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

5 Tricks to Stay Motivated When Working at Home

first_imgStaying motivated at work can be hard but for remote employees it can be downright impossible.Unlike an office environment, at home there are a ton of temptations and distractions that can easily sap your productivity and your career trajectory.“Working from home is essentially an independent way of working. Even if you have managers and coworkers to be accountable to, you’re still responsible for motivating yourself,” says Sara Sutton Fell, CEO of FlexJobs. “And because our houses have all sorts of distractions (I’ll just throw in one load of laundry, or do these dishes quickly), it can be hard to stay motivated.”But you don’t have to let it hurt your career. There are ways to keep your motivation and productivity high. Here’s how.Have a dedicated office spaceSome of the most productive remote workers are the ones that have a dedicated office space in their home that they go to each morning. The ones that tend to easily lose motivation are the workers that open their laptop, plop down on the couch and think they can work with life going on around them.  “You have to have an organized space in your home so that you can work in that space with limited distractions,” says Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half International.Hand in hand with having a dedicated office is setting boundaries for when family members can enter the office. If you want to keep your office void of distractions close your door during work hours, get rid of any toys or entertainment that will lure the kids or roommates and establish rules of engagement during work hours,Be organized and layout your work weekOrganization is imperative in any job, but for remote workers it is a necessity, especially because you won’t have a boss breathing down your neck making sure your work is getting done. According to Sara Caputo, founder and principal of RADIANT,  a professional organizing and productivity consulting company, make sure you layout the work you plan to tackle during the week and update that list daily. “At the end of the week, I like the Friday 45, which is taking 45 minutes and planning ahead for next week so you can more easily leave work alone through the weekend and hit the ground running on Monday, ” says Caputo.Create a regular routineHumans are creatures of habit, which is why establishing a routine and sticking to it when you work at home is a great way to keep your motivation and productivity on overdrive. “We’ve found that people who establish a routine and establish check lists are very productive and motivated,” says McDonald. That means getting up at the same time during the work week as if you were going to an office, having predetermined break times and blocking off times to get up from your desk every now and then. For some people staying in their PJs all day works for them while others will take a shower and get dressed before heading to their home office. Either is fine as long as it’s part of the established routine.Find your secret saucePerhaps it’s a particular song, a comfy office setting or time of day, either way Sutton Fell says you want to figure out what gets you in a work groove and run with it. For some people it could also mean changing the scenery every once awhile. It’s no accident that coffee shops like Starbucks are filled with people typing away on their computers during office hours. “There are so many ways to get and stay motivated, but you are responsible for motivating yourself as a telecommuter,” say Sutton Fell.Get in the right mindset for workLife happens, but chances are you are going to hear all about it as it’s happening when you work from home. A great way to prevent life’s distractions is to have weekly meetings with your partner to prevent the personal portions of life from impacting productivity during work hours, says Caputo. Cover all the home issues during those meetings so you won’t be interrupted with questions during work hours, she says.Working at home is hard so it’s a good idea to cut yourself some slack as you figure it out. Nothing can be more demoralizing and thus productivity sapping then beating yourself up because you didn’t cross off everything on your checklist or you ended up working all weekend because you couldn’t get motivated. “Remember it takes more discipline to work at home than it does working in an office,” says McDonald. “It’s up to you to know what your productivity triggers are and be patient with yourself as adjust to what’s happening.”last_img read more