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Second Half Surge Sends Trojans to County Finals

The Trojans came out more aggressive on offense and switched up their defense to seal out Sewanhaka's big center, Casey Hayes.

Article and photos by Gary Simeone

Things weren't looking good for Garden City's girls basketball team in the first half of the Class A semifinal playoff game against Sewnanhaka Tuesday at Freeport High School. The Trojans could not score a basket and were getting outplayed on the defensive side of the ball. They were only able to score 6 points in the first quarter and 9 in the second, down at halftime, 25-15.

The second half, however, was a different story.

The Trojans came out more aggressive on offense, driving the ball into the paint and switched up their defense to seal out Sewanhaka's big center, Casey Hayes. Hayes was a dominant force in the first half, collecting most of her team's rebounds and giving the Lady Indians second chance opportunities on the offensive end.

"Our defense disrupted them a little bit in the second half and more importantly we started making our shots," said Garden City head coach Anthony Sparacia. "Our shots weren't falling in the first half but the girls stepped it up in the second knowing it was do or die time."

The momentum shift was obvious in the third quarter as Garden City scored nine straight points capped off by a three-point field goal from sophomore Becky Reifler. The Lady Indians were only able to score two points for the first seven minutes of the quarter before going on a small tear to end the quarter taking a 31-24 lead.

The Trojans continued their aggressive push into the fourth quarter and took the lead on a three-point field goal from freshman Kerry McCarraher. The game went back and forth as Reifler hit back-to-back floaters in the lane and Sewanhaka's Shantell McCall hit layups on the other end.

With the score tied at 37 it was anybody's ball game. That was until Garden City's Tara DeAngelo got the ball in her hands with two minutes left on the clock. The junior guard received the ball on the right hand side of the key and launched a rainbow three-point shot that ended up being nothing but net.

"It was a big shot," said Sparacia. "But we also got help from Sam (Auricchio) on the free throw line and Taylor (Carpentier) went 4-4 to help us down the stretch."

Sparacia added that his team showed they were able to handle adversity when faced with climbing back into a game.

The Trojans will now face Floral Park in the county finals at 3 p.m. at C.W. Post College Saturday afternoon.

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