Friday, 18 March 2011 00:00
On Saturday, March 5 the Girls Varsity Basketball Team at Division Avenue High School reached the Nassau County Championship game for the second consecutive year. This season the Blue Dragons won their conference with an 11-1 record and were seeded first for the county tournament.
The Lady Dragons were poised to defend their county title when injury struck. Senior starter Nicolette McCreary broke her arm two days before the playoffs were to start. McCreary plays the strong forward and was the leading rebounder this season for Division. The injury to McCreary had the Dragons somewhat shaken, yet they were able to regroup and beat Valley Stream North in the first round of the county tournament by a score of 65-33. Taylor Malings (14) and Breanne Connolly (17) led the scoring for the Dragons.
The Ladies then moved on to the quarterfinals against a very tall Mineola team. Controlling the boards seemed like it would pose a problem, especially with McCreary on the sidelines in a cast. With the help of Laura Stuart and Susan Ballantyne (filling in for McCreary), the Blue Dragons dominated the boards and won 56-34. Ballantyne and Connolly combined for 30 points while Kristen Stuart had 14 rebounds and five blocked shots. Connolly totaled nine 3-point shots in the first two playoff games.
This win moved the Ladies into the semi-finals at Freeport High School where they were matched with a talented young Lynbrook squad. Christina Rea led the Dragons with 13 points, six steals, and four assists. Rea scored eight of her 13 points in the decisive third quarter that saw Division go on a 12-point unanswered run. This victory brought the Blue Dragons back to the county finals at C.W. Post College.
The girls played their customary tough defense but were unable to pull off one more victory and fell to Garden City High School 46-40.
Over the past two seasons the Lady Dragons compiled 22 conference wins and had just two losses enroute to capturing back-to-back conference titles. They also made the Nassau County Finals twice, winning the county title once.
These girls were also the Long Island Champs last season and made the New York State Final Four. The entire starting lineup will graduate in June and the task of rebuilding for the future will begin. Graduating seniors are Ballantyne, Connolly, Malings, Janelle Marxhausen, McCreary, Rea, and Kristen Stuart.