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Samantha Hinke gets chance, responds for Hills West

Senior forward has to watch from the bench with foul trouble in first half, and responds with 17 second-half points to lead the Colts to a comeback victory over Harborfields in Tietjen Invitational.

Samantha Hinke #11 of Half Hollow Hills West,

Samantha Hinke #11 of Half Hollow Hills West, right, gets pressured by Mia Triolo #12 of Harborfields during the Russ Tietjen Invitational final at Harborfields High School on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017. Hinke scored 23 points to lead Hills West to a 61-54 win. Photo Credit: James Escher

Half Hollow Hills West’s Samantha Hinke knew her time would come.

The longer the Colts senior forward sat on the bench in first-half foul trouble, the more determined she became for the second half.

“It was very, very frustrating because I want to be out there with my team,” Hinke said. “It’s hard to sit there and watch. All I want to do is go in.”

When she got her chance, she responded. Hinke had 17 second-half points and ended the night with 25 points and seven rebounds, and junior Kayla Robertson added 15 points and 10 assists as Hills West topped host Harborfields, 61-54, in the Tietjen Invitational final on Friday night.

“I wanted to come back stronger,” Hinke said, “and keep on pushing my team back.”

Hills West (2-0) watched Harborfields (1-1) go on a 19-0 run, mostly with Hinke on the bench with three fouls, as the Tornadoes overcame a five-point first quarter and led 27-17. Hinke returned for the final 1:23 and scored two baskets but Harborfields still led 27-21 at the half.

The third quarter was even, as both teams scored 15 points and Hills West trailed, 42-36. But the Colts picked up their full-court press in the fourth quarter, and Harborfields went ice cold from the field. Hills West responded with an 18-2 run to open the period and take a 54-44 lead with exactly three minutes left.

“We would get a defensive stop, and go on offense,” said Hinke, who was named to the All-Tournament team, and had nine points in the fourth quarter. “Then we added a press and forced them different ways.”

Kristen Vaccarelli had five points for the game, and Charlotte Anton added four points, while Robertson — who was named tournament MVP — had nine points in the critical fourth quarter.

“We just didn’t have the individuals,” said Harborfields coach G. Davis Lavey,” to defend both of them [Hinke and Robertson].”

Celia Argiriou had a team-high 17 points for Harborfields, and Madison Brady (13 rebounds, all-tournament player) and Kiana McLean each had 13 points. Colleen Dwyer added eight points and was also an all-tournament pick.

Meanwhile, the Colts graduated three starters from last season’s Suffolk Class AA finalist team, including Newsday’s Long Island Player of the Year Tori Harris, now at James Madison.

“It’s our time now,” said Robertson, who looked over at Hinke. “Sam used to be all three-pointers and jump shots, but now she’s added a lot of different aspects to her game and that’s really helped us.”

Whitman defeats BBP. Danielle Kleet scored 15 points as Whitman defeated Bayport-Blue Point, 56-30, in the consolation game. Megan Soulias added 10 points and was selected to the all-tournament team for Whitman (1-1). Olivia Monturo, also an all-tournament player, had 13 points for BBP (0-2).

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