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Big Win Alert: Syosset edges Massapequa

Syosset girls basketball team.

Syosset girls basketball team.

Buncha big shots!

First, Rachel Greenspan knocked down a three from the right wing to put Syosset ahead by a point with 53 seconds left.

“I didn’t really think about it at the time; I just got the ball and put it up,” Greenspan said, “but that [shot] was definitely big for us.”

Temporary, though. Massapequa, on its ensuing possession, promptly tied it on Megan McCabe’s free throw with 39 seconds to go.

And that set the stage for Sarah Solomon. After the Braves grabbed two offensive rebounds beneath the basket, the ball found Solomon at the top of the arc, and the guard drilled a straightaway three with 10 seconds remaining, lifting Syosset to an improbable 42-39 victory on Friday.

“I had some space so I took the shot, and once it left my hand I was confident it was going in,” said Solomon, who scored nine points. “It was definitely big.”

That’s the operative word. The duo delivered big shots in the big moments as the Braves stunned host Massapequa in Nassau AA-I basketball – which, of course, is kind of a big deal. This was the Chiefs’ first loss in league play this season, and it’s the first time Syosset has beaten them since 2009.

“We expected to give a good effort and try our hardest, but we didn’t come in expecting to win, certainly not like this,” Greenspan admitted. “When the score was close at halftime, we started gaining confidence and thinking we could do it.”

The victory also keeps Syosset’s playoff hopes alive and they’ll have a chance to secure a berth in their regular-season finale on Monday.

“This is a big, huge, enormous win for our program,” coach Ian Western said, breaking out all the synonyms. “We hadn’t had a practice since Saturday because of the snow, and we came in against the No. 1 team in the conference. A win like this is definitely a confidence booster.”

Massapequa, granted, was without power forward Melanie Hinger and Olivia Batista played her first game after returning from a concussion. Still, credit the Braves (5-6) for their mettle and late-game execution.

Rachel Quinn scored 11 points, Julia Rauchenberger had six, and Greenspan and Gabriella Galasso each added five points.

McCabe had 15 points to lead Massapequa (11-1). Batista had 10 points and Rachel Sieber six.

The Chiefs led 17-16 at intermission and seemingly took control late in the third quarter. McCabe was fouled four times in a 42-second span and hit four free throws to give Massapequa a 28-25 lead with 1:30 left in the period. Batista’s layup with two seconds remaining put them up seven points.

“We never put our heads down; we’re not that kind of team,” Solomon said. “We really wanted this ‘W’ so we were all in.”

And soon enough, they were back in. Galasso’s three pulled them within 34-32, and she tied it on a layup with 4:22 remaining.

“Massapequa dominated us on the boards for a stretch and that’s when they pulled ahead,” Western said. “But we’re a team that thrives on defense, so once we got that settled, we were able to go on a run of our own and answer.”

After a back-and-forth sequence, McCabe scooped in a layup to put Massapequa ahead, 38-36, with 1:56 left – preceding Greenspan and Solomon’s heroics.

“We’re definitely excited after this,” Greenspan said. “I think this gives us some momentum. Hopefully we can keep it going, make the playoffs and get on a roll.”

Yeah… rolling like some big shots.

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