Kneeland Leading Perfect Pierson

Katie Kneeland could be called above average.

The senior shooting guard for Pierson/Bridgehampton/Shelter Island powered her way to a game-high 24 points, upping her points per game average to 19, in the Whalers’ 61-38 win over Port Jefferson January 25. She also recorded 10 rebounds to help keep her team remain undefeated in League VI. Chastin Giles chipped in 16 points and 11 assists and Celia Barranco rounded out the double-digit point scorers with 10.

One loss behind its rival is Mattituck, which used a 48-34 win over Smithtown Christian Friday to keep the team in the hunt for the league title. Jaden Thompson had 13 points, 11 rebounds, and five steals, and Julie Seifert added nine points and 11 rebounds. Sarah Santacroce and Mackenzie Hoeg finished with nine points apiece. Going off wins and losses, both teams have an easy road ahead leading to the final match of the season, where the two teams will face off one last time before playoffs. If Mattituck wins out, the Tuckers will share a piece of the league title.

First, Mattituck will have to go through Adrine Demirciyan and her Greenport/Southold team. While the Porters’ record is just under .500 at 5-6, Demirciyan, who comes in just outside of the top 10 scoring leaders in Suffolk, will pose a threat. And, she’s just a freshman. Ranking 12th with 16 points per game, Demirciyan also had an above-average performance, scoring a game-high 24 points and coming up with seven assists in her team’s 62-53 win over Smithtown Christian January 23.

Ranked higher than Demirciyan and Kneeland (seventh in standings) on the points-per-game leaderboard is Westhampton Beach’s Belle Smith. The senior ranks fifth with 21.1 points per game off 107 field goals, 15 three-pointers, and 37 field goals. She’s driven her team to win after win this season, but the Hurricanes have come up short in three straight games to blemish their once-perfect League V record.

It started with a 59-56 loss to undefeated Elwood-John Glenn January 10, which is led by Suffolk’s second leading scorer, Alyssa Adomaites (27.4 points per game, just under Lauren Hansen of Ward Melville’s 27.6). Then, Westhampton lost a 49-44 game to Sayville January 15, which bumped the Hurricanes down to third in the standings tied with Mt. Sinai. Westhampton traveled to Mt. Sinai January 28 looking to move up for a prime playoff position, but results were not available by press time. Westhampton dropped a one-point road game to 7-7 Shoreham-Wading River January 18, 39-38, which proved costly as the team slipped further down the league leaderboard.

Across the losses, Smith came out just above average, with 21.7 points per game. She recorded 26 off 10 field goals and two threes in the loss to Sayville.

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