Two of the top teams on Long Island met Saturday afternoon in the Hoops to Remember Tournament at Herricks as Sachem East and North Babylon squared off. The game lost some of its luster since Sachem East senior point guard Kristen Doherty was out with a partially torn left hamstring and so was her sister, sophomore Meagan, who has a partially torn left MCL.
North Babylon had senior point guard Bria Hartley and that was a big difference in North Babylon’s 60-43 win. Hartley scored 31 in front of UConn women’s coach Geno Auremmia, who will be her coach next season.
North Babylon has a new look this season with the graduation of Eugeneia McPherson, Maliqua Fisher and Kahsyrah Bryant, whom all logged significant minutes last season. The Bulldogs have eight players that are freshmen or younger. They started eighth graders Charise Wilson and Lauren Williams.
“We lost three starters and we have a lot of young players,” Hartley said. “They don’t know the system yet and I am just trying to help them get better and gain more confidence. We have a lot of work to do. Our chemistry isn’t there yet. It’s going to take a few games.”
North Babylon coach Mike Petre said it will take some time to figure out what combinations of players will work.
“Once everyone gets used to what role they can play, I think we’ll be a lot crisper in terms of our execution,” Petre said.
For now, a lot falls on the shoulder of Hartley and she didn’t force any shots, instead often deferring to her teammates.
“It’s a lot to ask someone to handle the ball, rebound, defend, rotate, assist and steal it,” Petre said.
Meanwhile, Sachem East was able to keep it as close as eight points late in the third quarter. Caitlin Hopkins stepped up and led the Flaming Arrows with 19 points and 14 rebounds.
“Hopkins probably had the best game I have ever seen her have,” Sachem East coach Matt Brisson said. “She became an offensive focal point.”
Freshman Samantha Drake had seven points and eighth grader Kathleen Everson scored six points
“The potential is there,” Brisson said. “The kids believe they can be a part of it. The Doherty’s carry so much of the weight; it’s good for the other kids to show there here, too. If there’s such a thing as a moral victory, this was it.”
For more on the game, click the link.