Sharon Bossert's layup took the lead late, and she followed it with a steal along the baseline and beat the pack up court for a fast break to create the final margin.
Hey, not too shabby for a volleyball player.
"She's a true basketball player," Smithtown West coach Katie Combs said, "and thank God for that."
Bossert had seven points, including the game's final four to lift Smithtown West over Smithtown East, 42-39, Tuesday night in the Battle of the Bulls. (Formally, it was a Suffolk League III girls basketball game.)
Samantha Delaney's three-point play gave East a 39-38 lead with 3:40 remaining -- after they had trailed for all but 54 seconds -- but Bossert answered with a driving lefty layup a minute later.
"After that I was pumped and wanted to be aggressive," the forward said of her steal and layup on the next possession. "I just read it, got the ball and I was gone."
But her return has been a key for West (7-8 overall, 7-4 league), which secured a playoff berth. Bossert was a promising freshman but gave up the sport for two years to focus on volleyball. "But being away from basketball," the senior said, "you realize how much you love it."
Point guard Savannah Miller had 11 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals to lead West. Siobhan Kehoe added 10 points and eight rebounds, and Melissa Meyers had eight points and 10 rebounds. Bossert also had eight rebounds and three assists.
"It's always intense between us," said Miller, whose team lost to East in their meeting earlier this month. "To beat them and get a playoff spot in the process is special."
In a figurative running of the Bulls, Miller played matador, slipping defenders and weaving into the paint with ease. She fed Meyers for a basket that put West up 30-22 late in the third. But East (8-7, 6-5) rallied and took its first lead, 36-34, on Haley Anderson's jumper with 6:11 left.
Delaney scored 12 points and Brittany Redmond added 10 for East.
"We were a two-win team two years ago, but these girls have improved so much," Combs said. "Us making the playoffs in back-to-back years was a big goal."