Overcoming challenging circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Huntington High School varsity girls’ basketball team went 5-2 and was crowned league co-champions. Three Blue Devil players won post-season honors.
Huntington topped North Babylon, Smithtown East, Copiague, Islip and Smithtown West. The Blue Devils dropped a league game to Half Hollow Hills East and a playoff contest to West Babylon.
Coached by Michael Kaplan and Marissa Bergmann, the team was led by juniors Emily Plachta and Junie Nosile and senior Jordan Forte.
One of the top scorers in Suffolk, Plachta was named to the All-County team after excelling at guard. The teenager averaged 17 points per game and displayed a diverse set of skills on the court.
A towering forward, Nosile earned a spot on the All-Conference team after pulling down an average of 10 rebounds per game.
Forte garnered All-League recognition by leading Huntington on defense from her guard position. “Jordan is an outstanding captain and leader on the court,” Kaplan said. “She’s a great all-around player; great on defense and makes outstanding passes to her teammates. She rebounded well and gave us second and third opportunities offensively.”
Seniors Charlotte Maggio, Alexa Amorison and Lisa Martin joined Forte in serving as team captains. “Charlotte has great post moves and decision making,” Kaplan said. “She’s a great power forward with great moves to the basket and outstanding rebounding. Alexa did a great job pushing the ball up the court and starting the offense. Lisa did a great job rebounding.”
Kemberlin Hernandez-Veliz also played well in her senior season. “Kemberlin was a great defender, forcing other players to turn the ball over,” Kaplan said.
The Blue Devils also received contributions from sophomore Gianna Forte and juniors Katie Browne, Teddi Carnesi, Makaylah Frazier, Regan Sansiviero and Shaneek Shand. Sophomore Kaci McDonald and senior Ainsley Lumpe were Huntington’s team managers.
Gianna Forte and Browne played key roles in the Blue Devils’ defensive efforts and also tallied team highs in steals.
“This group is very close and family oriented,” Kaplan said. “The seniors have been together since eighth grade and did an amazing job leading their teammates during a difficult time. We are so happy to have had a season for them.”
Huntington will be returning seven varsity players next winter. “They will be coming back with great experience,” Kaplan said. “We will be a top team to beat next year with our amazing defense and team chemistry.”
The shortened season was a success despite the many challenges and obstacles that needed to be overcome.
“I am so proud of this team, not only for all their hard work and dedication, but for what they have accomplished over the past five years,” Kaplan said. “These seniors left a mark on Huntington girls’ basketball and we will forever be grateful for that.”