The Massapequa High School girls' basketball squad continues its march through the Nassau County Class AA-I tournament. On Tuesday night, the Lady Chiefs had an easy 53-35 win over Calhoun, allowing Massapequa to advance to the conference championship game.
The title game will be played Saturday, Feb. 28 at 4 p.m. at C.W. Post College. Massapequa will go up against No. 1 seed Syosset for the conference championship.
The semifinal match was a contest with teams that had nearly identical records. Both finished conference play with 8-4 marks. Massapequa was 12-6 overall, while Calhoun finished the season with an 12-8 record.
However, in this game, which was also played at C.W. Post, Massapequa was never seriously challenged. The Lady Chiefs jumped out to an early lead, one they never relinquished. Massapequa led 12-8 at the end of the first quarter, and 20-15 at halftime.
Massapequa broke the game open in the third quarter, outscoring Calhoun 13-3, as the game picked up pace. The fourth quarter was high scoring also. Calhoun mounted a comeback of sorts, but the Lady Chiefs outscored their opponent, 20-17 for the convincing triumph.
Jess DeNicola was the star for Massapequa on both offense and defense. She scored 21 points on seven field goals and seven free throws, while adding a team-high 14 rebounds.
Kelly Ann Sullivan also scored in double figures, totaling 15 points on four field goals and seven free throws.
This year, the Lady Chiefs were not quite the powerhouse they have been in recent years, but as the bell rang for playoff action, Massapequa has been playing with the process of old.
The Lady Chiefs advanced to the quarterfinals by taking a Feb. 17 home game over Baldwin, 57-37. In that contest, Massapequa led throughout the game, and all players who saw action scored in the win. Jess DeNicola pacing the balanced scoring attack with 19 points. Jackie Tierney added 9 points, while Casey Bartels and Nikki Daly chipped in with 7 points each.
The Lady Chiefs regular season ended with a 48-46 overtime thriller over Syosset. In that contest, Kelly Ann Sullivan won the game by calmly hitting two free throws with six seconds left in overtime. Syosset had outscored the Lady Chiefs 12-8 in the final frame to send the game into overtime.
Sullivan scored 10 points in the win. Jess DeNicola paced the Lady Chiefs with 20 points.
As noted in last week's issue of The Massapequan Observer, the Massapequa High School boys' squad lost to Farmingdale, 44-35 in first round Class AA playoff action.
Despite the disappointing ending, the Chiefs had a solid year, finishing with a 13-7 mark overall and a 10-4 record in conference play.
During the regular season, the Chiefs' scoring machine was led by James Moran and Sean Canning. Moran had 253 points on 100 field goals and 47 free throws. Canning had 240 points. However, his total was unique in that Canning scored no less than 64 3-point goals. In fact, he had far more 3-pointers than 2-point goals (13). Canning also nailed down 13 free throws. Patrick Meehan had 134 points for the regular season, including 59 goals. Also breaking 100 points was Michael Canning, whose 104 points included 23 field goals and, in the footsteps of his brother, 13 3-pointers. Football star Rob VonBargen scored 98 points on 42 field goals.
VonBargen also led the Chiefs on the boards with 69 rebounds. He was assisted by James Moran who pulled down 53 rebounds and Patrick Meehan with 44 boards.