The New Hyde Park girls basketball team (6-3) beat Roslyn (2-5) with a score of 60-49 in Conference A-I action Friday night.
Ciara McCullagh was a one-woman show in the first half, but it was the performance of the rest of the New Hyde Park girls basketball cast that made the difference in the second half for New Hyde Park.
McCullagh's team high 26 points and Lexie Peveraro's hot shooting from the outside in the second half sparked a 19-8 fourth quarter advantage as the Gladiators topped Roslyn, 60-49
It was just another day in the office for McCullagh, with the paint as her address. The star center grabbed 14 rebounds to lead the Gladiators and scored 14 of her team's 23 first-half points as New Hyde Park trailed by five at the break.
It would be more of a team effort in the second half, as Peveraro (11 points, four steals) hit her first field goal -- a three -- to tie the game at 30 early in the third. Moments later, she hit another three and the Gladiators never trailed again.
Led by Nina Hadzibabic's 23 points, the Bulldogs hung tough, and the game was tied at 41 after three. The fourth would be the Gladiator's coming out party as Maria Katsoulis (8 points, 12 rebounds) converted back-to-back three-point plays to put New Hyde Park up by six. Moments later, Peveraro hit her third three-pointer and the Gladiators pulled away for the win.
"We need that," Gladiators coach Hugh Flaherty said of Peveraro's shooting. "They double and triple team Ciara in the post and we need a contribution from the other kids...we finally got it tonight."
Hero: Peveraro. The senior guard was held scoreless in the first half, but hit three three pointers after the break, giving New Hyde Park an outside threat to go along with McCullagh on the inside.
Turning Point: Early in the fourth, Katsoulis hit a layup and drew the foul. She finished the three point play, putting the Gladiators up 46-43. For good measure, she repeated the feat a minute later and New Hyde Park never looked back.
Quotable: "She's been lights out, she doesn't get a lot of press but she's probably the best kept secret in this conference," said Gladiators Head Coach Hugh Flaherty on senior Center Ciara McCullagh (26 points, 14 rebounds).
Bottom Line: One player can't do it all in the long-term. McCullagh did in the first half and New Hyde Park trailed. Her teammates got going, the game was tied after three and New Hyde Park pulled away in the fourth. More team efforts like this will carry the Gladiators far.
Key Stat: Five, which is the number of points Roslyn guard Nina Hadzibabic had in the second half, after scoring 18 in the first. Flaherty's box and one defense, which he calls 'amoeba', helped contain her and allowed New Hyde Park to come back.
Who's Next? Tuesday, Jan.11 at 4:30 p.m. vs. Wantagh @ home.
New Hyde Park....12...11...18...19...60
NHP: Tomasini 9-1-10, Peveraro 11-0-11, Katsoulis 6-2-8, McCullagh 20-6-26,
Mastoridis 2-3-5. Three Pointers: Peveraro 3, Tomasini
Roslyn:Migden 2-0-2, Schneider 2-1-3, Spatz 0-2-2, Levy 12-5-17,
Hadzibabic 14-9-23, Chase 2-0-2. Three Pointers: none