Wildcats, Tigers Split Hoops Classic
In the closing round of this year’s Coaches vs. Cancer Basketball Classic on Tuesday, Whitman’s varsity girls basketball team traveled to Northport, and the Northport varsity boys team played at Whitman. The Tigers of Northport and the Whitman Wildcats split the wins, but the cause was the real winner.
The Coaches vs. Cancer program is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches. The program seeks to increase cancer awareness and promote healthy living among students, faculty and staff, fans, and the community at large.
Whitman’s boys team ended a strong first period up 7-5 and then went basket-for-basket with their rivals, ending the first half up 17-15. The Wildcats caught fire in the third period, outscoring Northport 19-11.
Surprising almost everyone except Northport and their fans, the Tigers roared back in the fourth period with their own 19 points compared to Whitman’s 11.
In the end, it was that first period that was the difference, with Whitman coming away with the 47-45 victory. Scoring for Whitman were Nima Esmizadeh, Allek Hendrickson, Travaun Patron and Bedel Saget with 8 points each; Savion Black with 6 points; Joey Grasso and Julian Kleberg with 3 points each; Gary Harris with 2 points; and Kola Adebola with 1 point.
For the Lady Wildcats, getting off to a slow start put them in trouble going into the home stretch. The first period ended with the Northport Tigers up 11-3, but the Wildcats answered back in the second period with 10 points of their own compared to Northport’s 13.
With the Wildcats warmed up, the two teams played tough, with Northport scoring only 2 more points than Whitman in the second half, but it was that early slow start that would come back to haunt Whitman as the game ended with the Wildcats down 38-25.
Scoring for the Lady Wildcats were Rosa Portaro with 8 points; Rose Pedretti with 7 points; Casey Martin with 6 points; Brittney Coleman with 3 points; and Zenab Ojibe with 1 point.