HUNTINGTON, New York, Mar. 12
BY: Andrew Wroblewski
Coming into Friday night’s Class AA Suffolk County girls basketball final, the Huntington Blue Devils were a perfect 21-0.
In fact, before that game, Huntington had won 41 of its last 42 games stretching back to last season. This year, the Blue Devils hadn’t so much as trailed at halftime during any of their 2014-2015 contests.
Against No. 2 Commack (21-2) in the finals, however, not one of those statistics mattered – what mattered was that the Cougars made shots and the Blue Devils didn’t. Huntington fell 54-37.
“It was just a bad combination… They probably made every shot they took and we missed every shot we took,” head coach Mike Kaplan said after the setback at Ward Melville High School.
The Cougars jumped on No. 1 Huntington (21-1) early, ending the half with a 23-9 lead. To start the third quarter, Commack didn’t make things any easier – the Cougars went on an 11-0 run and never looked back.
Huntington seniors Heather Forster and Samantha Lynch tried their best to get Huntington back into the game, but time-after-time that the Blue Devils answered, it seemed that the Cougars would storm right back.
“Obviously it stings a little bit. This was not the best game we’ve played all year,” Kaplan said. “But it was a great season.”
Forster, a 6-foot-2 forward, scored 15 points in the loss, adding to her season-average of 13.6 points per game. Lynch, a 5-foot-9 guard, scored 12 points of her own, just a few short of her season average, 15.5 points per game.
A third senior, Katie Nugent scored 2 points in the senior class’ final game wearing a Blue Devils basketball uniform. The trio is joined by fellow seniors Maliyah Davis, Caitlin Knowles, Lindsay Sullivan and Mackenzie Maloney – who was kept out with an injury – to make up a senior class that Kaplan said will serve as an example of excellence for Huntington’s young talent.
“Besides this game, it’s still been a great four years with them,” he said. “These seniors set the [bar] for the younger kids.”
Of the 13 spots on this year’s Blue Devils’ roster, six were filled by either juniors, sophomores or freshmen. Brooke Baade, a junior guard-forward combination, scored 6 points against Commack; Katie Reilly, another junior guard, added 2 points of her own.
Kaplan is excited to get those girls back onto the court next season.
“We have great kids coming up,” he said. “It’s going to be fun.”
Originally published: Long Islander News: The Long Islander
(Thursday, Mar. 12, 2015; A46)