Girls Basketball Preview

first_imgPierson senior Chastin Giles finished last season averaging 12 points per game on 82 field goals, 21 three-pointers, and 60 free throws. Independent/Gordon M. GrantA feisty pair has returned to Pierson’s basketball court.Senior point guard Chastin Giles and sophomore guard Sofia Mancino bring back all the grit that first-year head coach Woody Kneeland will be looking for after the Whalers graduated 10 seniors from last year’s squad, including his niece, Katie Kneeland, who led the team in points (377).“Chastin is tough as nails, so is Sofia,” Kneeland said. “Sofia is a vocal leader where Chastin leads by her play. Both make their teammates better.”The pair will steer a 10-girl roster, but Kneeland said he looks at it as he’s 10 players deep, knowing the girls who returned and many of the younger ones joining having coached the junior varsity team while being an assistant on varsity under former head coach Kevin Barron the last two seasons. His brother George, Katie’s father, who has worked with the basketball teams at Pierson at different levels over the last 18 years, also returns as an assistant.“There’s a lot of new kids coming up and there’s definitely an inexperienced factor, but they’re all great players,” Kneeland said. “I’ve been putting them through the ringer with the best of the Class A school during the nonleague games (0-3 against Eastport-South Manor, Westhampton Beach, and Sayville). I’m making it tough for them because I want them to learn quickly.”The Whalers JV team, along with the varsity girls, finished their league schedules undefeated last season. From his old team he’ll be looking for Grace Perello, who the coach said has a “scorer’s mentality,” to contribute some of what was lost with the departure of his niece, but said he sees all the girls being big contributors on either side of the court down the line. Heidi Wilson replaces Kneeland as the JV coach.“We’re more balanced than last year,” he said. “Once we get rolling and get some confidence, we’ll be there.”The coach said if any opponent thinks taking Giles (287 points last season) out of the game is an automatic win, he’d ask them to think again.“It’s not going to work,” Kneeland said.He’ll still be looking to her tremendously though.“Chastin is a college-level basketball player,” he said. “She helps the other girls get easier baskets too because she gets them in the right spots.”Senior guard and forward Mahlia Hemby is also returning, along with classmates Kathryn Powell, a center, and Kneeland’s daughter, Halle, a guard, both of whom rejoin the Whalers after not playing last season.“Kathryn is strong on offense and defense. Halle adds to the defensive side,” Kneeland said. “They’re going to play.”There’s been a consistent basketball culture in Pierson as of late, with the teams making the postseason the last six seasons, and Kneeland is hoping this year is no different. The Whalers are looking to defend their Suffolk County title won last year while going 17-3 overall.“They’re a fast, tough bunch. They’re some of the fastest kids I’ve seen,” Kneeland said, laughing. “The athleticism is there. They also play great defense. These girls are going to have a complete game soon and I’m excited about it.”Pierson will play Hampton Bays on the road in the Whalers’ first League VII game of the season on Wednesday, December 11, at 5:45 PM. The team travels to Port Jefferson December 16 for a 4:30 PM matchup.Hurricanes Have Room To GrowAlthough losing just one senior to graduation, Westhampton head coach Katie Peters says the absence of center/forward Lindsay Rongo creates a completely different dynamic within her team.“Lindsay Rongo was big for us,” she said. “She was a strong defensive player, was a leader both on and off the court. She was also good for putting in eight to 12 points when we needed it. She was a spark when we needed it, and would recognize that.”That’s not to say she doesn’t think she has the talent to fill her shoes.Peters thinks returning juniors Molly Skorobohaty and Caroline Henke could do just that.“They play strong defense. They hustle,” the coach said. “And they have experience with valuable game minutes.”Young returners with lots of playing time are Rongo’s younger sister Olivia (132 points last season), a guard, who started multiple games as a freshman, and sophomore guard Molly McCarthy (180 points), who the coach said is more confident this season.She expects big things from both girls, but will be leaning on seniors Belle Smith (453 points last season) and Layla Mendoza (132 points) to lead the way.Smith, an All-American lacrosse standout and All-County volleyball player surpassed 1300 points last season to break the Hurricanes’ scoring record. Smith has a good on-court chemistry with Mendoza, who missed the second half of the 2018-19 season with a torn ACL.“They’re picking up right where they left off,” Peters said. “Layla has a strong interior post game. She’s fast, she’s athletic, she can jump. She and Belle are a dynamic duo. It’s tough to stop both of them.”Junior Amanda White, who played at St. Anthony’s the last two seasons, will be added value at guard, classmate Ella Donneson will aid under the boards, and sophomore Molly Mensch will add points fighting from the post. Donneson and Mensch are both up from the JV team.“There’s a lot of room for us to grow in a lot of ways on both ends of the court,” Peters said. “We’ve talked about getting back to where we were, but understand there’s a lot of games to play. We’re going to take it game by game. We can’t overlook anybody. Each day we’ll try to play our best and be our best and let the chips fall where they will.”Mendoza finished Westhampton’s League VI-opening 50-39 win over Elwood-John Glenn December 6 with 25 points and 10 rebounds, and Smith had 13 points, 10 steals, and six rebounds. The Hurricanes traveled to Bayport-Blue Point December 10, but results were not available by press time.Southampton Also Replacing Key PlayerSouthampton will be without Taylor Pike, the Mariners’ primary ball hander in 2018, who scored 256 points last season.The team fell one win short of making the playoffs, and Pike’s 13.5 points-per-game average was a major contributing factor in that. But there is talent returning to this League VII team, too.Sophomore point guard Madison Taylor is a travel basketball player who finished with 142 points last season; sophomore Gabby Arnold will continue guarding against opponent’s toughest competitors (75 points); and junior guard/forward Cristine Delgado led the team in minutes last season and is a strong defender who stays out of foul trouble (109). Back on the team is Ishanti Gumbs. She played for Riverhead last season and finished the season with 150 points as a junior.Senior Alysha Thomas (68 points), captains this Mariners team with classmate Caraline Oakley (60). Thomas competed on the same Amateur Athletic Union team during the offseason as Gumbs and Taylor.Sophomore Carli Cameron, from the soccer team, is up from JV, and juniors Riley Zorko and Bimela Ramkhelawan are also new additions.The Mariners started the season with a 71-36 win over Smithtown Christian December 6. Delgado had 15 points, five steals, and three assists; Taylor scored 11 points; Oakley had eight points and 15 rebounds; and Thomas added eight points and 12 rebounds.East Hampton Looking To BuildEast Hampton is hoping to improve upon its one-win 2018-19 season, but will have to do so while also bumping up to face new League V opponents.As with other schools, just one player, Connie Chan, graduated from last year’s team.Seniors Emma Silvera (98 points), Alden Powers (14), Tia Weiss (41), Emily Brewer (53), and Kailey Marmeno (31) have returned along with juniors Paige Cardone (74) and Eva Wojtusiak (19). Ashley Peters and Armani Gordon are new seniors joining the varsity squad with freshmen Baye Bogetti, Caroline DiSunno, and Claire McGovern. The Bonackers host their first league opponent, Islip, Thursday, December 12, at 4:30 PM.desiree@indyeastend.com Sharelast_img read more

Bullpen Woes Continues; Indians Fall in Stunning Fashion to Reds 7-4, Three Takeaways

first_imgCLEVELAND – This week, we can all say that this is the biggest test the Indians will go through before the All-Star break hits Monday.Question is, will the Tribe pass? So far, no.The Indians lost to the Cincinnati Reds 7-4 thanks to a seven-run inning from the Reds Tuesday night.Before the game escalated quick, seemingly things were going right for the Tribe, leading 4-0 entering the ninth inning.The last time Indians blew a four-run lead in the ninth was in 2007 against the New York Yankees.The offense got off to a fast start in the first two innings. Also, Trevor Bauer pitched tremendously, going almost the distance.He is the three takeaways from the loss.1. Bauer strong outingAll-Star Trevor Bauer pitched like an All-Star as he should have earned his ninth win of the year. For him, he was able to stay focus and trusting his pitches.The right-hander pitched eight innings, giving up three hits and striking out 12 Reds batters.Bauer made history in the game as well, as he became the third pitcher in franchise history to reach 160 strikeouts before the All-Star break.It was just a shame and all went for nothing.2. Bullpen woesThe 4-0 lead didn’t last long as the Reds rallied  back scoring seven times in the awful 9th inning.First starting with Jose Peraza hitting an RBI pinch-hit single to right to get the Reds on the board.Adam Duvall pitched hit for Billy Hamilton and made it a 4-3 ball game ripping a two-run double to left-center. That was the end of Cody Allen’s night.Then it was Dan Otero turn to try to end the game but it wasn’t the case as Joey Votto launched a three-run double to right field, putting the Reds up for good 6-4.3. Much needed victory in the Finale Let’s be honest, after a rough series against Oakland losing two out of three this past weekend and losing in the series opener against the Reds, Tuesday was a much-needed win but was not case.With tonight’s loss, the Indians dropped to 49-42 and looking for a series win in the finale before a four-game series against the New York Yankees.Carlos Carrasco will take the bump for the Tribe facing Reds starter Tyler Mahle. Mike Coutee Related TopicsIndiansRedsTerry FranconaTrevor Bauerlast_img read more

Prospect Profile: Yefry Ramirez

first_imgYefry Ramirez is the next player to be profiled comes in at number 19 on the Baltimore Orioles preseason top 30 prospects list. Number 20, Adam Hall, was profiled yesterday. Ramirez is a 24 year-old right handed pitcher out of the Dominican Republic.Ramirez was first signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks in early 2011. His first four seasons were spent in rookie ball, spending two seasons in the Dominican Summer League, one and a half seasons in the Pioneer league, and half a season in the Arizona League.His first season in the DSL was spent out of the bullpen. He made 18 appearances out of the bullpen, pitching 24.2 innings with a 3.28 ERA. He struggled with control walking 17 batters with a 1.06 strike-out to walk ratio.He transitioned into a starting role for his second season in the DSL. He performed well in the new rule, despite an 0-6 record. He made 13 total appearances including 11 starts, pitching a total of 60 innings.  He had a 3.00 ERA, striking out 62 batters and only walking 61.In 2014 Ramirez split time between the Pioneer League and the Arizona League, appearing in six and seven games respectively. In six starts in the Pioneer  League, Ramirez had a 2-1 record with a 4.75 ERA, 17 strikeouts, and 11 walks across 30.1 innings.Ramirez fared better in his 37.1 innings of work in the Arizona League. He carried a 4-2 reccord in seven appearances including four starts. His ERA was 1.93 and he struck out 48 and only walking four.In his final season with the Diamondbacks, Ramirez returned to the Pioneer League. He made 14 appearances, starting all but one, and pitched a total of 69 innings. He had a 5-5 record to go along with an ERA of 5.35, 61 strikeouts, and 21 walks.Despite a lackluster performance, the New York Yankees thought highly enough of Ramirez to select him in the Minor League phase in the 2015 Rule 5 Draft.He started his Yankees career in the South Atlantic League with the Charleston RiverDogs. He made 11 starts while in Charleston, going 4-2 with a 2.80 ERA, striking out 66 and only walking 14.His strong start earned him a promotion to the Tampa Yankees of the Florida State League. In his 11 starts in Tampa, he had a .284 ERA with 66 strikeouts and 18 walks across 63.1 innings.After his strong 2016 season, Ramirez was added to the Yankees 40-man roster and started the 2017 season in AA with the Trenton Thunder. In his 18 starts with the Thunder, Ramirez had a 10-3 record with 3.41 ERA, 91 strikeouts and 38 walks in 92.1 innings.At the trade deadline, the Yankees traded Ramirez to the Orioles for international pool money. He made six starts, working in 32 innings, with the AA Bowie Baysox after being traded. He went 5-0 with an ERA of 3.66 striking out 26 and walking 11.He will likely start the year off as a starter in AAA with the Norfolk Tides. With the question marks surrounding the orioles rotation, a good start in Norfolk could lead to Ramirez getting Starts in Baltimore should other options not pan out.MLB.com Analysis:Operating from a high three-quarters slot, Ramirez will sit comfortably in the low-90s with his fastball while bumping 96. A plus changeup and an inconsistent slider comprise his secondary arsenal, and he’s capable of generating whiffs against hitters on both sides of the plate with both. Ramirez has good feel for throwing strikes but below-average command.Ramirez blossomed during his first Double-A campaign, showing an intriguing blend of stuff, pitchability and bat-missing ability. And with good strength and athleticism to his sturdy frame, scouts like the right-hander’s chances of becoming a back-end starter.MLB.com Scouting Grades:Fastball: 50 | Slider: 50 | Changeup: 60 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45MLB ETA: 2018Please follow and like us:last_img read more

Alex Teixeira on stalled Liverpool move: ‘I want to be there, but it’s in Shakhtar’s hands’

first_img Liverpool target Alex Teixeira Liverpool target Alex Teixeira says his move to Anfield is now in the hands of the Shakhtar Donetsk president, Rinat Akhmetov.The Reds have already had a bid of around £24million for the Brazilian rejected by the Ukrainian giants, but they are expected to return with an improved offer.Teixeira is currently in Florida on a winter training camp with Shakhtar but admits he is desperate to sign for the Merseysiders before the January window shuts.“Liverpool are a huge club. So many great players have passed through there,” he told NBC.“I want to be there. But that is up to the club president now. I can only hope.“It is frustrating. So now I’m just waiting, trying to be patient.” 1last_img