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Cats bet MP in Quarters

Posted Sunday, February 27, 2011 by Jon W

Shoreham holds Sherman to advance in playoffs


  Deanna Molinelli nails a jump shot for Miller Place. Photo by John Westermann (click for larger version)
February 23, 2011 | 11:40 AM
"This is as good and as hard as we can play," Shoreham-Wading River head coach Dennis Haughney said moments after his team topped local rival Miller Place 55-38 in first-round Class A Suffolk County playoff action at home. "We had our runs and they had their runs but overall our defense really frustrated them."

Miller Place has one county title to their credit, in 1999-2000, and the Panthers boast the fourth-leading scorer in the Suffolk this season, center Marlaina Sherman, who averaged 19.9 points a game and is also a tremendous defender.

Sherman produced games of 32 and 31 points during the regular season, but was held relatively in check (9 points) by Wildcat senior Corrine Wiederkehr (9 points and five blocked shots). Senior guard Brea Greene averaged 13.1 points per game this season for Miller Place and led all scorers with 23 points.

The Wildcats have no one player at the top of any statistical categories, although Wiederkehr is one of the best defenders around. They do things by committee. They come at you in waves. The Wildcats got out to a 16-8 lead by the end of the first quarter and held off the Panthers the rest of the day with defense. Shoreham-Wading River got a boost off the bench in energy and swagger from junior forward Alyssa Fleming, who brought toughness and a deadpan sense of humor to the fray. "We matched up well and stayed tough the whole time," said Fleming. "We didn't let them get under our skin."

Haughney got caught out of the coaching box and paid the penalty with a technical foul, but noted that his senior point guard Michelle Gostic promptly bailed him out with consecutive baskets. Gostic was lethal on the in-bounds plays all day, in control against a tough Panther press. "Once the designed play runs its course, I try to find an open lane. Today it worked." Gostic made crucial layups with both hands, in heavy traffic, not as easy as she made it look. Wildcat senior forward Cali Lavey said, "That's the best defense we've ever played. Our slow starts have been a problem. This game we went hard the whole time."

"We're one of the final four teams in the county and I couldn't be prouder of them," said Haughney.

The Wildcats play at top-seed John Glenn on Saturday in the county semifinals.

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