Battle-tested Seaford is rolling

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The Seaford girls’ basketball team is reaping the benefits of a challenging non-conference schedule.

The Lady Vikings entered the week 3-0 in Conference A5, which longtime head coach Bob Vachris attributes to his young team getting tested throughout December. Seaford gained confidence throughout this early stretch of games that included a 34-32 win against Garden City and staying competitive with defending Nassau County Class B champion Carle Place.

“You don’t get better by playing against teams that aren’t as strong as you,” said Vachris of the December slate that also included facing Catholic League power Our Lady of Mercy and Great Neck South of Conference A1. “It has helped us a lot.”

Seaford stayed unbeaten in league play with a convincing 49-17 home win last Saturday against Mineola in which the Vikings led 25-3 at halftime. A day earlier the Lady Vikings blew out Glen Cove, 53-17 and held the Big Red scoreless in the second half.

A strong defense has bolstered Seaford early in the conference season starting with a 51-34 win at Clarke on Jan. 8. Vachris is hoping that the offense will soon take shape as well with senior center Jamie McSorley and junior point guard Taylor Sylvester so far leading the scoring charge averaging 11.1 and 9.4 points per game, respectively. The two both registered 16 points apiece in a 62-21 victory against Valley Stream South on Dec. 18.

McSorley and Sylvester have provided veteran leadership on and off the floor along with senior forward Katelyn Winter. The 5-11 Winter provides a strong defensive presence in the frontcourt and athletic versatility as a former starting point guard for the Seaford Middle School team.

Sophomore shooting guard Jamie Horodecki has also keyed Seaford’s strong conference start. She tallied 17 points in the Clarke victory and 13 points to go along with 18 rebounds in 50-25 win against Roslyn on Dec. 9.

Horodecki anchors a talented sophomore class that is continuing to develop after receiving freshman minutes on varsity. Vachris has been impressed with the progression of twin sisters Brooke and Parker Surace in the backcourt with the duo gelling well together while on the floor together. Julia Saulpaugh has also shown improvement since the start of the season and been an integral part of Seaford’s recent winning streak.

“She has made big strides,” said Vachris of Saulpaugh. “She has made a big impact.”

After visiting Locust Valley on Jan. 13, Seaford travels to nearby Island Trees Saturday at noon. The Vikings then face unbeaten Syosset in a non-league game Martin Luther King Day before returning to conference action at home Jan. 25 versus Valley Stream South at noon.

Vachris said the Garden City win in the second game of the season on Dec. 12 set the tone for January’s winning ways. Sylvester helped ice the game with late a 3-pointer that gave Seaford a 34-30- lead.

“That was a tough game,” Vachris said, “Every point was earned in that game.”