The Elmont Memorial Girls Varsity Basketball team fulfilled their preseason goal defeating Massapequa High School 71-58 in the Nassau County Girls Division 1A Championship games at Hofstra University. The Lady Spartans, under the leadership of head coach Greg Petrocelli and Assistant Coach James Hegman, cruised through their league schedule undefeated and entered the playoffs as the number one seed.
As the playoffs began, the Lady Spartans showed that their number one seed was no gift. They destroyed Farmingdale in the quarterfinals 50-34 and then beat Herricks in the semis to move on to the championship game against Massapequa. Led by Natasha Lyons' 19 points, 8 rebounds and 5 steals the Lady Spartans outscored Massapequa 23-9 in the final quarter of the championship game. Lyons was named tournament MVP and will lead Elmont against Suffolk Champ East Islip this Saturday at Old Westbury.
This Elmont squad though is more than a one-woman team. Natasha had a great deal of help throughout the season. Juniors Tiffany Daley and Lisa Lavelle, as well as senior Rachael Yambaye, played well all season long. Erika Johnson, Dominique Ringold, Margo Laventure, Nancy Akinyoye and Schezaray Rozzell all chipped in with solid play and stepped up when needed. This was truly as team effort.
The Lady Spartans stepped up when it counted defending Nassau County champ Massapequa holding the Lady Chiefs without a field goal in the final quarter. Massapequa, playing in its sixth straight final and looking for its fourth title in five years, kept the game close through the first three quarters leading 49-48 at the beginning of the fourth quarter. It was then that Elmont exerted its might. Eighth grader Shezaray Rozzell's (10 points) basket 35 seconds into the fourth quarter put Elmont up for good and ignited a 13-1 run putting Elmont up 61-50 with 4:51 remaining. Elmont cruised to the victory from there. When all was as said and done, Tiffany Daley had 17 points and Ericka Johnson had 13 points complimenting Lyons' 19.
The County Championship Plaque sits proudly, at this time, in the Main Office at Elmont Memorial. Soon it will make its way to the showcase in the lobby by the gym. The hope is that, in the years to come, this plaque will have some company. The present state of women's basketball at Elmont is healthy and the future is bright. Congratulations to the Lady Spartans, Nassau County Champs.