Mattituck center Caroline Little converts the pass down low for...

Mattituck center Caroline Little converts the pass down low for two points against Babylon in the Suffolk Class B final on Friday at St. Joseph's University. Credit: George A Faella

There was nothing small about Caroline Little’s game. The Mattituck senior forward came up big when her team needed her most.

Little had 12 points, nine rebounds and three assists to help No. 2 Mattituck beat top-seeded Babylon, 42-29, on Friday night to claim the Suffolk Class B girls basketball title at St. Joseph’s University in Patchogue.

It was the fifth title in the past eight years for Mattituck (16-6). Babylon, which split the season series with Mattituck, ended its season at 14-8.

“We played a swarming team defense and forced quite a few turnovers,” said Mattituck coach Steve Van Dood. “We’re long and athletic and this is a game of possessions. We trapped them in our 1-3-1 zone and I’m proud of the way we moved and made plays.”

Little found herself in the middle of the action throughout the game. She scored eight first-half points, including a pivotal three-point play to give Mattituck a 24-10 halftime lead.

“Babylon was the team to beat,” Little said. “They beat us in overtime and that lit a fire underneath us. We have a lot of height to work with and we forced some tough shots. It made the difference.”

Mattituck held Babylon to 30% shooting and rarely gave up second shot opportunities.

“Mattituck did a good job rebounding,” Babylon coach Chris Ryan said. “They’re long and athletic. And we just had too many turnovers. We were lazy in our passes and they took advantage.”

Mattituck opened the season with five straight losses, playing a highly competitive non-league schedule. It then reeled off nine straight wins and won 15 of its last 17.

“Our non-league schedule is done by design,” Van Dood said. “We challenge them early and get prepared for league play.”

Mattituck led 9-8 after Rhiana Lutz hit consecutive baskets in a back and forth first quarter. Mattituck scored the first eight points of the second quarter and never looked back. Jashlyn Castenada opened the quarter with a three-pointer and Riley Corrigan scored on a fast break off a steal. After a steal by Lutz, Corrigan added a long three-pointer to make it 17-8.

“We’re young and we had a really good season at Babylon,” Ryan said. “I’m proud of them and we’ll be back.”

Babylon junior Giavanna Randazzo and sophomore Peyton Logue-Boyd led the Panthers with 11 points each.

For Little, the victory did not come as a surprise.

“Our coach did a great job preparing us for the big games,” Little said. “We played a difficult schedule early this season and it paid off when it counted the most.”

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