guard in her fourth varsity season. “She thinks pass first all the time,” Lievre said. “That’s her thing and she likes to create opportunities for everybody else. She’s a hard-nosed defensive player.”
Erin, who is 5-7, is a reserve who can play guard or in the 4 spot. “We kind of play a four-guard lineup so it’s not outrageous for her to do,” Lievre said. “She’s kind of versatile.”
The two sisters dispute who is funnier, but there is no disputing that the fast-break game suits their fancy.
It was typical, perhaps, the way Sophie opened Shoreham’s 61-37 win over Bayport-Blue Point last Thursday. Her steal and layup opened the scoring 34 seconds into the game. She finished with six points on 3-for-10 shooting, but also had five assists, five steals and three rebounds. Erin attempted only one shot and had no points, but produced six rebounds and one block.
“We definitely play differently,” Sophie said, referring to her sister. “I think she has more of a calm demeanor on the court while I’m just kind of like running and bouncing off the walls and stuff like that.”
What will it be like for Erin to play next season without her sister alongside her?
“A little awkward,” she said.
It will not be long, however, before the two are reunited again, though.
Speaking of her basketball career, which is counting down, Sophie said: “I take it game by game and it’s not only my sister I’m going to miss. I really love playing with all these girls and I’ve been playing with them for so long, so I take it game by game, hoping it won’t end.”
Photo caption: Erin Triandafils, left, and her sister Sophie have been teammates at Shoreham-Wading River in soccer, basketball and lacrosse. (Credit: Bob Liepa)