Shoreham-Wading River's Sophie Costello puts up a three-point shot to...

Shoreham-Wading River's Sophie Costello puts up a three-point shot to tie the game late in the fourth quarter during the Suffolk small school girls basketball championship against Port Jefferson on Tuesday at Longwood. Credit: Bob Sorensen

It wasn’t pretty, but Sophie Costello kept Shoreham-Wading River’s undefeated season alive with a clutch three-pointer in the closing seconds Tuesday.

The senior spotted up at the top of the key, caught the inbounds pass from under the basket and banked in the tying three-pointer with 25.7 seconds left in the game.

“My whole team jumped up off their seats and they were screaming, but I really didn’t have much of a reaction,” Costello said. “All I was thinking was ‘Wow, we really got to win this now.'”

Costello scored 19 points as Class A champion Shoreham-Wading River defeated Class C champion Port Jefferson, 52-46, in the Suffolk small school championship at Longwood High School.

It wasn’t until overtime when Shoreham-Wading River (24-0) took control. The Wildcats outscored the Royals 7-1 in overtime as Colleen Ohrtman hit two free throws and drained a three-pointer to establish a 50-46 lead.

Lola Idir lit up the scoreboard with four three-pointers in the first quarter for Port Jefferson (18-3) as she finished with 25 points.

For almost four full quarters, she was able to go wherever she wanted even with double- and triple-teams sent her direction. It didn’t take Costello by surprise since the two are AAU teammates.

“I watch people struggle with her all the time when I play AAU with her,” Costello said. “Credit to her, she really knows how to shoot the ball right in your face. We watched her film and we were told to close out on her, but once you’re guarding her, you really don’t understand how much you need to close out.”

Trailing throughout wasn’t an issue for the Wildcats, however. They had been in that position before. Most recently, they were down five points to Kings Park with less than five minutes remaining in the Class A championship, yet the Wildcats won by seven.

Head coach Adam Lievre reiterated this heading into overtime against Port Jefferson.

“It was 0-0 at that point,” Lievre said. “Everything that I didn’t think we did real well in the first four quarters, we now had a fresh start.”

Shoreham-Wading River advances to the Suffolk title game against Class AA champion Whitman (20-3) at noon on Saturday at Stony Brook University.

Costello plays AAU with Whitman’s Iris Hoffman and Kasey Wagner, so she’s ready for them.

“They’re both super talented,” Costello said. “We’re very similar, fast players. Iris can definitely shoot the lights out, too, so we got to take what we learned today.”


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