The Huntington girls’ basketball team won its biggest game of the season, toppling Centereach on Senior Day, 68-32 to clinch a berth in the Suffolk Class AA playoffs
The Blue Devils honored seniors Alexandra Heuwetter, Katie Seccafico and Nicole Leslie during a pre-game ceremony and then the teenagers went out and led their teammates to victory before a crowd of 150, including Huntington Superintendent James W. Polansky.
Heuwetter scored 26 points and pulled down 13 rebounds and Seccafico added 15 points and eight assists to help Huntington improve its overall season record to 11-8. Leslie tallied 10 points and 10 rebounds as the Blue Devil offense fired on all cylinders.
Huntington led 12-9 after the first eight minutes before going on a 27-8 second quarter run to open a gaping 39-17 advantage by halftime. The Blue Devils went on to outscore Centereach in the second half by a 29-15 margin.
Abby Maichin scored five points for Huntington and Paige Lennon had four points. Jordan Forte, Charlotte Maggio, Holly Wright and Katie Browne all had two points each.
Blue Devils Toast Senior Players
Prior to the game, Kaplan and several underclassmen took turns speaking to the crowd about each of the seniors. “We are truly going to miss them,” Kaplan said. “Together they continued to pave the way for our future Lady Blue Devils. They have all done whatever we asked of them, whether it was giving up their summers, holidays or vacations to work on becoming better basketball players. Their dedication has paid off in countless ways. We have truly enjoyed this amazing journey with them and know they will all succeed in whatever life might lead them to.”
A four year varsity player, Heuwetter has repeatedly garnered post-season honors. “Alex has devoted many hours to working on her craft and has developed into a multi-dimensional player,” Kaplan told the crowd. “She has set a wonderful example of working hard in practice every day. She is always willing to help her teammates on and off the court.”
Heuwetter hasn’t finalized her college plans, but she is considering Ithaca College, Loyola University Maryland, Stony Brook University, Clarkson University and Northeastern University.
Seccafico was honored as another of the Blue Devils four year varsity players. “Katie has been our defensive specialist,” Kaplan said. “She has improved tremendously in all aspects of her game, whether it be ball handling or driving to the basket. Katie has worked hard to get better. She has been extremely supportive of her teammates and has been an amazing role model. Thank you for all the wonderful memories.” The teenager is headed to Gettysburg College in the fall.
Leslie was the last of the three seniors to be recognized before the crowd, which included district Director of Athletics Georgia D. McCarthy. “The amount of growth shown by Nicole, not only as a basketball player but as an individual in just three short years is truly inspiring,” Kaplan said. “I will never forget the day we told Nicole she made the team. She jumped up and down with excitement and told us she will work hard every day and never let us down. I can honestly say from that moment on there has never been a day that she has let her coaches or teammates down. Her work ethic and dedication to improvement has made coaching her a true pleasure. She is a perfect example of how working hard and putting your mind to it will help you succeed.”
Leslie is considering SUNY Brockport, SUNY Potsdam, SUNY Plattsburgh and SUNY Cortland.
Blue Devil Notes: Heuwetter scored nine points from the free throw line . . . Seccafico had five points from the free throw line . . . Heuwetter dropped Huntington’s only three-point basket of the game . . . Kaplan has a career coaching mark of 111-48 at Huntington in eight seasons.