Gerstman, Lynbrook down Floral Park
Brooke Gerstman stressed to her team all week that Lynbrook wasn't going to lose to Floral Park again. Then she backed it up.
Gerstman scored 15 of her 23 points in the second half to go with seven rebounds, four assists and three steals in leading Lynbrook to a 49-44 home win over Floral Park Friday night in a Nassau Conference A-III girls basketball game.
Shannon Baker scored 11 points and Danielle Amaya had eight points and eight rebounds for Lynbrook (11-3, 9-1), which lost to Floral Park, 38-37, on Jan. 6.
"I wasn't going to let it happen again," Gerstman said. "I told the girls [if we lose] we're really going to get embarrassed in front of this entire crowd. They came out to see us and we're not losing. I think they got the point."
Floral Park (11-3, 7-2) led 35-32 at the end of three quarters before Gerstman scored five consecutive points to open the fourth, including a runner with 5:34 left that gave the Owls the lead for good at 37-35. After Emily Keenan went 1-for-2 from the foul line for Floral Park, Amaya scored off a pass from Baker and Gerstman dished to Baker for a three-pointer with 3:35 left. Meghan Montine then hit two free throws to cap a 12-1 spurt and put the Owls ahead 44-36.
"When other teams put so much attention on Brooke, it leaves me opportunities to get points," Baker said. "It's great she can score with so much focus on her, but it helps the rest of the team get open looks."
Eighth-grader Kaela Hilaire and sophomore Valerie Fox each scored 12 points for Floral Park, but both fouled out in the fourth quarter. Floral Park pulled within 46-43 with 32 seconds left on Erica Bowe's three-pointer off the glass. Amaya hit two free throws with 12 seconds left to push the Owls' lead to 48-43.
Lynbrook can capture the conference title with wins in its final two league games.
"This was going to make or break our season," Gerstman said. "Getting home court in the playoffs is really key. The conference title is the first goal."