Sofia Vasselman had 26 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists...

Sofia Vasselman had 26 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for the Cougars in a win over Shoreham-Wading River on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2023. Credit: Peter Frutkoff

Sofia Vasselman wasn’t happy with her most recent performance. The Commack junior guard is one of the best outside shooters in Suffolk girls basketball. But after knocking down just one three-pointer and finishing with seven points against Islip on Thursday, Vasselman took additional shots at practice and was determined to put together a better showing the next chance she had.

And that’s exactly what she did. Vasselman knocked down seven three-pointers and finished with 26 points as host Commack defeated Shoreham-Wading River, 54-21, in non-league girls basketball play on Wednesday morning.

“I felt really confident today,” Vasselman said. “Especially since last game I didn’t hit many shots. Once my confidence started to pick up, I got the rhythm and then it was just kind of muscle memory. I just blocked the last game out of my head and focused on the future.”

“Her growth has been exponential,” coach Dave Moran said. “ . . . But it’s her wanting to get better that makes her better. It’s not anything we’re doing. She just puts the extra pressure on herself and it’s hard to find kids like that.”

Commack (10-0) was without one of its better players in Maya Khan, who missed the game because of injury. Vasselman knew it would be vital for her to impose her will in every facet of the game against Shoreham-Wading River, who won the Suffolk Class A title last year. The guard added 10 rebounds and seven assists while scoring 12 of the Cougars’ 15 first-quarter points.

“We knew we were going to have to step up (without Khan) and it kind of gave me a little bit more fire to focus on my shot,” Vasselman said. “I needed to stay calm and get the win.”

Sienna Olivares, a senior guard who transferred in from Christ the King, added 13 points, five assists and seven steals, including scoring seven points over a minute in the third quarter.

“I feel like I’m on cloud nine with my girls,” Olivares said. “They trust me. Whenever I call for the ball, they’re willing to give it to me. They are willing to put their faith in me and that’s all I need to be successful.”

“Sienna doesn’t stop, she’s one of the motors of the team,” Moran said. “Her and Haley Loscalzo, they just want to go, go, go. They sacrifice their body for the team and Sienna is a high-level player. She wants the ball in the big moment, she wants the pressure and with her and Sofia in the backcourt, it becomes hard to guard.”

Commack led 25-7 at halftime against a Shoreham-Wading River team that was missing some key players and fell to 3-4.

Mia McBrien and Alexa Rosenbach each added six points and Loscalzo had 12 rebounds and four steals. Grayce Kitchen had nine points for Shoreham-Wading River. Vasselman controlled the pace with her 26 points, all coming in the first three quarters.

“I don’t know what I would do without Sofia,” Olivares said. “Sofia’s like the floor general. Everyone does what she says and she puts her faith in us and trusts us with what she does and that’s what allows her to be successful. And upon Sofia’s success, we build on our success.”

Where could that success lead Commack? If you ask Olivares, the answer could be pretty far.

“I’ll go to war with these girls with anybody,” she said. “You put your best five, I’ll put my best five and good luck to you because I love these girls more than anything.”

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