With the exception of boys tennis, not many Ws have bloomed thus far this spring on the fields of East Hampton High School.
In the week past, softball, which is having a down year, owing in part to a back problem that continues to nag the team’s all-state pitcher, Casey Waleko, lost three games, two of them by wide margins, and baseball, boys lacrosse, girls lacrosse, and tennis all lost contests.
Mike Vitulli, the boys lacrosse coach, said following last Thursday’s 9-5 loss here to Bellport that “we took too many penalties and we couldn’t clear the ball, which gave them second chances. We played good defense, but, again, as I said, we weren’t clearing the ball. . . . Bellport is like us, they’ve had their ups and downs. We had our opportunities today, but we didn’t score enough in man-up situations. We’ve got a young team, and at times it looks like they’re getting it, but it’s hard to put it all together.”
Cortland Heneveld scored two of East Hampton’s goals that day, and had an assist. Drew Harvey had one goal and one assist; John Pizzo had one goal, and Jack Schleicher had one and one. East Hampton was shut out in the fourth quarter.
The girls, playing against Harborfields here the next day, followed suit, losing 15-9. The visitors, who on several occasions converted stolen passes into fast-break goals, pretty much had the game put away by halftime, at which point East Hampton trailed 10-3. Maggie Pizzo, a midfielder, seemed to be the only one who could do anything offensively in that first 25-minute frame. She was to finish with 5 goals and 2 assists.
Later, Matt Maloney, Bonac’s coach, said via e-mail, “Harborfields is no better than we are — they just stepped up and executed their game plan and we didn’t. We allowed them to build up a lead in the beginning, which forced us to fight back, which is always difficult to do in this division. Some of our players did well, but we needed more than two or three to step up and perform. . . . As for the playoffs, they’re not out of the question. I really hope to be there at the end of the season.”
As of Monday, the girls were 1-6 in divisional play and 1-8 over all. The boys were faring somewhat better, at 3-5 (3-7).
Softball, which, as aforesaid, lost three games last week, was 3-5 (3-6), and the track teams were winless, each at 0-3 (though the boys were hoping to get their first dual meet win in three years here Tuesday versus Rocky Point). Only boys tennis had a winning league record (4-3) as of Monday.
Shani Cuesta, the girls track coach, reported that at the Joe Brandi relay invitational meet at Connetquot Saturday Dana Cebulski, who, after running in the in the 4-by-800 and running the 1,600-meter leg in the distance medley relay, debuted in the triple jump with a 28-foot-10-inch showing, “which was impressive, considering it was the first time she’d done it.”
There were, said Cuesta, two personal bests that day, Kati Tikkanen’s 87.83 in the 2-by-400 intermediate hurdles, and Julia de Sousa’s 10:11.88 in the 2-by-1,500 racewalk.
Getting back to softball, Lou Reale, the veteran head coach, said that while the team had been thumped 12-1 by Eastport-South Manor and 14-2 by Miller Place earlier in the week, a 2-1 loss here last Thursday to Kings Park (which was 6-1 going in) had him feeling a little better, especially given the fact that Waleko (who’s had to rest in between starts) walked nine (one intentionally) and her teammates committed five errors.
“We still don’t know what’s really wrong with Casey — she’s had a lot of tests, a CAT scan, an M.R.I. . . . It’s something with her back, a pinched nerve maybe, nobody knows. She’s trying her best, she’s not begging off. Part of it’s physical and maybe mental now.”
Courtney Dess, the senior second baseman, had been pitching well in relief, Reale added. “She’s not walking anybody and she’s getting ground balls, though we’re not fielding well behind her. The same kids made those plays last year.”
When it comes to errors and base-running mistakes, “They’ve been doing some things that I’ve never seen before, and I’ve been around a long time!”
Asked about the playoffs, Reale said, “We’ve still got 10 to 12 games to go. We can make them. I gotta do a better job coaching.”