Friends tops East Rock in Class C final
It wasn't the shot they wanted, but it worked.
With 35 seconds left and Friends Academy trailing 42-41, coach Ryan Schneider drew up a play that would give eighth-grader Lindsey O'Sullivan a look underneath the basket.
But O'Sullivan pulled up at the foul line instead and took a jump shot.
"I almost regretted it before I took it," she said. "But I thought I'd be able to make it."
O'Sullivan sank the go-ahead shot to lift the Quakers to a 46-42 win over East Rockaway Sunday in the Nassau Class C championship at LIU Post.
The eighth-grader scored 25 points, with 15 of them coming in a back-and-forth fourth quarter. Rose Mangiorotti added 13 points for the Quakers.
"We just kept up our energy," said O'Sullivan, who was named game MVP. "We couldn't make any silly plays or passes. We just had to keep pushing through."
The Quakers will face the winner of Monday night's Suffolk Class C finals in the Long Island championship on March 7.
Friends Academy trailed for most of the game, but O'Sullivan scored all but five of Friends Academy's points in the fourth quarter to help the Quakers come back three separate times.
With the score 37-34, the eighth-grader hit two straight baskets to give the Quakers a 38-37 lead with 4:15 remaining. Ally Lark hit two free throws and Julia Koebert hit another free throw to give East Rockaway a 40-38 lead, but O'Sullivan converted a three-point play to put the Quakers up 41-40 with 2:08 left.
Lark's putback with 1:50 left put East Rockaway back on top and set up O'Sullivan's final go-ahead shot.
"Lindsay might be the hardest-working player I've ever been around," Schneider said. "She's got such a sweet stroke that it didn't surprise me when the go-ahead went in."
Jessica Cerasoli led East Rockaway with nine points off the bench, while Shannon Pujol had eight.
"It's incredible," O'Sullivan said. "We were down the whole time, but we were able to fight back and come out with the win."