Junior Lauren Donaghy makes her move to the basket. (Darin Reed photo.)
Junior Lauren Donaghy makes her move to the basket. (Darin Reed photo.)

Junior Lauren Donaghy Returns to Score 19 in Big Win

January 8, 2024

The Huntington varsity girls’ basketball team came into the season expecting to vie for the Suffolk Class AA championship. The Blue Devils opened the season with four straight wins

Ava McDonald scored 15 points against West Islip. (Darin Reed photo.)

before dropping the next four by a combined 16 points. Last Thursday’s 55-25 victory over first place West Islip has the team hoping the worst is in the past.

Huntington topped John H. Glenn (51-43), Half Hollow Hills West (41-30), Islip (42-37) and Bellport (52-47) before falling to Centereach (46-40), Smithtown East (31-27), Deer Park (38-35) and Harborfields (22-19). In most of the losses, the Blue Devils held the lead at halftime.

West Islip came calling last week with a 3-0 league record; 6-1 overall. Captain Lauren Donaghy returned to Huntington’s lineup after being sidelined for several weeks and the junior responded by scoring a game high 19 points, including four three-pointers and solid defense.

The Blue Devils took an 11-5 lead before going on a 21-6 second quarter run to open a 32-11 halftime advantage. Freshman Ava McDonald made plenty happen, forcing turnovers and scoring 15 points, including three three-pointers along with six assists and seven steals. Freshman Madyn Kalb had seven points for Huntington.

The Blue Devils essentially put the game away in the third quarter when Huntington outscored the Lions, 13-6. The win boosted the confidence of players as they prepare to head into the heart of the schedule.

Huntington was expected to compete with Half Hollow Hills East for county honors, but the Thunderbirds have also struggled and they, too, have four losses overall.

With the league title clearly up for grabs, Huntington knows it has to play hard in every game remaining.

Nine players scored for the Blue Devils against West Islip, including Grace Gordon, who dropped six points. Leighton Evans, Ruby Hoffman and Jolie Weinschreider all had two points, Kayleigh Bender and Sophie Carlson both scored from the free throw line. Bender also pulled down 15 rebounds.

Huntington hosts Hills East on Tuesday at 5:45 p.m. in Louis D. Giani Gymnasium.