The 2023-24 Huntington varsity girls' basektball team. (Darin Reed & Rachel Learned photo.)
The 2023-24 Huntington varsity girls' basektball team. (Darin Reed & Rachel Learned photo.)

Blue Devil Girls’ Garner Basketball Honors

April 18, 2024

Five Huntington High School varsity girls’ basketball players garnered honors following a season that saw the Blue Devils post an overall record of 10-10.

Ava McDonald and Lauren Donaghy were named All-League with Kayleigh Bender capturing All-League and Academic All-County honors. Reese Rinaldi was also tapped for the Academic All-County squad. Grace Gordon was recognized as the Unsung Hero.

Huntington was captained by Bender, Rinaldi, Donaghy and junior Jenna Italiano. Mike Kaplan was the Blue Devils’ head coach with Marissa Bergmann serving as assistant coach and Alyssa Adomaites handling the JV team.

Huntington dropped many close games, including two games by three points; two games by four points and another game by five points.

McDonald turned in a great year, averaging 10 points and four assists per game. “Ava worked hard every day,” Kaplan said. “She has a great IQ of the game and was able to find her teammates.”

Bender averaged 8.4 points and eight rebounds. “Kayleigh played a key role this year,” Kaplan said. “She was a rebounding machine. She has improved tremendously from last year, leading our team in rebounds.”

Donaghy had a 15 points per game scoring average to pace the Blue Devils. “Lauren is a great shooter and did a lot of great things to help the team,” Kaplan said.

Rinaldi was central to Huntington’s efforts to stop other teams from scoring. “Reese was great on the defensive end for us,” Kaplan said.

Freshman Madyn Kalb averaged three steals a game and provided a glimpse into the talent she possesses.

A 41-38 victory at West Islip was the team’s biggest accomplishment and with . “It’s not an easy place to play,” Kaplan said. Topping Bellport in home and away games was another highlight considering the Clippers went to the Suffolk Final Four.

Kaplan was proud of the team’s defensive abilities, which were among the county’s best. “We were ranked fifth overall in team defense in Classes AAA and AA in Suffolk,” he said.

With 14 returning players there are high hopes for next season.