Fifth straight county B title for Carle Place
Carle Place rules the world of Class B girls basketball, and it will be difficult to dislodge the Frogs from the top.
“We’ve got a couple of great years coming up,” said coach Timothy O’Hagan after his second-seeded Frogs (15-4) beat top-seeded Cold Spring Harbor, 35-25, in the Nassau County Class B girls championship game at Farmingdale State College on Feb. 23.
O’Hagan had just mentioned a list of young players who had stepped up to overcome the absence of injured starters and seniors Abby Selhorn (out for the rest of the year after foot surgery) and Leah Burden (hoping to be available for March 6 tilt against Suffolk B champ Mattituck at 5 p.m. at the same venue).
It was the fifth straight Class B title for the Frogs.
“It’s tremendous, a lot of fun,” O’Hagan said of the win. “I can’t wait to compete against Mattituck.”
For a while, it seemed as the title game was going to ape the recent Super Bowl.
Both offenses were fallow and the rim was unfriendly, whether the shots were close or from long range.
Prophetically, a drive to the hoop by Amanda Leary produced the first points for Carle Place, with 1:50 remaining in the first quarter. It made the score 6-2.
The Seahawks went into the locker room up 10-9.
Early in the second half, Emily Monferrato converted a rebound to put the Frogs ahead 11-10.
They never trailed again, though Cold Spring Harbor kept it close.
In the fourth quarter, the Frogs outscored their rivals 18-11 to pull away. Amanda Leary, a freshman, scored five of her team-leading 13 points in the stanza. Soph Erin Leary netted nine of her 11.
“I was in the waiting room when both of those kids were born,” O’Hagan said of the Leary sisters. “Our families are real close. They both work extremely hard, especially in the off season. They play AAU ball.”
In addition to the Learys, O’Hagan mentioned the Selhorns (two on the current roster, four in total) and Burdens (two on the current roster) as families contributing to the team’s success.
Asked about the low-scoring, at times sloppy and turnover-filled first half, O’Hagan commented, “When you play at a venue like this, it’s [different]. It’s a big court, a lot bigger than they’re used to playing. But as you saw in the second half, they really settled down.”
He added, “Amanda Leary really stepped up and took over the game in the second half.”
Carle Place dominated the boards, and mainly kept the Seahawks to one-shot possessions.
The teams had split the regular season matches.
“We know everything they’re going to do and they know everything we’re going to do,” O’Hagan said of the rivalry with Cold Spring Harbor.
In sports, as in life, it comes down to execution.