Southold settles things in OT for LIC
Wednesday night, Sydney Campbell had impeccable timing and a flair for the dramatic.
Her first field goal, a layup with 16 seconds left in the third quarter, tied the score at 19 for Southold. Her next point, the front half of a one-and-one with 5.7 seconds left in regulation, knotted it at 24.
Campbell missed the second free throw (drama, remember?), but the junior more than made up for it in overtime, scoring five of her nine points in the final 1:33, as Southold defeated Friends Academy, 32-26, in the Class C Long Island championship at Farmingdale State.
Lauren Ficurilli's baseline runner with 3:26 left in overtime gave the Settlers (16-6) only their second lead, and the Quakers were held scoreless until Lindsey O'Sullivan's midrange jumper with 11 seconds to go. By then, Campbell had done her damage -- hitting the first three-pointer of the game and converting both ends of a one-and-one.
Not that she's exactly relishing her newfound role.
"It was really nerve-racking," Campbell said of the fourth-quarter free throws. "The fate of the team was in my hands . . . and I'm the nervous kind. I don't want the fate of the team in my hands."
Friends (6-13) led throughout the first half, courtesy of a 7-4 first quarter and a 6-0 run capped by Kristina Kim's 15-footer with 6:17 to go in the second. Southold, though, adapted -- switching from a man-to-man to a 1-3-1 and shutting the Quakers down for nearly six minutes, eventually tying the score at 11.
"We switched it around a lot," Ficurilli said. "We practice changing our defense in practice a lot and it throws the other team's offense off."
It took time, but it paid dividends. O'Sullivan hit four free throws to help Friends take a 17-11 lead with 3:15 to go in the third, but the Quakers shot only 1-for-17 in the third, as Southold scored eight straight to tie it going into the fourth.
"They're very versatile," coach Katie Hennes said of her players. "We've had a lot of injuries and a coaching change. They're getting used to my coaching style and they're really buying in."
The injured included Ficurilli, who hurt an ankle and sat for more than a month. And she, much like Campbell, has learned a thing or two about timing, whether it's recuperating in time for the playoffs, hitting big shots or turning on the offense when it counts.
"We only had four minutes left," Ficurilli said of her shot that punched Southold's ticket to the state tournament in Troy this month. "And those could have very well been the last four minutes we'd ever play."
As it so happens, time was on their side.