It looked like it was going to be a disappointing afternoon for Kelly McPartland and the Farmingdale girls basketball team. The Dalers were already in foul trouble and a pair of Danielle Doherty free throws in the opening minute of the fourth quarter gave conference-rival Massapequa a nine-point lead, their largest of the game.
McPartland kept her cool and helped lead a 29-point offensive burst in the fourth quarter for the Dalers, who came back to defeat the Chiefs, 60-52, Friday in Nassau Conference AA-I.
"In the fourth quarter, we were more calm on offense. We weren't just chucking up unnecessary shots; we were taking our time," said McPartland, who had nine of her 20 points in the fourth quarter. "Our shot selection at the end definitely helped us. We kept our heads even though we were getting a lot of fouls called on us and we stayed together as a team."
McPartland made a pair of free throws with 2:29 to go to give Farmingdale a 48-46 lead, its first in more than 16 minutes.
Massapequa's Samantha DeSandis tied the score at 50 with 1:30 left but Farmingdale's Nadine Hadnagy responded by converting on a three-point play with 1:12 remaining to give the Dalers the lead for good.
"It was a rebound - I jumped on it, turned and [put] it up and I took my time and made the foul shot," said Hadnagy, who scored nine of her season-high 14 points in the final frame. "We always catch up, we're usually a second-half team."
Hadnagy was responsible for guarding Doherty and held the Massapequa sophomore to 11 points, a feat not overlooked by her coach.
"Nadine was in a battle all day," Farmingdale coach Pete Cerrone said. "To be able to focus on [Doherty] and then play at the other end is hard to do."
The teams were tied at 23 at halftime and Massapequa had the better of play in the third quarter, outscoring Farmingdale 15-8. DeSandis led the Chiefs (5-2) with 17 points and Morgan Roessler added 11.
The victory puts Farmingdale (6-1) at the top of the conference standings but Cerrone said the excitement will not last long.
"It's a very short-lived thrill because we go play Uniondale in our next game and they're the only team to beat us," Cerrone said. "We go from the frying pan into the fire."