By Connor Beach
The Walt Whitman Lady Wildcats roared past the Lady Bulldogs of Lindenhurst on Tuesday, 51-28, in their first league game of the season.
The Lady Wildcats got off to a fast start on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court.
Whitman’s defense overwhelmed Lindenhurst shooters from the first whistle to the last. The Wildcats’ guards were pressing high up the court, limiting the Bulldogs’ three-point opportunities; they held the usually sharp shooting Lindenhurst team to two threes in the game.
The first quarter ended with Whitman leading, 21-7.
Junior point guard Danielle Kleet led the explosive Whitman offense scoring all 15 of her points in the first half. Kleet sank a trio of three-pointers as the Wildcats used rapid ball movement to free up outside shooters who took advantage of the opportunities.
Junior guard Desiree Kleberg added one three-pointer of her own on her way to five points in the game.
Whitman’s offense also took advantage of forced turnovers throughout the first half.
The Wildcats took a 31-13 lead into the locker room at the end of the first half.
In the second half, the Lady Wildcats continued to dominate both sides of the ball.
Junior forward Meghan Soulias was a force in both transition and in the paint. She scored 21 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, leading the Lady Wildcats in both categories.
As the second half wore on, Whitman continued to run the court with energy. The Lady Wildcats took a 43-20 lead into the fourth quarter and never looked back.
Whitman’s lone senior, guard Leatrice Brown, added four points in the victory. Junior forward Eleni Glodowski, freshman guard Dana McGowan and freshman forward Jenna Stockfeder rounded out the scoresheet with two points each.
After the game, head coach Dan Trebour said his young team has been preparing well for the league season, battling through a tough non-league schedule.
“We prepared well, and the kids played really hard in this game,” Trebour said.
He also praised the efforts of Kleet’s defensive pressure against the Lindenhurst guards and the way she controlled the offense.
“We worked together, and everyone made really good passes to each other,” Kleet said.
The Lady Wildcats are set to play their next league game on the road at Connetquot High School on Friday, 6 p.m.