January 03, 2007
These Hurricanes Are Legit!
25-0 Third Quarter Sparks Win Over Wyandanch
"I told them that if they play the way they played in the third quarter, nobody is going to beat them," said Westhampton girls' basketball coach Mike Polan just a few hours after the Lady Hurricanes defeated Wyandanch 65-51 in one of the games that took place last Thursday evening at the Suffolk Shootout in Northport.
"They don't realize how good they can be. Maybe after a quarter like that, they'll start to." Polan was referring to the third quarter of Thursday's contest, a quarter that saw Westhampton (5-1 overall) outscore the Warriors 25-0. Yes, you read that correctly . . . 25-0.
"I was very disappointed in the first half, because we played poorly," Polan said. "We came out and walked through the first half and it was very frustrating." The Hurricanes trailed Wyandanch 37-27 at halftime.
"We may have taken them a little lightly. You can't beat good teams playing one good quarter. They have to continue to believe in themselves because they're capable of playing this way every quarter. We need to make sure that all five players on the court are playing with the same intensity."
Sophomore center Kelly Cavallo, arguably off to the best start of any player in Suffolk, led the way with a game-high 25 points and added 11 rebounds. Ten of her points were scored in the third quarter. Cavallo, widely regarded as one of the top 10 players in the county, has averaged 26 points and 11 rebounds in five games this season.
Senior point guard Jen Polan added 12 points and led all players with eight assists, the same number that she's been averaging per game this season. "Thank goodness we have her [Polan] because she's such an unselfish player who's only interested in getting the win."
Sophomore forward Tenea Stilley continued her solid complementary play, scoring 10 points and grabbing eight rebounds. "Tenea has potential," remarked Polan. "She's a very good player when she's on top her game and she adds a lot to our team."
Wyandanch (2-2 overall) made 10 three-pointers in the game, most of which came in the first half before being smothered by a relentless Hurricanes defense throughout the third quarter that included Cavallo, Polan, Stilley and sophomores Kate Kissane (8 points) and Brynn Lettieri (6 points).
A day earlier, Westhampton bested a highly skilled Half Hollow Hills West team 58-50 in the opening game of the Suffolk Shootout behind the efforts of Cavallo (32 points, 12 rebounds) and Jen Polan (13 points, 6 assists).
"What I liked was that even though we didn't play our best ball, down the stretch, we didn't crumble," Polan said. "We made our foul shots, protected the clock and we didn't fold."
Cavallo was 7-for-8 from the free-throw line and Polan shot 5-for-6. "Any close game like that, you have to foul the other team and we stepped up with confidence and knocked the shots down. They [Hills West] were a good team and they came back and outscored us in the second and third quarters. Luckily we were able to hold onto the lead, but I think they took us lightly and that was a mistake."
It's probably safe to say there won't be many teams in the future that take Westhampton lightly. A glimpse of what the Hurricanes did to Wyandanch in the third quarter last Thursday is reason enough.