The Huntington girls’ basketball team staked out a big lead in the season opener against Bellport on Tuesday afternoon, before seeing the advantage evaporate and having to play catch-up. The Blue Devils utilized an impressive second half to rally for a 49-37 victory before a crowd of 150 in Louis D. Giani Gymnasium.
Huntington jumped out to an 11-2 advantage before going cold and seeing Bellport come roaring back to take a 22-19 lead at halftime. The Blue Devils then went on a 21-9 third quarter run to gain control of the game. The home team put the contest away by outscoring the visitors over the final eight minutes, 9-6.
Alexandra Heuwetter led all scorers with 23 points, including four three-pointers. The senior added five assists. Nicole Leslie dropped 11 points and pulled down a dozen rebounds. Katie Seccafico contributed nine points and five steals. Abby Maichin added six points.
“I think we were all a little flustered at first since it was our season-opener,” Heuwetter said. “We were missing wide open jump shots and had a few turnovers, but after halftime we knew that we had to bring up our intensity on the defensive end, which is our team’s strength and that ultimately led to multiple steals on our part and building a lead that helped us seal the win.”
Seccafico, who along with Heuwetter and Leslie is a team captain was happy that Huntington rallied for the victory on opening night.
“I thought we came out hard, but we let our nerves get the best of us in the second quarter,” Seccafico said. “After halftime, we really came out with a lot of intensity and came together and locked down on defense, which got us the win.”
JV Volleyball Features Talent
Huntington JV volleyball coach Carrie Postel
is flanked by Peyton Kalk and Steli Vlahos. (Darin Reed photo.)
Huntington High School’s junior varsity girls’ volleyball team featured many talented players who are all hoping to jump to the varsity level in the near future.
Eighth grader Shannon Kehoe (setter), freshman Marina Durand (setter) and sophomores Steli Vlahos (outside hitter), Peyton Kalb (outside hitter) and Grace Heuwetter (middle hitter) were the top players on the team, according to head coach Carrie Postel.
“Steli is a leader on the court,” Postel said. “She always pushed herself each game.”
Kalb shined as one of the best passers on the team. Durand was among the team leaders in assists and was a positive presence who was relentless in her drive to improve.
Kehoe also sparkled, averaging five assists per game and 15-20 per match. “Shannon has a tough serve and is going to do great things for Huntington volleyball,” Postel said.
Heuwetter had the most blocks and “kills” on the JV team. “Grace improved tremendously from the beginning of the season,” Postel said.
Katie Bonilla, Mackenzie Madison, Kathryn Renkewitz, Gracia Renkewitz, Sophia Severine, Abigail Troiano and Grace Stolfa rounded out the squad.
The highlight of the season was defeating North Babylon in home and away matches. “Watching the girls’ reactions when they make a great play makes coaching worth it,” Postel said. “There were many times throughout the season when each player has made a great play. It was a pleasure coaching these young ladies. They have a lot of talent and I’m looking forward to seeing them bring Huntington volleyball to the next level.”
Shorthanded JV Tennis Plays Hard
Huntington’s junior varsity girls’ tennis team frequently found itself shorthanded this fall. It didn’t have enough players to fill out all 10 singles and doubles positions in meets and there were times when the Blue Devil varsity pulled up another player or two to complete its lineup.
The JV team’s lack of numbers led to it finishing winless at 0-12. Coached by Eric Mininni and captained by Maggie Lalor, Sadie Walters and Kyra DeSalvo the roster also included Mia Felicetta, Anyi Mancia-Matute, Paige Mangan, Lily O’Heir and Caitlyn Palermo.
When the team was close to full strength it was competitive, losing 4-3 matches to Kings Park and Commack. “They are a great bunch of girls who gave their all and never quit,” Mininni said. “They are all very coachable and respectful young ladies. They never hung their heads, even though it was tough to endure a winless season.”
Palermo and O’Heir formed a strong No. 1 doubles team during the second half of the season. “They became formidable, going 4-1 during the final matches,” Mininni said.
Walters also rose to prominence. “Sadie made major strides throughout the year and has developed as a player who should compete for a varsity spot next fall,” the coach added.
Huntington’s finest moment came in the final meet of the season against Commack. The outcome was determined in a thrilling tiebreaker match, which the Blue Devils dropped, 8-6. “The girls’ played their best tennis of the year and we all thought we were finally going to get that elusive win,” Mininni said. “Unfortunately, it was not to be, but they gave their all and left everything they had on the court.”
Huntington Wrestling Tournament on Saturday
Huntington sophomore Chas Forte smothers his opponent.
The 47th annual Huntington High School wrestling tournament will held this Saturday (December 2) in Louis D. Giani Gymnasium. The Blue Devils will be joined by teams from Patchogue-Medford, Port Jefferson, Kings Park, Farmingdale, Comsewogue and Grand Street Campus-New York City.
The action begins at 9 a.m. with preliminary round bouts. The quarterfinals are set for 10:30 a.m. with the semifinals to follow at 12:30 p.m. Consolation round matches will be contested at 4 p.m. with the finals to begin at 6 p.m. (All of the times are subject based and are merely estimates.)
The tournament marks the competitive start of Louis R. Giani’s first season as Huntington’s varsity wrestling head coach.
Huntington Booster Club Interns
Seniors Megan Erhardt and Alexandra McKenzie are interning with the Huntington Booster Club this year. The pair will be working closely with club officials, including President Timothy Pillion. The two teenagers recently attended the organization’s monthly meeting.
“We are really excited to have Megan and Alexandra working alongside us during the 2017/18 school year,” Mr. Pillion said. “We have plenty for them to do and we are anxious for them to share their point of view on how the Booster Club can better serve the Huntington community and our coaches and student-athletes.”
Ms. Erhardt and Ms. McKenzie are participating in the high school’s career internship program, which is available to seniors. Those who complete the program earn one full academic credit.
Duo Among Finley Football’s Finest
Jahiem Hawkins and Kaleef Riley both have a real future in the Blue Devil football program. The dynamic duo played key roles on this fall’s J. Taylor Finley Middle School team that compiled a 6-0 record.
Hawkins was magnificent at running back and linebacker. He rushed 10 times for 77 yards, two touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversions. He also caught three passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively, he made 17 tackles, including six for a loss, deflected two passes, had a quarterback sack and intercepted a pass.
“Jahiem is small in stature, however he plays the game like he’s a giant,” Finley-8 football head coach Ronald Wilson said. “Whenever we needed a big play, whether it was on offense or defense, it was Jahiem who would deliver. We’re proud of this young man’s success.”
Riley was a standout at offensive and defensive tackle. The eighth grader recorded eighth pancake blocks and five hard hits. He made a dozen tackles, including four that went for a loss and had a quarterback sack.
“He’s big and tough; what more can a coach ask for?” Wilson said. “Teams found it very difficult to run in the middle and Riley was one of the reasons for that. His aggressive play on defense helped our A-team limit opponents to just six points a game. Kyle was our best blocking lineman. After the games, opposing coaches would always acknowledge him for his great efforts on the field.”
Finley Girls’ Soccer and Football-7 Wins Honors
The J. Taylor Finley Middle School girls’ soccer and seventh grade football teams have won Section XI Sportsmanship Awards this fall for their ethical conduct and sense of fair play.
Players, coaches and fans of each school are evaluated by opposing coaches following each athletic contest and the ratings are compiled by Section XI, the governing body for interscholastic sports in Suffolk County.
The Finley girls’ soccer team is coached by Linda Costello-Roth. Finley’s seventh grade football team is coached by Kevin Thorbourne and Julian Watts.
Blue Devils Help Propel Suffolk-North to Victory
Huntington head coach Steve Muller with five
Blue Devil seniors at the Suffolk PAL All-Star football game.
A Huntington High School quintet helped propel the Suffolk-North All-Star football team to victory last Wednesday night at Sachem North.
Blue Devil seniors Sam Bergman, Alex LaBella, Clay Jamison, Anthony McDonald and Shateek Parler all played in the game. Huntington head coach Steve Muller was on the sidelines with his gridiron stars.
LaBella scored the first touchdown on the contest, hauling in a 25 yard touchdown pass. Bergman later notched a two-point conversion. Suffolk-North went on to topple Suffolk-South, 28-19.
“It was my last high school game with a few of my teammates and we knew we had to play our hearts out and that’s what we did,” LaBella said. “I scored the first touchdown of the game and we kept rolling after that.” The senior had four receptions for 90 yards in the game.
Parler shined at defensive tackle, recording a pair of quarterback sacks and a tackle. “Coach Muller told us ‘do what you do best when you get on that field,’ and we did,” the teenager said. “You know, it was my last high school game and the last time I was playing with my brothers, so I wanted to make it something I would remember forever.”
Jamison played flawlessly at center. “I think that I played really well,” the senior said. “It was fun to play with kids with similar talent levels.”
McDonald dazzled the crowd with his speed and strength at middle linebacker, tallying four tackles.
Bergman was glad he suited up and he made his time on the field count, too. “It was a really good experience and fun to play with some of my football teammates,” he said.
While Muller wasn’t officially on the coaching staff, he worked with his players on the sideline and he was pleased with the performance of all five Blue Devils. “They all did well,” he said.
Blue Devils Assist at Turkey Giveaway
Huntington varsity boys' basketball players participated in a turkey giveaway.
Huntington High School varsity boys’ basketball players volunteered their time at the eighth annual PAS Sorrentino Trucking turkey giveaway earlier this week.
Blue Devil head coach Brian Carey cut practice short so his players could assist in the distribution of 2,150 turkeys to needy families. The players also helped pass out laundry detergent, dishwashing liquid and other commonly used household items.
The Blue Devil basketball players joined other Huntington High School students, who were at the event with Young Leaders youth development organization. Jefferson Primary School student leadership team members were also on hand, giving freely of their time.
“We wanted our players to understand how important it is to give back to the community so we ended practice early,” explained Kevin Thorbourne, Huntington’s assistant varsity boys’ basketball coach and a founder of the Young Leaders organization.
H-ton Girls’ Basketball Donates Warm Clothes
Huntington girls' basketball players joined others in donating
warm clothing items fo for the homeless.
The Huntington varsity girls’ basketball team participated in a six-way scrimmage last weekend at St. Dominic’s in Oyster Bay along with Cold Spring Harbor, Farmingdale, Hicksville and Ursuline Academy. The Blue Devils and their fellow players used the occasion to donate warm jackets and blankets that will be distributed to homeless people of all ages in the metropolitan area through the Midnight Run organization and St. Dominic’s parish outreach.
“Our players are always looking to perform good deeds in the community and it’s wonderful to begin our season by giving back to those who need a helping hand,” Huntington head coach Michael Kaplan said.