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Mar 7, 2012 9:23 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Southampton Girls Basketball Team Wins Its First Ever Long Island Championship

Mar 12, 2012 1:29 PM

Al Davis popularized the phrase, “Just win, baby,” but sometimes, a team just needs to hang on.

That’s exactly what the Southampton girls basketball team did in the Long Island Class B Championship at Farmingdale State College on Wednesday night, holding off a late surge by Cold Spring Harbor to win, 35-34, and take home the first ever Long Island title for the program.

With a tenth of a second left on the clock and the Lady Mariners clinging to a 35-33 lead, Lady Seahawk Jean Atkinson was fouled by Southampton’s Noel Hodges, sending her to the free throw line with a chance to force overtime. Atkinson sank the first free throw, leading to a roar from the Cold Spring Harbor fans, but her second shot bounced off the rim and time quickly expired.

On Saturday, the Lady Mariners took on two-time defending state champ Irvington in the regional final at Farmingdale, losing 74-41 and falling one win short of making the state final four. (See separate article).

For the entire first half and much of the third quarter on Wednesday night, the Lady Mariners were on cruise control, leading 22-7 at halftime and extending their lead to 32-15 with a minute left in the third quarter.

But from that point on, it was nearly all Cold Spring Harbor. The Lady Seahawks ended the frame on a run, hitting a shot at the buzzer to go into the fourth facing a more manageable 32-23 deficit. Cold Spring Harbor’s Katie Durant hit a shot with 6:10 left in the fourth to open the scoring and Southampton’s Kesi Goree responded with a layup that brought her team’s lead back to 34-25, but it was the only field goal Southampton would score for the rest of the game. With 11.5 seconds to go and Southampton leading, 35-33, Paris Hodges missed the front end of a one-and-one at the free throw line and Cold Spring Harbor corralled the rebound and quickly called a time-out with 8.5 seconds left to try to set up a play. Southampton got a lucky break when Holly Logan turned the ball over on the inbounds pass, but the Lady Mariners followed with a turnover of their own, giving Cold Spring Harbor the final chance that led to free throw shots.

Goree led Southampton with 14 points, 11 rebounds, two blocks and a steal, while Hodges had 11 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals. Cassidy Guida added seven points.

After the game, Hodges said her team simply tried to maintain its composure in the frantic final minutes.

“Their pressure was more intense in the last 16 minutes, and obviously they were going to go harder,” she said. “We just had to try to relax and play well.”

She also said she was not surprised that Cold Spring Harbor made a run.

“We kind of knew it was going to happen,” she said. “We knew if we just kept playing defense, we’d come out on top.”

Southampton head coach Richard “Juni” Wingfield said he was confident his team would prevail.

“I never felt frantic,” he said, pointing out that his team never actually lost its lead. “I knew we just had to dig in.

“Great teams don’t just fall by the wayside,” he continued, referring to Cold Spring Harbor.

After the final buzzer sounded, the Lady Mariners’ celebration was short-lived and composed, with more hugs and expressions of relief rather than pure joy. It was, however, a historic moment for the program—Wingfield has brought teams to the Long Island title games in three previous seasons, but this is the first time he came home with the win.

“They usually say the third time is the charm, but for us, the fourth time is the charm,” he said.

As for the players themselves, they were all smiles as they soaked in the historic moment.

“It’s surreal,” Hodges said when asked what it felt like to win the Long Island title. “It shows that all your hard work really does pay off.”

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Way to go Lady Mariners! Congratulations!
By itsamazing (224), Southampton on Mar 7, 12 9:55 PM
1 member liked this comment
Perhaps this is why it sounds like the entire village is on fire..?
By The Royal 'We' (199), Southampton on Mar 7, 12 11:13 PM
1 member liked this comment
I'm all for celebrating, but if this was the cause for the ridiculous amount of fire sirens and horns that late at night, then that's just bs.
By Lets go mets (377), Southampton on Mar 8, 12 7:06 AM
1 member liked this comment
Congratulations, Lady Mariners! Well done.
By SusieD (115), Southampton on Mar 8, 12 9:24 AM
Congratulations on a game well played, Lady Mariners! Celebrate!
By SusieD (115), Southampton on Mar 8, 12 9:29 AM
Did you have to wake up the town of Southampton? I was in a panic last night...scared there was an actual emergency....How about next time you have a parade during the daylight instead of freaking out the entire town...bad taste...
By localyokel (16), Southampton on Mar 8, 12 9:39 AM
Panic attack cause you hear sirens? Would you say the same thing if the fire dept was responding to a fire near you
By Unkown Local (18), southampton on Mar 8, 12 12:31 PM
Yes I would! Any sirens in the dead of night would cause a normal person to be alarmed...
By localyokel (16), Southampton on Mar 8, 12 2:58 PM
How about the community being proud of the girls for their achivement!!! Get over the noise. This is something the community should be supporting. Too much attention is always paid to the negative things our young people do and not the positive.
By sag harbor pb (7), Sag Harbor on Mar 8, 12 11:06 AM
3 members liked this comment
Congrats to the girls Basket ball team
By Unkown Local (18), southampton on Mar 8, 12 12:32 PM
We should celebrate and congratulate our youths achievements more!!!! Instead of codling them because we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. When the kids achieve great things we should celebrate BIG!!!!
Maybe you should get medical attention, if you PANIC at every loud siren or noise you must get no sleep or peace of mind. especially since the main access to the hospital is right through the village.
Any how lets not take away from the Lady Mariners victory, instead lets all look forward ...more
By MACK (50), Southampton on Mar 8, 12 12:38 PM
1 member liked this comment
Congradulations To The Lady Mariners!!!!! Great acheivement you girls have gained!!!!!! Little Over Done last night. The sirens where wailing longer than if it was a true emergency. Was all that really necessary. Maybe lets do something we all can be a part of in celebrating their victory! GO MARINERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
By Rooster (4), Southampton on Mar 8, 12 7:52 PM
Hard work and determination have been there ethic the WHOLE SEASON...onward to the states....BEST OF LUCK ---GO Lady Mariners
By Jerry Eleyet (9), Southampton on Mar 8, 12 9:23 PM
Congratulations Lady Mariners! Congratulations Coach "Juni" Wingfield! Well done! Blow a few more sirens for all of them. They deserve it!
By goldenrod (505), southampton on Mar 9, 12 3:50 PM
First ever-hooray! Make some noise for our ladies, they deserve it!
Hope they march proudly or are on a float for the 4th of Jully Parade!
By Hamptons Seashell (34), Southampton on Mar 10, 12 3:21 PM