Senior Kevin Lawrence turned in his biggest game of the winter, dropping 32 points, but the Huntington High School boys’ basketball team fell to Ward Melville, 69-54 in the semifinal round of the Frank Gugliotta tournament at Walt Whitman.
Ward Melville (5-2) took an early lead and Huntington (2-3) was never able to catch-up. The Patriots led 17-7 after one quarter and extended the advantage to 24-10 early in the second frame. The Blue Devils staged periodic rallies, but never managed to get any closer than nine points.
After the lopsided first quarter, Huntington played Ward Melville to a near standoff the rest of the way, with the Patriots outscoring the Blue Devils in the last three quarters by 18-17, 18-15 and 16-15 margins.
Huntington was unable to contain Ward Melville’s dual scoring threats Matt Hudzik and Alex Sobel, who both tallied 24 points. Hudzik connected for eight three-pointers while Sobel had 11 field goals and 14 rebounds.
Lawrence also nailed 11 field goals along with a pair of three-pointers and four free throws for the Blue Devils. The teenager has been splendid all season, but he set a new high in scoring on Tuesday afternoon.
Taqwan Gooden-Hill had 11 points for Huntington and Mike Abbondandelo added four points. Ryan Gorecki, Nick Inman and Mekhi Harvey had two points each. James Shea scored one point from the free throw line.
Three Matmen Win Medals at Windsor Tournament
Huntington wrestlers Ryan Mock (3rd place at 113 lbs.), Charlie Gadson (5th at 220 lbs.) and Sean Flick (6th at 106 lbs.) earned medals in the 60th annual Windsor Christmas Tournament.
Mock won four matches in the competition, including three pins in 3:53, 4:28 and 5:27 and a 14-1 major decision. Gadson won 7-0, 4-0 and 3-2 decisions. Flick had a pin in 4:42 and 13-6 and 1-0 decisions.
The Blue Devils finished 19th among 31 squads in the team standings.
Kyree Johnson Polishes National Reputation
Huntington senior Kyree Johnson is polishing his reputation as one of the top high school track athletes in the country.
The senior has the second fastest time in the state and No. 8 in the country in the 55m dash (6.43 seconds) this winter and is No. 3 in New York and No. 5 in the U.S. in the 300m dash (34.49 seconds). But Johnson reached a whole new level this past Friday at the Ocean Breeze Holiday Festival in Staten Island.
Johnson sprinted past 300m national leader Eric Allen of Bullis in Potomac, Maryland to capture the 400m dash in 48.09 seconds, which set a new U.S. No. 1 time and is the 13th fastest ever in New York. It’s also a new Suffolk record as Johnson shattered the previous county mark held by former teammate Infinite Tucker.
Johnson, who ran on last winter and spring’s 4x400m relay national champions, also handled the final leg of Huntington’s 4x400m relay that was nipped at the wire by Bullis last Friday by 1/100th of a second. The Blue Devils’ time of 3:22.07 is the fastest in New York this winter and the second fastest in the country.
Boys’ Basketball Notches Last-Second Victory
The Huntington boys’ basketball team rebounded from a tough loss earlier in the week to upend host North Babylon, 45-42.
The Blue Devils built a 21-9 lead after the opening eight minutes and held a 27-21 halftime advantage. Despite being outscored by the Bulldogs in the second half, 21-18, Huntington had enough in the tank to hold on for a much needed victory, which evened the team’s overall mark to 2-2.
The game wasn’t decided until the final seconds. Mekhi Harvey hit a jump shot with about 20 seconds remaining to give Huntington a three point lead. Taqwan Gooden-Hill blocked an attempted three-pointer by North Babylon with just 0.6 seconds left on the clock to put the victory on ice.
Kevin Lawrence led the Blue Devils with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Harvey had 17 points and James Shea added three points on a basket from downtown. Mike Abbondandelo and Gooden-Hill scored two points each.
H-ton’s 15-0 Run is Not Enough
The Huntington basketball team went on a long 15-0 run to take a commanding lead last Friday afternoon against Kings Park, but couldn’t hang on.
Kings Park scored eight of the first nine points in the game. That was enough for Huntington head coach Brian Carey to call time out after less than two minutes of play. When the action resumed, the Blue Devils could do no wrong, scoring 15 consecutive points to grab a 16-8 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Kings Park stormed back, outscoring the Blue Devils in the second and third quarters by a 42-17 margin. Huntington tried to rally in the final frame, but was unable to, falling 69-49. The non-league victory improved Kings Park’s record to 7-1.
Carey is a Kings Park graduate and coached the school’s team prior to coming to Huntington.
Mekhi Harvey led the Blue Devils with 17 points. Kevin Lawrence had 14 points and Taqwan Gooden-Hill added five points. Mike Abbondandelo and James Shea scored four points each. Nick Inman had three points and Gerard Federici scored two points.
Anna Gulizio’s Career Night
Anna Gulizio’s career night carried the Huntington girls’ basketball team to its second consecutive league victory as the Blue Devils stormed past visiting North Babylon in Louis D. Giani Gymnasium, 48-31.
Huntington trailed 9-4 in the first quarter before going on a long 20-4 run that put the Blue Devils up 24-13 at halftime. “Our shots started dropping and everything started to click,” head coach Michael Kaplan said.
The bleachers were dotted with several alums of the program, who were home from college. A crowd of about 150 cheered for the Blue Devils, who still aren’t at full strength while senior Tara Wilson recovers from an ankle injury.
Huntington outscored the Bulldogs in the third frame to extend its advantage to 38-18 and effectively put the game out of reach. The victory gives the Blue Devils a 4-2 mark this winter.
Gulizio scored 15 first half points, some in acrobatic fashion to ignite the Blue Devil rally. The senior finished with 19 points and nine steals. Emma Petrizzi had nine points and Alexandra Heuwetter added six points. Torre Palmer had two points and pulled down a dozen rebounds.
Once it got rolling, Huntington’s defense was so suffocating that no North Babylon player scored in double digits. “We’ve really worked at rebounding and boxing out in practice and it’s paying off,” Petrizzi said. “Today was an all-around team effort. Everyone came in and contributed, whether that be offensively or defensively.”
Ten Blue Devil players scored in the game. Nicole Leslie had four points and Shannon Maloney, Abby Maichin and Katie Seccafico had two points each. Megan Byrnes and Charlotte Maggio both scored a point from the foul line.
Huntington scored 10 points from the free throw line in the game. Petrizzi and Heuwetter each dropped a three-pointer basket. “Having our old teammates there watching made it feel like old times,” Gulizio said. “But, it added pressure, too.”
Abbondandelo Scores Season High 12 Points
The Huntington boys’ basketball team fell 54-37 to Walt Whitman in the consolation game of the Frank Gugliotta tournament.
The Blue Devils led 7-4 after the first quarter before Whitman went on a 19-6 second quarter run to grab a 23-13 halftime advantage. Huntington outscored the Wildcats in the third frame, 12-10, but Whitman finished strong, outshooting the Blue Devils over the final eight minutes, 21-12.
Mike Abbondandelo led Huntington with a season high 12 points. Kevin Lawrence had eight points and Taqwan Gooden-Hill added six points. James Shea and Mekhi Harvey had four points each. Travis Robinson dropped two points and Gerard Federici had one point.
Gulizio & Petrizzi Pace Girls’ Basketball
Senior co-captains Anna Gulizio and Emma Petrizzi both turned strong performances to pace the Huntington girls’ basketball team to a 61-41 victory over visiting East Islip in a non-league game.
Gulizio dropped 17 points and added 10 rebounds and five steals and Petrizzi had 14 points, six rebounds and six assists as Huntington improved to 5-2 this winter. Junior Katie Seccafico also shined, tallying 11 points and seven rebounds. Junior Nicole Leslie had four points and pulled down a dozen rebounds. Junior Alexandra Heuwetter scored eight points.
East Islip took an early 5-2 lead before Huntington rallied and went on a long run, building a double digit lead. The Redmen regained their momentum and closed to within four points at 24-20. Blue Devil head coach Michael Kaplan called timeout and when play resumed his squad quickly reasserted itself and built a 34-24 halftime advantage.
Huntington extended its lead to 54-35 by the end of the third quarter. Despite trailing by double digits, East Islip kept playing hard to the last second, forcing the Blue Devils to do the same. Jackie Carty led the Redmen with 17 points.
Senior Torre Palmer had four points for Huntington and freshman Abby Maichin added three points on a basket from downtown.
The game featured what just might be Huntington’s best offensive performance to date. “I was proud of us,” Gulizio said. Blue Devil senior Tara Wilson took the court for the first time this winter and played well.
“I feel really great about the game,” Petrizzi said. “Everyone who’s been injured came back today and the whole team contributed. I think we’re really coming together as a team and have improved so much since the beginning of the season.”
Blue Devil Notes: Current Bucknell University sophomore and former Blue Devil athletic great Scott Gulizio was at the game . . . The Huntington JV team won a thrilling overtime victory in a game preceding the varsity contest . . . Current Princeton University freshman and former Huntington three sport star Katie Reilly was at the game . . Superintendent James W. Polansky was in the gym for the second half.