Whitman had beaten every team in its way, toppling 10 in all. And then the Wildcats ran into another one of Suffolk League II’s finest Monday and lost, falling by four to Commack.
"It was a tough loss, and we played really hard," senior guard Kate Hoffman said. "But the next day in practice we were like, we’ve just got to get after it just to win more games … We want to try to go undefeated the rest of the season; we’ve got to work hard."
They rebounded from it quite well Thursday night against another of the top teams in the league so far. The Wildcats won convincingly at Ward Melville, 46-24, behind 14 points from Hoffman, 11 from Gianna Conte and 10 from Iris Hoffman, Kate’s sophomore sister.
"I was very happy coming off a loss to Commack the other night," coach Dan Trebour said. "It was a good bounce-back game."
So they’re 6-1 in the league and 11-1 overall.
"We’re in a pile of some other good teams in AA," Trebour said.
Kate Hoffman sees a title contender.
"Definitely," she said. "I think we’re a good team. I think we can make it far. We have what it takes."
They took off on a 9-0 run to go up 12-4 after one quarter, then closed the second quarter with an 8-1 run for a 23-9 advantage.
The Patriots (7-2, 4-1) had hit only two field goals by the break.
"I thought our defense was amazing," Kate Hoffman said.
In the third, she made a baseline floater and followed with a three from the left corner to open it up to 29-12.
When Iris Hoffman drove for two with two seconds left in the quarter, Whitman owned its largest lead, 26 points, at 41-15.
"They played well and we didn’t," Ward Melville coach Jamie Edson said. "… But we have a game (Friday night against visiting Northport), so we don’t have too much time to feel bad for ourselves."
Julia Greek buried her third three of the game in the fourth for the Patriots and finished with 12 points. The junior guard came in averaging 20.5.
"This is a good team with obviously a good player who can score points in bunches," Trebour said. "… We were focused on defense. We didn’t let her get too free. And we played very unselfish basketball."