A good mix of local and league rivalries highlight this week's slate of big games.
Tuesday, April 27: Eastport-South Manor (8-1) at Rocky Point (8-0), 4:30 p.m.: ESM has been one of Division II’s best teams this year. The Sharks were tied at halftime against Shoreham-Wading River on Wednesday, before falling 15-9 to the perennial division champions. With 56 points, Tara Gerstacker is one of Suffolk’s leading scorers. Rocky Point wants to reclaim its status as the top team in Class B. Behind Caitlin Gargan’s 54 points, the Eagles have jumped out to an undefeated start. Last week they avenged their 2009 County Finals loss with a 16-9 victory over Sayville. This year it might be ESM standing in the way come finals time.
Wednesday, April 28: West Babylon (7-1) at North Babylon (5-5), 4 p.m.: This could have been a matchup of two of Suffolk’s biggest stars, Alyssa Murray and Bria Hartley, but instead turns into a good test for West Babylon to see how it can perform without its best player. If North Babylon can pull the upset, it would give the Bulldogs the signature win they lack.
St. Anthony’s (7-1) at Sacred Heart (5-1), 4:15 p.m.: St. Anthony’s has been rolling through public school and national opponents, but this is the Friars' first game against the team they will very likely meet in the CHSAA finals. Sacred Heart is no easy victory. The Spartans have already defeated Conference I teams South Side and Cold Spring Harbor.
Thursday, April 29: Bayport-Blue Point (3-4) at Sayville (6-3), 4 p.m.: Two local rivals with playoffs on the mind square off in Division II. BBP’s Loren Generi is among the leading scorers in Suffolk and the Phantoms pushed Eastport-South Manor to the brink last week. Sayville is the defending Class B county champion and has won three of its last four games.
Friday, April 30: Bay Shore (7-1) at West Islip (6-2), 4:15 p.m.: West Babylon appeared to be the No. 1 contender to knock off Northport at the top of Class A this season, but now it looks as if these local rivals might have the best chance at reaching the county finals. Northport snapped West Islip’s five-game winning streak with a 19-11 victory on Tuesday in a rematch of the 2009 county final. Bay Shore is coming off a huge week. The Marauders defeated West Babylon and Wantagh last week. Bay Shore plays Northport today. The Marauders' lone loss this season came against Shoreham-Wading River.
Saturday, May 1: Manhasset (8-0) at Garden City (9-0), 4:30 p.m.: Manhasset snapped Garden City’s four-year winning streak with an overtime victory last season. Garden City still won the state Class B championship and Manhasset won its seventh consecutive Nassau Class C title. Both teams are even better this season, having each defeated nationally-ranked opponents in Maryland. Both teams will very likely come into this one undefeated. Expect another close one.