Iris Hoffman had 20 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists,...

Iris Hoffman had 20 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists, but it was her 8 steals that led Whitman’s suffocating defense on Tuesday. Credit: Bob Sorensen

Somehow, calling it shutdown defense just doesn’t seem to justify what Whitman was able to do on Tuesday.

The Wildcats held Longwood to two field goals and five points on two quarters in their 63-34 road victory in Suffolk League I girls basketball. After Delaney Israel hit a three-pointer to cut Whitman’s lead to 14-13 with 6:26 left in the second quarter, Whitman closed the period on a 17-0 run and then scored the first 16 points of the third quarter, going on a 33-0 run in a span of 13:39.

“The energy was definitely through the roof at that time,” said Iris Hoffman, a senior guard. “We’re just looking to score and we were firing on all ends.”

Coach Dan Trebour credited Kathleen O’Mara and Jazmynn Julien for playing tough defense on Longwood’s top two players, who also battled foul trouble, to help facilitate the tremendous run.

“We just came out on fire,” Hoffman said. “Our defense leads to offense for us. We’re a big transition team and our ability to box out, rebound and run really put points up for us today.”

Hoffman finished with 20 points, seven rebounds, five assists and eight steals and O’Mara added 15 points. Whitman (9-1) defeated Longwood, 66-59, earlier in the season in one of the defending Suffolk Class AA champions closest contests of the year.

“We wanted to beat up on them because last time was a close game,” O’Mara said. “We didn’t have a really good game. We knew we could take it to them and we did.”

Ainsley Hololob had 10 points for Longwood (5-5). Brianna Verga added 10 points and Grace Davis had seven points for Whitman.

Hoffman, a Newsday All-Long Island selection last season, made her usual share of highlight-reel passes, many coming after creating steals on the defensive end.

“You know she’s going to make a few awesome passes for layups and you know she’s going to hit a couple of threes and it just opens it up for everyone else,” Trebour said. “She creates offense when the offense we run can’t get us going, so she individually is always responsible for a lot of points.”

Whitman won the Suffolk Class AA title last year and looks to win county Class AAA in the inaugural year of the classification after the state association introduced AAA this year for certain sports. The Wildcats’ goal is to repeat, regardless of classification size.

“Playoffs is the best part, obviously,” Hoffman said. “I think we have a big target on our backs because of what we did last year. It’s very hard to get to the top, it’s going to be even harder to stay there, so we just have to keep working really hard and get wins.”

Newsday LogoSUBSCRIBEUnlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months