The Huntington girls’ basketball team overcome a stiff challenge from visiting Kellenberg in a game that wasn’t decided until the final seconds. The Blue Devils finally emerged from the see-saw affair with a 52-49 victory to improve to 6-2 this winter.
Huntington came out on fire, opening a huge lead before Kellenberg closed to within 18-15 by the end of the first quarter. The Blue Devils were outshot in the second frame, 13-8 and trailed at halftime, 28-26, but there was no sign of panic ensuing in the ranks.
Huntington regained its advantage in the third quarter with good play on both ends of the court. The Blue Devils led 38-35 entering the final eight minutes of the game. The teams played to a 14-14 standoff in the fourth quarter.
All-Conference junior Alexandra Heuwetter dropped a long three-pointer with less than a minute remaining to put Huntington up by five points at 52-47. Kellenberg tried to rally, but fell short.
Heuwetter led the Blue Devils with 23 points, including four three-pointers. Emma Petrizzi had 13 points and six assists. Anna Gulizio added eight points and clutch defensive play.
Gulizio said the key to winning was “to remain in control and not get frazzled. It comes down to communicating and playing together; two things we do really well.”
Morgan Staab’s 25 points led Kellenberg. “They are a very good team so we’re really happy with the win,” Huntington head coach Michael Kaplan said.
Katie Seccafico had two points and a team high 12 rebounds for the Blue Devils. Torre Palmer pulled down nine rebounds and scored four points and Nicole Leslie had five rebounds and two points.
Petrizzi’s three-point shooting has come in handy for Huntington. The senior co-captain hit a trio of shots from beyond the arc on Friday afternoon and the Blue Devils needed every one of those points.
“I’ve been practicing my shooting and if I’m open on the line, I’m pretty comfortable shooting,” Petrizzi said. The teenager isn’t sure where she will be going to college yet, but she’s already been accepted by Penn State.
Petrizzi expects Copiague and Smithtown West to pose tough challenges to the Blue Devils as the team strives to win its fourth consecutive league title, but the senior also knows that any team is capable of winning on any given night so Huntington needs to be ready and can’t take anything for granted.
“I don’t really have any expectations about the team because we’re a lot different than our past teams,” Petrizzi said. “I really hope that we win our league and make it into the final four of the playoffs.”
Blue Devil Notes: Former Blue Devil basketball greats Mackenzie Maloney and Samantha Lynch were at the game . . . Maloney is home from Wells College where she is studying elementary education . . . Lynch is an engineering major at Notre Dame and will be heading back to South Bend, Indiana soon to begin final preparations for lacrosse season . . . Huntington plays at West Islip on Tuesday at 5:45 p.m. and hosts Copiague on Friday at 6:15 p.m. in Suffolk League III games.