Chelsea Schultz was mobbed by fans. That's what happens when you hit some of the biggest shots in Commack history.
Jillian Spagnuola sat on the bench, ankle wrapped in ice, surrounded by reporters. That's what happens when you hit a crucial go-ahead free throw.
Jackie DelliSanti stood on the court, tears running down her face. That's what happens when you win a Long Island championship.
The celebration was like nothing Commack had seen before after it beat Baldwin, 51-50, in the Long Island Class AA championship game at LIU Post.
"I am so overwhelmed and so happy that we did this," DelliSanti said. "We have wanted this for so long."
After Schultz hit one of two free throws with seven seconds left to give Commack a 51-49 lead, Baldwin pushed the ball upcourt, and Tiara Place drew a blocking foul with five-tenths of a second left. She hit the first free throw but missed the second, and Casey Keenan grabbed the rebound to seal Commack's first Long Island title in program history.
Schultz's three-pointer gave Commack a 43-41 lead with 4:03 left and DelliSanti's free throw increased the lead to three. On the Cougars' next possession, DelliSanti found Schultz, whose three-pointer made it 47-41 with 2:21 left. "I had to be confident because I knew I didn't do too well shooting them in the first quarter," Schultz said. "I knew I had to hit them no matter what."
She did. But Baldwin tied the score at 49 when Aziah Hudson capped a 6-0 run by stealing a pass and converting a layup with 40 seconds left.
Spagnuola was fouled pushing the ball upcourt and hit one of two free throws to put Commack in front 50-49 with 36.7 seconds left. "There was a lot of pressure,'' she said, "but you have to block it out and focus."
Hudson and Jenna Annecchiarico had 14 points each for Baldwin (19-3). DelliSanti and Schultz each had 12 and Casey Hearns and Samantha Miller each had 10 for Commack (22-2), which will play either Rush Henrietta or Jamestown in a state semifinal at 6:15 p.m. Friday at Hudson Valley CC.
"This is amazing," said DelliSanti, wiping a tear. "I'm going to remember this forever."
That's what happens when you make school history.