Commack's Kerry Haller looks to pass. (Feb. 14, 2012)

Commack's Kerry Haller looks to pass. (Feb. 14, 2012) Credit: George A. Faella

There wasn’t much talk about Commack as a top eight team in Suffolk Class AA before the season. Now, many coaches are saying to watch out for Commack as a darkhorse.

Commack (5-1, 2-1 League I) actually opened eyes in its lone loss. Commack had a lead in the final two minutes against Sachem East, one of the preseason favorites, before falling 41-38.

“That’s a spot Sachem East is used to being in and we weren’t,” Commack coach Denis Conroy said. “We will learn from it. I was happy with the effort. We defended well.”

Commack’s reputation is being a good defensive team. The difference this season is the improvement on offense. The Cougars are averaging 52.8 points per game and have won by an average of 26 points.

“Ten points in a quarter was cause for a celebration last season,” Conroy said. “That is now a down quarter.”

Conroy said he expected Commack to be good, but wasn’t sure how quickly it would happen since the team is young. The leading scorers are sophomores Erin Storck and Chelsea Schultz with 10 points per game. Seniors Samantha Lane, Kerry Haller and Melissa Lobaccaro provide the leadership for the younger players as Commack has two freshmen and an eighth grader coming off the bench.

“We’re a young team and before anyone talks about you, you need to show it,” Conroy said. “We haven’t done it before.”

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