While the Huntington High School varsity girls’ basketball team has struggled at times during its first eight games, the Blue Devil coaching staff is convinced that good times are ahead for the program.
Head coach Mike Kaplan, assistant coach Marissa Bergmann and volunteer assistant Fred Vasselman are all confident that once the squad gels and gets healthy, the team will play more consistently on both offense and defense.
Huntington has a young team, with only three seniors on the roster. Seniors Alexandra Heuwetter, Nicole Leslie and Katie Seccafico are the Blue Devils’ captains. The roster also includes freshmen Jordan Forte, Charlotte Maggio and Julia Steinberg; sophomores Riva Bergman, Abigail Maichin and Holly Wright and juniors Paige Lennon, Alyssa Sorensen and Christie Baade.
The Blue Devils are competing in Suffolk League III this winter. Huntington will play home and away games against Copiague, North Babylon, Smithtown East, Smithtown West, Half Hollow Hills East, Newfield and Centereach. The team also has six non-league games on its schedule.
A series of injuries has kept the team from functioning at full strength during most of its opening eight games. The Blue Devils entered the week with a 4-4 record. Huntington has defeated Amityville (44-32), Bellport (49-37), Comsewogue (47-42) and Deer Park (55-44) and dropped games to McGann-Mercy (41-38), Sachem North (44-37), Smithtown West (60-43) and Hills East (50-26).
The Blue Devils have been hampered by having some of their best players on the bench nursing injuries. Seccafico took a tumble against Sachem North and experienced spasms, which knocked her out of that game and the two that followed. Huntington lost three straight without the talented teenager on the court. Sickness has also struck the team.
As the Blue Devils move into league play in earnest, Kaplan is optimistic that the team will settle into a pattern of consistency on both ends of the court. “We have a great group of players who all contribute to the team,” the coach said. “Once everyone is healthy, we all expect good things to start happening.”
In the season’s final non-league tune-up last Friday, Huntington evened its record at 4-4 by besting visiting Amityville, 44-32.
The Blue Devils charged out of the gate, outscoring the Warriors over the opening eight minutes, 18-6. Amityville cut their deficit to 26-19 by halftime, but Huntington went on a 9-2 third quarter run to open a 14 point lead.
Heuwetter’s 18 points, including four three-pointers, led Huntington. Leslie had 12 points and a dozen rebounds and Abby Maichin added six points. Paige Lennon tallied five points and six assists. Katie Seccafico had two points and Jordan Forte scored one point.
The Blue Devils played Newfield and Smithtown East this week and North Babylon and Centereach next week.