Liz Dwyer and Katie Hoeg have built chemistry so strong they hardly need to speak on the court.
“We’ve been playing together for years now, so now I think it’s just natural,” said Dwyer, who had 28 points and 10 rebounds in Mattituck’s 60-52 victory over Pierson/Bridgehampton in Saturday’s Suffolk BC girls basketball championship at Riverhead High School. “It’s easy because I know when she’s cutting, so I just give it to her. It’s like twin telepathy I call it.”
“We kind of know what we like to do and we can work off each other,” said Hoeg, who added 21 points and 10 rebounds.
The two have catapulted the Tuckers to their first county championship season. On Saturday, Dwyer and Hoeg drove to the hoop and continued finding each other for easy baskets. They are determined to keep this historic season going as long as possible.
“We never won a county championship before so therefore we’ve never won this before,” Hoeg, a senior, said. “So we just keep going and making history every game.”
Mattituck’s press defense forced early turnovers leading to fast break baskets as the Tuckers took a 32-24 lead into halftime.
“We’re all athletic and we love to run and we love to press,” Hoeg said. “We just love to wreak havoc and make the other team go kind of crazy.”
The Tuckers looked as if they were going to pull away after Dwyer made two foul shots with 2:19 remaining to take a 54-42 lead. But the Whalers (13-7) responded with an 8-0 run to bring the game to 54-50 before Mattituck sealed the game with free throws. Dwyer and Hoeg combined to shoot 6-for-6 from the foul line in the final 30 seconds.
“Fortunately we are a good foul shooting team,” said coach Steve Van Dood. “I knew I had my right foul shooters out there and they made their shots.”
Dwyer scored 10 in the fourth quarter and finished the game with 12 free throws. Nia Dawson and Lily Kot led the Whalers with 19 and 14 points, respectively.
Mattituck (19-1) plays Islip of Class A Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. at Suffolk CCC-Brentwood in the small school championship game. The Tuckers look to continue to make history in their first Long Island championship game against Carle Place March 1 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Joseph’s College, Patchogue.