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Tornadoes Recharge To Defend County Title 

The Harborfields Lady Tornadoes, pictured last year in the Class A Small Schools Championship, are hoping to repeat as League V champions in the new year.

Lady Tornadoes basketball coach Russ Tietjen said his team lives by a simple philosophy – keep the focus on improving and the winning will take care of itself.

“Every year our goal is to keep getting better day after day. They have aspirations to get to the playoffs and go far into the playoffs,” he said of the ladies. “It all depends on how hard they work, and they know that.”

The Lady Tornadoes head into the 2013-2014 season with a Long Island Championship and a top-four finish in the New York State girls basketball championship to their credit, as well as several new faces in the starting lineup. The Tornadoes graduated five, including captain Bridgit Ryan, forward Amy Werbitsky, guard Amy Luxemberg and forwards Katie White and Eileen Quinn.

This year’s Harborfields squad will be led by senior captain Kristen Kelly, a forward with four years experience on the squad.

“She’s a very good shooter, a good rebounder and a good passer,” Tietjen said. “She brings a lot of leadership because she has that experience.”

Junior forward Donasja Scott adds strong rebounding and finishing skills to the mix as well.

“She plays really tough defense,” the coach added.

Meanwhile, those skills are complemented by the presence of senior guard Toni Deren and junior guards Allie Tunick and Helena Occaviano.

“They’re all quick, shoot well from the outside and handle the ball well,” Tietjen said.

Early on, Tietjen said, he likes what he’s seen. Last week, the Tornadoes defeated Hills East 47-30 in non-league competition thanks to sharp defensive play.

“We played great team defense… Hills has some very good shooters and for the most part we made it difficult for them. I was pretty happy that they played defense like that,” the coach said.

Harborfields’ first league game was Wednesday at Rocky Point, which concluded after press time. Their first home game in League V is scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 17 against Comsewogue.

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