Is the Huntington girls’ basketball team on the cusp of a new successful era? The Blue Devils are expected to put a talented squad on the court this winter and appear capable of making a post-season run.
The Blue Devils have six non-league games on their schedule along with 14 home and away contests with Suffolk League III foes Smithtown West, Half Hollow Hills East, Newfield, Smithtown East, North Babylon, Centereach and Copiague.
Head coach Mike Kaplan and assistant coach Marissa Bergmann return to lead Huntington. The roster includes senior captains Alexandra Heuwetter, Nicole Leslie and Katie Seccafico, juniors Paige Lennon, Alyssa Sorensen and Christie Baade, sophomores Abby Maichin, Riva Bergmann and Holly Wright and freshmen Jordan Forte, Charlotte Maggio and Julia Steinberg.
“The seniors have displayed great leadership in the first three weeks of the season,” Kaplan said. “Returning players as well as newcomers are adjusting well. I am very excited. We have a great group of girls who work extremely hard and are always striving to get better. The team chemistry is already fantastic.”
Kaplan has compiled a record of 100-40 through his first seven seasons at Huntington. The Blue Devils reached the playoffs in six of those campaigns including a trip to the county semifinals in 2014 and an appearance in the Suffolk Class AA finals in 2015.
Huntington won league crowns in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and went 14-7 last winter. The Blue Devils are 71-13 over the past four years.
After capturing All-County honors as a junior, Heuwetter has returned for her final season with Huntington and is the team’s star. She averaged 13 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals per game last winter and led the Blue Devils in three-pointers, free throws made and scoring.
Huntington’s players have looked good in early season action. “They have been working really hard and learning a great deal of offensive and defensive strategies,” Kaplan said. “They have implemented them well. Our goal is to be the No. 1 defensive team in Suffolk for the fifth straight year.”
The Blue Devils expect to be challenged over the course of the league schedule. “The girls are excited about the tough competition that lies ahead,” Kaplan said.
After playing five non-league games, Huntington will open its league schedule on December 19 at Smithtown West. The home league opener follows two days later against Half Hollow Hills East.