Seaford being challenged early

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A young Seaford girls’ basketball team that entered the season with little varsity experience is making strides amid a grueling stretch of games.

The Lady Vikings, who returned just 92 points from last year’s 19-2 team, has faced one of the tougher schedules in Nassau County to open the New Year. While the hard work and improvement displayed throughout the season hasn’t translated much in the win column, longtime head coach Bob Vachris expects the experience gained through this challenge to pay dividends down the road.

“They are all improving, but sometimes it doesn’t show up on the scoreboard,” said Vachris, whose squad entered the week at 2-9 overall and 0-3 in Conference A-V. “It seems like every team we play is in the top 10.”

Among the tough completion that Seaford has tackled early in the New Year was a Jan. 7 non-league tilt at defending Long Island Class B champion Carle Place where the Vikings fell behind 22-2 after the first quarter en route to a 57-20 loss. Seaford responded to the adversity two days later though by staying competitive with Mineola in a 69-49 setback.

“The Carle Place game wasn’t a basketball game, it was a game of survival,” Vachris said. “But then they came back and played well against Mineola which showed a lot.”

Junior 6-foot center Jamie McSorley returned this season as Seaford’s lone returning scorer and despite drawing plenty of defensive attention has achieved double figured in five games including 13 points in a 44-25 win at New Hyde Park on Dec. 15. When McSorley has been forced to the bench due to foul trouble, freshman forward Ava DiScala has taken on a bigger role in the paint.

Freshman shooting guard Jamie Horodecki has emerged as a scoring threat early in the season and was Seaford’s high scorer with 14 points in 35-27 win at Mepham on Dec. 27. Sophomore point guard Taylor Sylvester has also sparked the backcourt along with freshman twin sisters Brook and Parker Surace.

“The kids are playing hard and trying hard, but are just getting outscored,” Vachris said. “They are getting better.”

Seaford next faces another stiff challenge on Thursday evening with a non-league game at neighborhood foe Wantagh, who began the season 5-0 in Conference IV. The Lady Vikings will then travel to Levittown to face unbeaten Island Trees this Saturday at noon. The next home game is on tap for Jan. 26 at noon against Locust Valley, who handed Seaford a 57-37 loss on Jan. 4.

Despite a tough start to league play, Vachris said the players are still focused on achieving one of the four available playoff spots in Conference A-V. No matter how the rest of season plays out, Vachris is excited about establishing a building block for future success.

“The kids are looking at the playoffs as a goal,” Vachris said. “We’re hoping to show at the end of the season that we belong.”