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May 20, 2019 4:11 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Hampton Bays, Westhampton Beach Winter Athletes Earn Postseason Awards

Liam McIntyre
May 21, 2019 9:38 AM

After missing the postseason by single victories each of the past two seasons, the Westhampton Beach girls basketball team came out firing on all cylinders this past winter, starting off the regular season 10-0 and eventually finishing 14-4, good enough for third place in League V (15-5 overall).

The Lady Hurricanes were seeded fifth in the Suffolk County Class A playoffs and had to go on the road and defeat higher seeds in Elwood/John Glenn and cross-town rival Eastport/South Manor, which they did, before falling to Mount Sinai in the county championship.

Isabelle Smith was one of the top scorers in the county and earned All-County and All-League honors for her efforts.

Layla Mendoza, despite missing most of the season due to an injury, was named All-Conference and All-League.

Molly McCarthy was named All-League in her first varsity season, and Olivia Rongo was named to the All-Rookie Team. Her older sister, Lindsay Rongo, the only player graduating from the team this year, was Academic All-County.

It was a difficult season for the Westhampton Beach boys basketball season, which won three of its 20 games a year after reaching the county championship. Riley MacDonald was named All-League and Jake Bennett was Academic All-County. Both varsity and junior varsity boys basketball squads were given the Eastern Long Island Approved Basketball Officiating Association Sportsmanship Award for the fourth year in a row.

A pair of athletes—Natalie Ehlers (1,500 race walk) and Kathleen Kelly (high jump)—represented the Westhampton Beach girls track team at the New York State Indoor Track Championships. Both Ehlers and Kelly placed second in their respective events at the Section XI State Qualifier. Ehlers was disqualified at the state meet for receiving the maximum of three judge’s marks, but she bounced right back a week later and placed sixth in the country to become an All-American. Kelly tied with three others for 13th place at the state meet.

It was quite the season for the Westhampton Beach wrestling team. Liam McIntyre was expected to reach the New York State Division I Championships, and he did, winning both League VI and Suffolk County titles before placing second in the 195-pound weight class to earn back-to-back All-State honors. McIntyre became just the second Westhampton Beach wrestler ever to win two county titles, the other being Alex Tanzman who did it in 2012 and 2013.

But Jackson Hulse came out of nowhere and added to the Canes’ success, also winning league and county titles and qualifying for the state tournament. It marked the first time in Westhampton Beach history that two wrestlers took home a county title in the same season, and it was also the first time it sent two wrestlers to states in the same season. Hulse was also the youngest Hurricane to win a county title.

Joey D’Agostino (99 pounds), Grant Skala (106), Will Zaffuto (113), Jay Montagna (126), Suraj Patel (132), Christian Specht (152), Larry Citarelli (170) and Hunter Burling (182) all placed in the top four at the League VI Championships to earn All-League honors and advance to counties.

Hampton Bays

Quinn Smith of Hampton Bays put himself on the map in the discus last spring but was a bit of an unknown in the shot put coming into this past winter. He changed that pretty quickly. Smith either won or placed in the top three of all of the shot put events he competed in, including the Suffolk County Small Schools title, the overall county title and then he placed sixth in the state to become All-State.

Willy Kraus (126 pounds) became the Hampton Bays wrestling team’s first Suffolk County Division II Champion since Ralph Oswald four years prior after he defeated Shoreham/Wading River’s Eddie Troyano, 3-1, this past February. Joe Gaudiello (170 pounds) and Kevin Eras (285) both placed fourth in their respective weight classes to earn All-County honors. The Baymen also had one of its best regular seasons in recent memory, finishing the season 4-0 and winning the League VIII title, its first since 2005.

The Hampton Bays boys basketball team, playing in a mixed classification League VI this season, nearly clinched a Suffolk County Class B postseason berth but fell a win shy (4-8 League VI, 8-12 overall). Lucas Brown was named All-Leaue, Antonio Scotto was given the Jim Lynch Unsung Hero Award League VI and Matt Dean was All-Academic.

The Hampton Bays girls basketball team went winless in its first season as a complete rebuild after graduating a number of its top players the past two seasons, but the future remains bright based off a few of the postseason awards for the Lady Baymen. Pam Grajales was named All-League and Rebecca Heaney was named League VI Rookie of the Year. Abril Vasquez received the SCWBCA Camp Scholarship Award and the Lady Baymen were given the Section XI Team Sportsmanship Award and was a New York State Scholar Athlete Team.

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