On this day 11 years ago, the girls’ basketball team dominated Port Jeff in Danielle Spiliotis’ return to her old school. Here is the recap from the Village Times Herald.
The Port Jefferson gymnasium is steeped in history and civility. Before the girls’ basketball game on January 22 against The Stony Brook School, a string quartet played the national anthem, and beautifully. There are purple banners on the painted brick walls that celebrate the girls’ Suffolk County Championship in tennis during the Roaring 20s, and a boys’ basketball title from the Great Depression.
Last year that venerable gym was home to center Danielle Spiliotis. Last Tuesday Spiliotis played there again, this time as a member of the (4-0) Stony Brook School Bears, and posted 18 points, nine rebounds, and five blocks. She dominated the inside game with four early blocks that changed the way the Royals looked at open shots.
Stony Brook power forward Allegra Istrati hauled in 11 rebounds for the Bears. Combined with their high-scoring teammate Sadie Singer (23 points and six assists), the Bears’ front line helped put a serious 61-11 whipping on the Royals (3-2.)
Port Jefferson got five points from forward Megan Mackenzie, four points from forward Alexandria Lanieri and a deuce from freshman Brannon Burke. The Royals scored only three points in the second half.
“It was hard for me that first half,” Spiliotis said. “I was very nervous. Everyone out there is my really good friend. Sadie [Singer] got me going. Then we were okay.”
Singer, a versatile shooting guard, put on an impressive full-court display of offense on her end-to-end fast breaks and also buried three threes. After a 9-6 closely played first quarter, the Bears went on a 52-5 run that no amount of Port Jefferson timeouts, substitutions, or defensive adjustments could thwart. On this night the Bears were unstoppable.
“We had a good game plan and it worked for about a quarter,” Port Jefferson head coach Mike Riley said. “Then in the second quarter we lost our focus and committed too many personal fouls. At one point it was 7-1 in fouls. Our younger players have to learn to play with that kind of pressure on them. They’re not there yet. They have to know when they have three or four fouls that it’s time to move their feet on defense, not their hands.”
Stony Brook School head coach Keith Singer said, “Obviously, it was a good homecoming for Danielle. She’s shot in this gym before. Our girls all shot well tonight. But we know that when Lauren Chun is with them, they are a different team. I know these kids and I’ve seen them when they’ve played well. They’ve got a lot of talent at Port Jefferson. My kids know the next time they see them it starts out 0-0.”
The Bears went on to top Port Jeff in the County Championship later that season.