Toni Deren, Donasja Scott lead Harborfields to county title
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Before Saturday's game, captain Kiran Magee said there is not a lone "safety valve" on Harborfields. She was referring to the person the players turn to to bail them out of dire situations.
"It's not one person," she said. "We all do our part and rely on everyone."
That proved true because when they needed a safety valve the most Saturday night, two appeared.
Toni Deren and Donasja Scott guided the Tornadoes to safety, leading No. 1 Harborfields to a 53-51 win over No. 2 Glenn in the Suffolk Class A girls basketball final at St. Joseph's College.
With Harborfields clinging to a one-point lead late in the fourth, Deren drove the lane and converted a layup to make it 49-46 with 2:30 left. She then stole the ball and sank a pull-up jumper to build a five-point cushion.
A three by Monika Sivilli, who had 12 points, pulled Glenn within 53-51 with 22.1 seconds left. With a chance to give the Knights the lead on their next possession, Tanna Mohammed dribbled down court and pulled up for a straightaway three but Scott got a hand on it with seconds remaining, sealing the Tornados' second straight county title.
"We weren't nervous," said Scott, who also scored 12 of her 14 points in the second half. "We were ready. I felt like my team was counting on me and I feel like I came through."
Aaliyah Graham scored 11 of her 18 points in the third, capped by a step-back three just before the buzzer to cut Glenn's deficit to 41-36 heading into the fourth.
Mohammed had 10 points, highlighted by banking in a shot from just inside midcourt at the buzzer to pull Glenn within 29-18 at the half.
Harborfields' senior captain Kristen Kelly and Glenn's T-ora Scurry were both ejected with 6:29 left in the fourth after receiving double technicals for a skirmish.
Kelly was the leading scorer at the time with 14 points. But the Tornados stepped up in her absence and will now play Class B champion Hampton Bays in the Suffolk small school championship Monday at 5 p.m. at Farmingdale State College. They'll then play for the Long Island championship on March 7 at 5 p.m. at Farmingdale.
"A lot of us can do different things," Deren said. "We are a team and we worked together to pull this out and now we're county champs."