Massapequa's Melanie Hingher wasn't one of the Chiefs' main options to start the season. But when senior center Lauren VanBuren couldn't play the first game of the season due to illness, the 6-1 freshman stepped in and nearly recorded a triple-double.
It wasn't a fluke. In the second game of her varsity girls basketball career, Hingher had 25 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks to lead the Chiefs (2-0) to a 63-47 victory over Herricks in the finals of the Herricks Tournament Friday night.
"She's just composed and confident," Massapequa coach Shari Roessler said. "She had a great performance and she followed it up with another great game tonight."
Hingher had 13 points, 10 blocks and seven rebounds in a 45-24 win against East Islip on Wednesday. She shot 9-for-12 from the field and hit 7 of 9 free throws Friday and was named tournament MVP.
"I usually have a mismatch because of my height," Hingher said. "Whenever I have someone shorter guarding me I try to look for my shot."
The Chiefs jumped to a 12-3 lead, forcing Herricks into two quick timeouts. Massapequa's transition game and quick pace proved difficult to handle and the Chiefs had six fast-break points in the early going.
Herricks (1-1) went on a 7-0 run and cut the lead to two, but the Chiefs held on and led 16-12 after one quarter. In the second quarter, Massapequa dominated the glass because of its size. Olivia Batista's three-point play off an offensive board gave the Chiefs a 21-15 lead.
That's when Herricks' Alison Ricchiuti took over. The senior began getting to the basket more and scored 15 of her 27 points in the second quarter.
"I'm really proud of everything she did today scoring 27 against a top team like Massapequa," Herricks coach G. Davis Lavey said. "Nobody understands how hard she worked to get to this point."
Massapequa took a 32-30 lead into halftime but pulled away in the second half. After Herricks' Victoria Marano tied the game at 39 with a three-pointer, the Chiefs went on a 10-0 run to end the period and never looked back.