Shoreham-Wading River guard Sophie Costello drives to the outside in...

Shoreham-Wading River guard Sophie Costello drives to the outside in a Suffolk non-league game, Monday, December 27, 2022 at Shoreham-Wading River High School. Credit: George A Faella

The Shoreham-Wading River girls basketball MVP chain may as well have been a turnover chain with the performance of Sophie Costello on Tuesday.

Coach Adam Lievre has tried to find fun ways to award a game MVP after each victory. One year it was a hat. Another was a medallion from Amazon. But before this season, Lievre had a company create a nine-pound chain based off the team logo which he gives to the game MVP after each victory.

The award doesn’t necessarily go to the leading scorer every game. It could be someone that provided energy off the bench, or a key rebound or charge late in the game. But Costello showed her overall dominance with 23 points, many of those coming off steals she created, to lead the host Wildcats to a 48-24 victory over East Islip in a non-league girls basketball contest Tuesday.

“I got it today, which is very fun,” Costello said. “It’s good to get some recognition even if you’re not the top scorer. It’s good to get noticed even for defensive effort or good rebounds and everything like that.”

“It adds fun,” Lievre said. “The girls are supposed to wear it to school, I don’t think that really happens but it just makes it fun to see who wins. Sometimes it’s the leading scorer, sometimes it’s not. It’s fun for them to strive to get at the end of the day.”

Costello scored eight of her 23 points in the second quarter, helping the Wildcats take a 22-11 lead at halftime. Annie Sheehan had nine points and GraceAnn Leonard added six.

 Sara Simonetti had 16 points for East Islip, which reached the Suffolk Class A final last season.

East Islip (6-2) pulled to within 26-18 with 3:01 left in the third quarter. But the Wildcats went on a 16-3 run over 7:14 and took a 42-21 lead with 3:08 left in the fourth quarter, largely due to their pressure defense.

“We are at our best when we are playing good defense,” Costello said. “Once we get steals, it’s our thing to get a couple quick baskets from them.”

The Wildcats, who went 19-2 and reached the Suffolk Class A semifinals last season, improved to 10-0 this year and the team has challenged itself with tough non-league matchups.

“We have a good chance of seeing them again so knowing we beat them gives us more confidence the rest of the season,” Leonard said. “Now I can see we can go really far.”


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