The game came down to makes and misses, but unfortunately for Carle Place on Saturday afternoon, it was on the wrong end of both.
"It was a game of runs," coach Conor Reardon said. "It felt like we kept giving them a little of a run and they would build up an eight- or 10-point lead and we’d make a run back."
The final attempt would be unsuccessful as Millbrook (21-3) finally put them away, 51-43, in a state Southeast Regional Class C girls final at Hofstra.
Amanda Leary led Carle Place (20-5) with 16 points and Renee Burden had 13 points.
"They hit some big shots down the stretch … we were challenging those girls to hit those jump shots and they did," Reardon said.
Starting the fourth quarter leading by two, Millbrook began to pull away by putting together a 10-2 run to bring the score to 45-35 with nearly three minutes left. The Lady Blazers kept pounding the ball inside to Natalie Fox (13 points) and Emily Grasseler (nine points) for layups. When doubled, they kicked out to sniper Madison Harkenrider (12 points), who connected on four three-pointers.
Having cut near double-digit deficits three times earlier to end each of the prior three quarters, Carle Place was unable to pull magic out of their hat for a fourth time.
"It was unfortunate that they were hitting shots and we weren’t, our shots weren’t falling," Caitlin Leary (eight points) said.
"Once they started to pull away we tried to pressure as much as we can and hopefully hit a couple shots, but generally our shots weren’t falling when we needed them most," Amanda Leary said.
For senior Leary, who played her final game for the program, she speaks about what she hopes to leave with the team and especially her younger sister Caitlin. "We had a really great season…I’m proud of this team in general and I’m going to miss this team a lot and playing with my sister as well."
"It’s hard to fill her shoes because she’s like our leader we all look up to her so I have big shoes to fill, but we know she’s always watching," Caitlin Leary said.
While the season may be over, the Leary legacy will carry on at Carle Place as they look to usher in the next season.