The Huntington girls’ basketball team recognized four fabulous seniors during a pre-game ceremony before going out and topping highly regarded Newfield in the final game of the regular season, 40-34.
The Blue Devils honored Meg Byrnes, Abby Maichin, Isabella Toscano and Holly Wright. The four have given the program everything they have and they’ve been great teammates, too,
The players were escorted out onto the court by their parents and in some cases, their siblings. Huntington head coach Michael Kaplan spoke about each of the teenagers and what they’ve meant to the Blue Devils over the years.
“Putting on a Huntington uniform, no matter the sport, will always be something I will remember,” Toscano said. “I am extremely proud to be able to represent our school in three different sports throughout the years.”
Huntington’s underclassmen created gorgeous posters commemorating the careers of the seniors and hung them. The posters were filled with photos and humorous quips. Larger than life size cutouts of each player in uniform were on display in the gym near the home bleachers.
“When I think of basketball the first thing that comes to mind is hard work,” Maichin said. “Huntington basketball has taught me the meaning of hard work. I have learned to push myself as an athlete and a person. I have developed a winning mindset and have learned how to do everything and anything to get the job done. Putting on the Huntington basketball uniform as a little eighth grade girl will forever be the root of my success in the future. I will be forever grateful for my time and experience and I can’t believe it’s all coming to an end. Huntington basketball is the reason I am who I am today.”
Kaplan said each of the seniors has contributed to the program in their own special way. Soon they will all head off in different directions and with different academic and career goals. But on this one night, they were all together in Huntington’s gymnasium while wearing the Blue Devils’ home uniform one last time.
When Kaplan finished, the team’s underclassmen took turns speaking about the four seniors in a lighthearted, but touching way. The seniors took a large group photo with their families and coaches on the court to wrap up the ceremony.
The game that followed was a must-win for the Blue Devils and the team’s players knew it. Huntington fell to Newfield earlier in the winter, 50-32.
Newfield led 11-10 early before Huntington moved ahead by halftime, 17-16. The teams were tied 25-25 entering the final eight minutes of play. The Blue Devils put the game out of reach with a 15-9 run and great defense.
Maichin led Huntington with 17 points, 12 rebounds and five steals. Freshman Gianna Forte came off the bench and scored eight points. Katie Browne and Makaylah Frazier had three points each. Byrnes, Toscano, Emily Plachta and Charlotte Maggio all scored two points. Holly Wright had a point from the free throw line.
Huntington finished the regular season with a 7-5 mark; 12-8 overall.