Emily Plachta of Huntington gets around the defense to shoot...

Emily Plachta of Huntington gets around the defense to shoot at the exceptional seniors girls all star basketball game on Sunday, Sunday March 27, 2022 at Patchogue-Medford High School. Credit: Dawn McCormick

Playing for her former eighth-grade junior varsity coach on Sunday morning, Huntington’s Emily Plachta gave him a glimpse of the superb talent she grew to become.

Leading the way with five three-pointers and 27 points, Plachta helped propel the Town of Huntington team to a 79-40 victory over Town of Smithtown in the Suffolk Police Athletic League’s inaugural All-Star Exceptional Senior Girls Basketball Challenge championship game at Patchogue-Medford High School.

“It was really nice to come back and play for Coach and with all these girls that I grew up playing with,” said Plachta, whose team was coached by Northport assistant coach Perry Marinelli.

Plachta, who finished second in the county in scoring at 24.4 points per game this season, was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.

“It’s really cool to kind of see her grow up and how great she’s become as a player,” Marinelli said. “I’m excited to see what she does at the next level.”

Plachta acknowledged that winning the inaugural tournament was a special moment.

“It’s really an honor to play in the first version of this and be the first team to put our name on the trophy,” Plachta said.

Longwood’s Taydra Simpson added 15 points, Sophia Yearwood of Northport had 13 points and Huntington’s Makayla Frazier chipped in seven points for Town of Huntington.

Smithtown West’s Karsyn Kondracki had nine points and Sachem East’s Ashley Pavan had seven points for Town of Smithtown.

“It was an honor to participate in and be chosen to play in this,” Simpson said. “It was just a really fun thing to do and a great event to be a part of.”

An 8-1 run to end the first quarter gave Town of Huntington a 16-10 lead entering the second. It continued that spurt with back-to-back threes from Simpson and Plachta before tacking on a layup and jumper, extending its advantage to 26-10.

Simpson’s layup with 10 seconds left put Town of Huntington ahead 34-18 at the half.

Town of Huntington created further distance in the second half, opening up a 20-point lead following a pair of free throws from Plachta with 5:39 to go in the third before earning the victory.

Suffolk PAL Director of Development Donald Yorie spoke to the crowd afterward, expressing his excitement of making the event an annual tradition.

“We’ve done this for football and we’re excited that this is the first year we’re doing this [for] basketball, Yorie said. “And we’re going to do it every year.”


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