Bonac Girls Hoopsters Win a Game!

A 36-33 victory over Hampton Bays
The long losing streak hadn’t been uppermost in Krista Brooks’s mind. After Friday’s win at Hampton Bays she was apprised as to how momentous it was. Craig Macnaughton Photos

When, after defeating Hampton Bays 36-33 in a nonleague high school girls basketball game Friday, Krista Brooks’s players leaped up and down in euphoric glee, she didn’t quite understand. Newly returned to coaching, Brooks hadn’t been aware of the losing streak. 

Though she was clued in moments later, when told by way of parents that an East Hampton girls basketball team hadn’t won a game since Dec. 2, 2014. 

Kelly McKee, who coached the team in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons, said during a telephone conversation Monday morning that the length of the alleged drought sounded about right to him. McKee, who was replaced by Brooks this season, took over from Howard Wood, the former pro, who mentored Kaelyn Ward, East Hampton’s last outstanding player, who now coaches at St. John the Baptist High School in West Islip.

This is Brooks’s second time around. She coached the team for a time at the turn of the last century, giving up the job in 2003 when her daughter, Paige Cordone, a starting sophomore now, was born.

During a recent lopsided loss here to Amityville, the Bonackers’ fifth straight in league play, it was evident that Brooks’s charges can move the ball well, though they were greatly challenged when it came to putting it into the basket.

A long-suffering fan’s mood began to lighten, however, when he saw recently that East Hampton had lost by 7 points, 32-25, at Southampton, news that was followed soon after by Saturday’s glad tidings.

“They’re finally coming into their own,” Brooks said during a telephone conversation over the weekend. “They’re playing like a team; they’re working hard. Our only goals this year have been to win more quarters, get more rebounds, and have fewer turnovers.”

And, lo, said Brooks, focusing on those things had led to the win at Hampton Bays. “We came out strong,” she said, “which we haven’t been doing, and had a strong second quarter. . . . Everybody but Connie Chan scored. She had rebounds and assists, though.”

Emma Silvera, a junior guard, finished with 11 points, Emily Brewer, a junior forward, had 9, Cordone, 8, and Alden Powers, Jessica Guallpa, Kailey Marmeno, and Eva Wojtusiak, all guards, had 2 each. Brooks was without the services of Katrina Osterberg, who suffered a concussion in the Amityville game. Everyone on the squad plays, she added, so that their teammates can get breathers.

There was no faulting her players’ willingness to work, nor their camaraderie, the coach said, and it was just the luck of the enrollment draw that East Hampton finds itself again in a league with such schools as Westhampton Beach, Shoreham-Wading River, Amityville, and Wyandanch (though the latter was also winless in league play as of earlier this week), all known for having strong programs. Girls soccer, which also has been struggling, played this fall with teams within its general ability range, “but that league was power-ranked,” said Brooks, who, while happy about the Hampton Bays win, knows the remainder of the League V season will continue to be very tough.

Brooks’s hope is that the program will continue to grow, and she was encouraged to hear a report that there were some good junior-high-age players seen last winter in the East Hampton Town Recreation Department’s Saturday sessions at the Amagansett School, which are overseen by Matt McHugh and Robyn Mott.

Moreover, Erin Mulrain, she said, had been doing a very good job with the jayvee, which has thus far wins over their Amityville and Southampton counterparts. 

The varsity’s roster, aside from the above-named, comprises Mailyn Guzman, a senior guard, Jennifer Ortiz, a junior guard, and Tia Weiss, a junior center. On the jayvee are Nora Conlon, Deliah Desmond, Tifany Gomez, Virginia Presinal, and Emma Stein, all ninth graders, Jackie Guichay, Ariana Islami, Lisbeth Leon, Stephanie Pallchisaca-Carpio, and Dayanna Tepan Luna, all sophomores, and Ashley Peters, a junior.

Alden Powers, at left, and Kailey Marmeno have done well in bringing the ball up the court.