The Hampton Bays girls basketball team has hosted the Coaches vs. Cancer Holiday Tournament the past three seasons, and the Lady Baymen’s dominance of its host tourney continued last week.
Hampton Bays defeated Pierson, 63-31, in the championship game on Friday to win its third consecutive tournament title. The Lady Baymen beat up on Shelter Island in the opening game of the tournament on Thursday, December 27, defeating the Lady Indians, 76-23.
Hampton Bays head coach Pat McGunnigle said the tournament, which raises funds for the American Cancer Society, was the first time this season he had a full team. “We had been playing without quite a few players, due to injuries and illnesses,” he said. “I think we’re ready to go now.”
Most of the vacancies for the Lady Baymen were in the front court. Senior Andrea Tufano and junior Haley Wood, the team’s starting center and power forward, respectively, both returned for the tournament, as did junior Charlie Forman, another front-court player, who missed the first month of the season due to an injury.
Hampton Bays (1-2 in League VII, 5-3 overall) built up a 30-19 lead at halftime over Pierson in the championship game on Friday, then pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring the Lady Whalers, 21-9. The Lady Baymen were able to keep Pierson’s top scorer, junior Bridget Canavan, in check for most of the game. She scored 10 points overall; seven of them came in the third quarter.
Hampton Bays freshman Hannah Reed and sophomore Trish Liotta scored 14 points each. Freshman Alexis Fotopoulos, who averaged eight assists in both games of the tournament, scored 10 points and had eight rebounds in the title game and was named tournament MVP.
In the opening game of the tournament, the Lady Baymen were hot from the field in the early going, leading Shelter Island 19-3 after the first quarter. McGunnigle put his reserves in for the fourth quarter, and they continued to widen the lead.
Fotopoulos had 14 points, while Tufano, who hadn’t practiced in almost two weeks before the game due to an injury, scored 15 points and pulled down 22 rebounds. “She’s just getting stronger and stronger now,” McGunnigle said of Tufano.
Hampton Bays looked to be back on track just before the tournament started last week. The Lady Baymen won, 71-29, at Wyandanch on December 21, after having lost at home in overtime to Mattituck, 76-67, on December 18.
Hampton Bays made 12 three-pointers in the win at Wyandanch. Liotta hit four three-pointers and finished with 14 points. Fotopoulos dropped three three-pointers, finishing with 11 points, and also had 15 assists, which McGunnigle said was a very good sign. “A lot of our scoring up until that game was coming off the dribble,” he said. “We had 22 assists as a team against Wyandanch. We’re starting to put it together as a team.”
In the overtime loss to Mattituck, Liotta sunk two free throws with nine seconds left in regulation to send the game into extra time. Mattituck dominated in overtime, outscoring the Lady Baymen, 11-2. Fotopoulos made three three-pointers and finished with a team-high 19 points. Liotta had 16 points, while Reed had 10. Hampton Bays was without Wood and Forman, and Tufano only played half a game.
ESM Loses To Harborfields
The Lady Sharks lost their lone game before the holiday break, 63-37, at home to Harborfields on December 18. ESM is 1-1 in League V play, 3-5 overallON THE SCHEDULE: Hampton Bays—Friday, 1/4, vs. Center Moriches, 7 p.m.; Tuesday, 1/8, at Southampton, 4 p.m. ESM—Thursday, 1/3, at Westhampton Beach, 5:45 p.m.; Tuesday, 1/8, vs. Sayville, 5:45 p.m.; Thursday, 1/10, at Islip, 4 p.m.