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Athlete of the Week is Port Jefferson’s Courtney Lewis

Courtney Lewis of  Port Jefferson

Courtney Lewis of  Port Jefferson Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

Watch Port Jefferson senior guard Courtney Lewis play basketball for a few minutes, and the depth and versatility of her game are evident.

“Courtney can score on pretty much anyone,” coach Jesse Rosen said. “She can step back behind the three-point line, and if you take that away, she’s certainly willing to drive. She also isn’t afraid to take a midrange jumper . . . She’s phenomenal off the dribble and can use a euro step to go left and right.”

The 5-7 Lewis made scoring seem, almost, easy the last six seasons. (That’s right, six varsity seasons going back to seventh grade when she was brought up from the JV squad.)

But years from now, what everyone in Port Jefferson will remember is the 2016-17 season.

Lewis scored a combined 54 points in the state Class C semifinal and championship games last weekend in Troy. She had a team-best 23 points as the Royals lost to Watkins Glen, 65-63, in the state Class C final at Hudson Valley CC on Sunday. For her efforts, Lewis is Newsday’s Athlete of the Week.

“This season means everything to us seniors,” Lewis said. “We definitely went into the season with a goal to win counties, but to go this far was an amazing experience.”

Indeed. Port Jefferson (20-5) won its first county title in girls basketball since 1927.

The Royals weren’t done there, beating East Rockaway for the Long Island Class C crown.

After a victory against Haldane, Port Jeff advanced to the state semifinals and topped South Seneca, 71-53, behind a 31-point effort from Lewis, who hit 17 of 22 free throws.

“We had never played a team not from Long Island,” Lewis said. “When we won, I thought, ‘We belong. We can actually do this.’ ”

Though they fell two points short of a state crown — one play or basket — certainly won’t diminish an amazing season for Port Jefferson.

“Most of the ride back home, nobody talked,” Lewis said. “Later, our coaches came to the back of the bus and told us that one day we’ll look back and not think about one game, but how great an experience this was.”

She averaged 28.3 points this season and ended her career with 2,148 points and finished as Port Jefferson’s all-time leading scorer in girls basketball.

Lewis, who has a weighted GPA of 97.52, isn’t certain what school she attend this fall, or if she’ll play basketball.

“My main focus is academics,” said Lewis, who hopes to study engineering or accounting. “But if I had the opportunity to play, or walk on, I would because I love the sport.”

Which is certainly evident.


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