It was the first time in a long time Monday for Smithtown Christian's girls basketball team.
The Knights defeated Livingston Manor, of Section IX, 44-34, in the New York State Class D subregional at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, recording the program’s first playoff victory in more than 20 years, according to coach John Vaeth. Smithtown Christian didn’t field a varsity team last season.
“It’s a big deal because it means we’re building the program up again,” Vaeth said. “They’ve been going JV for years. It’s very important for the school as a whole, not just the sport.”
Eighth-grader Abigail Loiacono led the way for Smithtown Christian, packing her stat sheet with 16 points, 10 assists and four steals. Dorothy Pierre added 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Jane McCabe had 12 rebounds and six blocks. Smithtown Christian’s defense was in lockdown mode, giving up nine points in the first half.
“Without [Loiacono], we couldn’t have done what we’ve done,” Vaeth said. “We were hustling, and our defense has been outstanding all year.”
Smithtown Christian (11-8) advanced to the state regional and will play Section IV champ South Kortright Central on Sunday in Binghamton.
“It’s going to be a tough game, but we’re not intimidated,” Vaeth said. “Our long-term goal is to keep building the program.”