Lauren Van Buren and Melanie Hingher dominate inside in Massapequa win
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Massapequa's depth was on display yesterday as the Chiefs remained perfect in girls basketball play.
Despite the absence of all-around threat Morgan Roessler, the Chiefs beat Uniondale, 56-46, to climb to 11-0 and 8-0 in Conference AA-1 play.
Lauren Van Buren had 19 points and 17 rebounds to lead the way and Melanie Hingher, starting in Roessler's place, had 17 points and 11 rebounds. Massapequa coach Shari Roessler said her daughter was out with the flu.
"Controlling the boards was huge and our bigs really were good with that," Shari Roessler said. "Not having Morgan was a factor but wasn't a factor. She usually guards their best player and gets rebounds but everyone stepped up."
Massapequa led by 10 at the half, but Uniondale's Aliyah McDonald scored nine of her 15 points in the third quarter to bring Uniondale (10-3, 6-2) within seven heading into the fourth. In the final period, the Chiefs frustrated McDonald with tight defense by Sabrina Fregosi, causing McDonald to foul out with 2:36 left in the game.
Fregosi then helped seal it by shooting 5-for-6 from the foul line in the last 1:33 for five of her seven points.
"I was just focused on keeping [McDonald] in front of me, making sure she didn't get that first step," Fregosi said. "And at the end I just wanted to get those points on the board to make sure we got the win."
Massapequa grabbed 17 offensive rebounds and shot 24-for-34 from the free-throw line, while Uniondale made 9 of 15 foul shots and struggled on the boards. Van Buren was superb inside and at the line, making 13 of 17 free throws.
"We knew we'd have to take it to the hoop and we practice shooting foul shots and sprinting after so that really helped," Van Buren said.
Massapequa's average margin of victory through 10 games was nearly 23 points, but the Chiefs expected nothing less than the tight challenge they got from Uniondale Friday, with just one game separating the two teams in the Nassau AA-I standings entering the game.
"We knew coming in that their only [conference] loss was to us, and to strengthen our lead in the conference we knew we had to come out strong and beat them," Van Buren said.