Corinne Reda saved her best basketball for the playoffs.
Mattituck’s lone senior has been more than just a presence in the low post. Sure, it’s nice to have a double-double threat on any given night, but the Tuckers saw even greater value in her as a leader.
So even after Mattituck lost to Irvington, 62-37, on Thursday night in the Southeast Regional Class B final at SUNY Old Westbury, coach Steve Van Dood was all smiles while talking about her.
“Corinne does a lot for the girls,” he said. “She’s a great leader; she’s a captain of our team. She’s my liaison between myself and the team. She’s like the Mother Hen of the team. She keeps everyone in order, and she does a good job for us in that aspect.”
Reda had seven points and 10 rebounds against Irvington (24-1), and her playoff performance as a whole was reliable. She posted individual games of 11 points and nine rebounds and 19 points and 13 rebounds, solidifying her status as one of the team’s most important players. She averaged 8.3 points for Mattituck (20-4).
Teammates responded well to her leadership both on and off the court.
“They respect me as a captain and they know that I like to have fun and I know when to, but I also can bring them in serious times in practice and I know how to balance that very well,” said Reda, who picked up her fourth foul late in the third quarter but never exited the game.
As a leader, Reda rallied the Tuckers even when the deficit increasingly grew. Reda said Irvington “took our game and kind of spun it on us,” referencing Mattituck’s pressure defense and transition-heavy offense.
Reda, Liz Dwyer (14 points), Jane DiGregorio (10) and the Tuckers continued competing on both ends of the floor. Irvington forced the Tuckers’ defense into tough spots with unselfish ball movement and shot 5-for-11 from three-point range.
Dwyer, Mattituck’s leading scorer, who entered the game averaging 22 points per game, said she’ll miss playing with Reda, whose rebounding allowed Dwyer more scoring chances.
Dwyer and Reda were the glue to a team that Van Dood said had several athletes who excelled in other sports outside of basketball.
“We were able to fill in the pieces, and that’s a testament to them,” Van Dood said. “We’re not looking at what we don’t have; we’re looking for what we do have, and we work with that.”
Van Dood had Reda to work with, and while the Southeast Regional has proved a hurdle for a Mattituck team that has won consecutive Long Island Class B championships, she was pleased with the program’s progress.
Said Reda: “I’m so proud of how much we did.”