December 13, 2006

Great Start for Hurricanes Westhampton Girls Dominate Makransky Tournament

In what could easily be described as a preview of what may be the beginnings of a championship season, the Westhampton Beach girls' varsity basketball team showcased its skills to one of the top teams on Long Island on Saturday evening.

By defeating League I representative Longwood 37-30 in the championship game of the Larry Makransky Tip-Off Tournament at Westhampton Beach High School, the Lady Hurricanes won their host tournament for the first time. A day earlier, Westhampton celebrated in a smaller way when its star junior forward Kelly Cavallo scored her 1,000th point in a commanding 54-15 opening round victory over East Hampton.

"It's a huge moment in my career, but I'm happy that I've gotten it over with because it was a little stressful," said Cavallo. "I'm very proud."

Cavallo, who missed a large portion of the second half last season after suffering a serious knee injury, was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player after totaling 42 points and 25 rebounds in the two games. She scored 23 points on Saturday to help lead the Hurricanes past the Bonackers, hitting a free-throw to record point number 1,000 four minutes into the game. She added 19 points and 12 rebounds on Saturday.

"It was an honor to be named MVP and it was great because it was the first time that we've won our tournament. I thought that we all played well and we played a good team. We still have a lot to do though."

Head coach Mike Polan, who guided his team to the class championship game last season despite the loss of Cavallo, was pleased with his team's effort this past weekend.

"Longwood was a good team [for us to play], because they were a really tough team. We played really well in the first half and things were clicking. [Longwood] battled us in the second half and we didn't back down. Our players stepped up to the challenge," said Polan, who noted Jen Polan also showed real leadership. "The girls know what it takes to get the job done."

Other players that stood out for Westhampton in its two games were Kate Kissane (16 total points and Brynn Lettieri (12 total points). The Hurricanes (2-0), took a 15-5 lead after the first quarter and never looked back, holding a Longwood team that averaged better than 60 points per game last season to only 30.

"We went through a drought in the third quarter, but I was happy with their effort," the coach said. "If everything falls into place, this should be a monster year for us."

Westhampton opens its regular league schedule next Tuesday when it hosts top-ranked Elwood John Glenn at 6:15 p.m.

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