As the point guard of one of the deepest teams on Long Island, St. Anthony's sophomore Tyla Parham is the pacesetter and facilitator. Her contribution usually comes in the form of assists and steals as opposed to baskets, but she showcased some long-range chops Friday night.
Parham had one of the best offensive games of her career, scoring 13 points to go with seven assists, as No. 1 St. Anthony's defeated No. 4 Sacred Heart, 48-35, in a Nassau-Suffolk CHSAA girls basketball semifinal at St. Dominic. The defending champion Friars (22-4) advance to the final to face No. 3 St. John the Baptist at 3:45 p.m. Sunday at LIU Post.
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It was Parham's highest-scoring game since she netted a career-high 16 on Jan. 4 against St. John the Baptist.
"I just felt like in the other games, I wasn't playing as hard, so I just let it all out there today," she said.
Ally Rosenthal had 10 of her 12 points in the first quarter to help Sacred Heart take a 14-12 lead. The Friars held Rosenthal to one basket after the first quarter, due in large part to the defensive play of Symone Kelly (nine points, eight rebounds) who played through an ankle injury.
"She really got off to a real fast start and we really needed to make sure that we found her and that we gave her a little more attention," St. Anthony's coach Ken Parham said of Rosenthal.
Rebecca Musgrove had 12 points and seven rebounds and Chastity Taylor 10 points and five steals for the Friars, who took command during a 14-3 second quarter to go up 26-17 at halftime.
"We weren't really talking in the first quarter," Musgrove said. "We started talking on defense and everyone started helping each other out and we stopped it."
The teams played an even third quarter and St. Anthony's pulled away with an 11-2 run in the fourth to make it 48-32.
Sacred Heart (16-10) plays No. 2 Holy Trinity in the NSCHSAA Class A state qualifier at 2 p.m. Sunday at LIU Post.