In what appears to be a wide open Suffolk Class AA, many people were mentioning Deer Park as a sleeper team and the Falcons showed why Thursday night with a 65-55 upset win over Whitman, which is regarded by many to be one of the favorites to win the championship.
Senior Shayna Robinson scored a career-high 28 points, senior Andrea Desvignes had 13 points and three steals, and senior Jasmine Gonzalez scored nine of her 10 points in a 35-28 second half.
“We shot the ball extremely well,” Deer Park coach Mike Gennaro said. “We handled their pressure well.”
Deer Park had success in the summer and fall leagues, but Gennaro knows that not every team has a full complement of players in those leagues. Still, with an experienced group and lots of seniors, the Falcons were feeling good coming into the season and also have victories over Floyd and Riverhead, two other teams considered dark horses in some eyes.
Desvignes, Robinson, senior Felicia LaSora, and Gonzalez form the nucleus. Senior Nicole Alvarez tore her meniscus in the Floyd game and is out indefinitely.
The Falcons are hoping to make the playoffs after missing out last year.
“Last year was disappointing,” Gennaro said. “We had a tough time. Things are coming together this year. It’s still early, but we feel good.”