Written by Ronald Scaglia, Rscaglia@antonnews.com Friday, 08 March 2013 00:00
Whether it’s the Nassau County class AA championship game, or the entire season thus far, the Massapequa Girls Varsity Basketball team has been in total control. The team captured the Nassau County class AA title by defeating Uniondale 52-35 in the title game held at LIU Post on Saturday. The undefeated team has won 19 games thus far and captured the first county title for Massapequa Varsity Girls Basketball since 2006. The Chiefs will now take on Sachem East in the Long Island Class AA championship to be held Friday night at 8 p.m. at Hofstra University.
“I’m very proud of what they have accomplished,” said coach Shari Roessler. “They key is they work as a total team.”
The Chiefs got off to a flying start in the title game. Lauren Van Buren scored four of the first six points in the game, and when Danielle Doherty connected on the first of an incredible five 3-point shots she would drain in the game, Massapequa was off to a 9-0 lead. Uniondale had a mild rally towards the end of the first quarter but Massapequa responded and by the end of the opening quarter, Massapequa had an 18-8 lead.
In the second quarter, Massapequa’s defense was simply incredible. The Chiefs held Uniondale to only four points throughout the quarter. When Doherty hit her third 3-pointer of the game, with about a minute left in the second quarter, it capped an 11-point run that Massapequa went on at the end the first half, and the Chiefs went to the locker room with a commanding 31-12 lead. Massapequa remained steadfast throughout the remainder of the game and captured the title.
Doherty led Massapequa in scoring with 17 points including five 3-pointers. Van Buren finished with 10 points, Melanie Hingher added nine and Morgan Roessler contributed with eight for Massapequa.
Massapequa has not been seriously challenged this season. The team has won all of its games by double-digit margins. After completing the regular season with 16 wins overall, Massapequa took on Freeport to open the playoffs. In that game, Roessler led Massapequa with 19 points, and a total team effort helped the Chiefs cruise to a 75-43 victory. In the semifinals, Hingher and Van Buren each scored 12 points, Roessler added 10 and Melanie McCabe poured in nine as Massapequa easily beat MacArthur High School 64-41 in a game played at Garden City High School. That victory propelled Massapequa into the county finals against Uniondale.
This year’s title game was a return appearance in the Nassau Class AA Championship for Massapequa. The team had taken a similar route to the finals last season, going 15-2 overall before defeating Freeport in the conference quarterfinal and MacArthur in the semifinals. However, in the finals, Massapequa met up with a tough Baldwin team seeking its third consecutive county conference title, and was defeated.
“We were determined to get back,” said Roessler.
A year has a made a world of difference. And this time, instead of disappointment, Massapequa left the title game with a championship and a chance to play for Long Island honors.