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Girls Making Playoff Statement

 Lady Trojans earn Coach Sparacia 200th career win

The Garden City girl’s varsity team has enjoyed a successful season this year with a deep playoff run. The girls entered the post-season as the number six seed in Nassau after a second place finish in Conference A-1 with a 9-2 record while compiling a 12-4 overall record during the regular season. For a relatively young team with two juniors, two sophomores and a freshman in the starting lineup, the Lady Trojans have had an excellent campaign.

As of this writing the girls have been on a roll in the playoffs with three straight victories and an appearance in the County Championship game against Floral Park on last Saturday, Feb. 23.

The opening round of the playoffs saw the Lady Trojans jump out fast on West Hempstead and never look back with a 53-33 victory. The girls ended that game with only giving up 3 points in the fourth quarter as their defense stepped up and completely shut down West Hempstead.

The next two games were not as easy with both being played away from the friendly confines of the Garden City gym. The second round game was played at Division Avenue High School against the number 3-seeded Blue Dragons. In this tough matchup Garden City jumped out to a nine-point halftime lead behind some excellent outside shooting and strong inside rebounding. But Division wouldn’t relent and came back strong in the second half and actually took a lead late in the fourth quarter. But with only 4.9 seconds remaining on the clock, sophomore Sam Auricchio hit nothing but net for the winning jump shot and the Trojans held on for a 44-43 victory. The game featured Auricchio hitting for a game high 16 points and junior Taylor Carpentier grabbing a career high 20 rebounds.

In the semifinal match-up against 7th-seed Sewanhaka, the Garden City girls got off to a slow start and only scored 15 points in the first half and were trailing by 10 at halftime for the first time this playoff season. But the Lady Trojans didn’t give up and came out very aggressive in the second half, cutting into the lead with a collapsing defense. But Garden City’s best was saved for the fourth quarter as they outscored the Lady Indians 22-10 in the fourth quarter and came away with a 46-41 victory and a trip to the County finals. The game featured some excellent free throw shooting by Auricchio and Carpentier, who between the two captains came up clutch in the second half hitting on 16 of 17 from the free throw line. Carpentier also chipped in with 12 rebounds against a very physical and tall Sewanhaka team. The game also had a couple of key 3-pointers buried, the first by sophomore Becky Reifler in the third quarter to cap a nine point run.  Then it was junior Tara DeAngelo hitting a three-pointer to put Garden City on top for the first time in the game with just under two minutes remaining.

Also playing consistently throughout the playoffs have been two freshman, Kerry McCarraher and Mikaela Bruno, with Kerry delivering a strong inside presence with scoring and rebounding while Bruno continues to help Garden City play up tempo on both sides of the ball from her guard position.

Of note on the season was Coach Anthony Sparacia’s 200th win in the playoff victory against Division.